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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