Friday, September 2, 2016

"Alt-right" — because "mean crazy neo-Nazi online bully trolls" is such a mouthful





     Blinking red light on the phone. A message.
     “Neil, this is Arlene K—, I live in Oswego. I really enjoy your columns. Would you please do a column on alt-right and explain it? I don’t know what that’s about, and I’m starting to get worried about it.”
     This column is not a lounge band; I don’t take requests.
     However, in this case: an excellent question, Arlene, one much in the news.
     “Alt-right” is the new, sanitized term that includes a rogue’s gallery of haters, loons, tinfoil-hats, bullies and misfits, united by unmerited self-regard and a contempt for modern American life and most of the people who comprise it. They are a far right fringe, have always been with us, and surged into the public eye lately thanks to the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Donald J. Trump, who used the rock they live under as the cornerstone of his campaign.
     When Trump says “America is a hellhole and we’re going down fast” or when he says political correctness is “killing” America, he is speaking alt-right, or a more formal version, like “vous” versus “tu” in French, the plural, polite form more suited to a national political election.


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7 comments:

  1. One point overlooked is the rarity of hardcore alt-right people having a candidate they can really support. Because politicians they are enthusiastic about like Trump and David Duke types are so rare, they don't vote very often, so are not registered to vote. They may show support at rallies, social media. and tell pollsters they're voting for Trump. But if they can't vote, it won't help Trump. If anyone in Trump's campaign has half a brain, they would be organizing voter registration drives.

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    1. I think most people in Trump's campaign have half a brain! ;)

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  2. Thought for today and probably tomorrow! Call me naive, but if it's all about who and what "matters", life, respect, dignity, equality and fairness, why do so many, across the board, disrespect life, intimidate, bully, be-little and berate all those who want a better life, respect, dignity, equality and fairness from and with? Anybody get how that's suppose to work? "Alt-Right" is just the new sound-bite, catch-phrase metaphor for saying, You're not one of, "US"!

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  3. I think that the alt-right is insignificant -- as Bernie says it's possible that a large chunk of them can't even vote. What's scary is that normal people can pick up on one or two of the thousands of things that Donald Trump has said and say, "He's my kind of guy." And just go along with all the rest of his nonsense, just as we Democrats like Hillary for one thing or another and tolerate her positions on matters on which we think differently.

    John

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  4. Call me naive, but if it's all about who and what "matters", life, respect, dignity, equality and fairness, why do some of us, across the board, on all sides and even the same side, manage to disrespect life, intimidate, bully, be-little and berate those who want a better life, respect, dignity, equality and fairness in theirs too? Is that something evil or just human decency unrelated to any racial, religious, political or other social markers? Anybody get how that's suppose to work? Evolution, by definition is a process that takes a lot of time, and we haven't mastered it, probably because we have a lot of time left!? "Alt-Right" is a weed in the process we seem to keep choking on! Yep, "Alt-Right", it's good-old-fashioned, human nature-societal-racism, the new catch-phrase-sound-bite way of saying, "We're better than you, and you're not one of, "US"! I don't always play Sociologist but when I do, I'm usually "Alt-Wrong" or "alt-delete"?

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  5. People who try to dismiss the so-called "alt-right" by saying there aren't that many of them are missing the point. It's not how many virulently racist followers Trump has; it's that he has them at all.

    Bitter Scribe

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  6. Neil says: "Take comfort. They're too cowardly to cause much actual harm."

    Reassuring. But having had colleagues who worked on the fouth floor of the Murrah Federal Building, I'm not so sure.

    Tom Evans

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