The alt-right is a huge mishmash of conspiracy theorists with a lot in common. Now that includes Donald Trump. The problem is, Trump is not just an awful theory, like the idea that Sandy Hook was a left/government plot (1M pgs) similar to human-animal hybrids (5M pgs). His chance of taking the presidency is better than your chance of losing at Russian roulette (Nate Silver). And you probably don’t want to take that chance. So you need to know what the heck you’re up against. First, who are they?
One simple test will identify most of them. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Virtually all of these will be Trump supporters. That’s about 70% of his supporters. But some of his alt-right supporters don’t believe this nonsense, so perhaps 75% to 80% of Trump’s support is alt-right.
Trump has just picked alt-right superstar Stephen Bannon, “The Most Dangerous Political Operative in America,” (Bloomberg) to be his campaign CEO. Bloomberg is correct. Unlike most alt-right conspiracy nuts, Bannon is an extremely cunning, well disciplined propagandist. Here are some of the headlines he approved for his website:
- “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”
- “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”
- “Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”
- “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”
Bannon loathes the Republican establishment, and if Trump were elected, he would likely become a close advisor. Trump chose him after he decided to “let Trump be Trump”—“I don’t want to pivot.” Generally the alt-right consists of white supremacists of one stripe or another. For short you could identify them as neo-Klan. And like the Klan, many are anti-Semitic and often anti-Catholic. (Breaking news: Bannon is said by his ex-wife to be anti-Semitic.)
Subsequent posts will probe other aspects of the alt-right, but here we begin with the anti-Semitism of Trump’s supporters. First note that Trump encourages this. He tweeted an anti-Semitic meme graphic (PolitiFact) that he took from a neo-Klan website, and …
On May 4, 2016, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Donald Trump: “But the anti-Semitic death threats that have followed…” Trump interrupted. … Blitzer continued, “Supposed fans of posting these very angry … But your message to these fans is?” Trump: “I don’t have a message to the fans.” (Atlantic)
It is, of course, unheard of for a presidential candidate not to condemn anti-Semitic death threats, even if they are from his followers. Now here’s an excerpt that from a WNYC story:
Trump-Inspired Anti-Semitism Prompts Fear,
Police Reports…and a Gun Purchase
Mandel, 30, is an Orthodox Jew and conservative writer for prominent Jewish and conservative publications who has vociferously opposed, particularly on Twitter, the candidacy of Donald Trump.
And that’s why she had to buy a gun.
Mandel estimates she has faced thousands of anti-Semitic messages online, mostly from self-identified white nationalists who are passionate Trump supporters — as made clear by their exhortations to “make America great again” and the Trump imagery in their user profiles. The messages she has received (“Die, you deserve to be in an oven,” for example) are tame compared to the pictures (Mandel’s face superimposed on that of a Holocaust victim).
Mandel is far from alone. An old argument has been rebooted for a new political age: Jews are destroying the country, and only Trump can stop their malevolent hold over media, business and government.
Mandel said Trump first went after the “easy targets in our culture” — Mexicans and Muslims. Then some of his supporters turned on the Jews. “We have to speak up,” she said. “And I feel this as a Jew…Because I knew they were coming after us next. And I was right.”
Jewish reporters have been sent images of themselves behind the gates of Auschwitz — and pictures of Trump operating the gas chambers. Sometimes he is leading KKK rallies; other times, prominent Jewish journalists have Nazi yellow stars with the word “JUDE” plastered on their faces. The anti-Semites mockingly use Yiddish words, like oy vey, and often invoke the Hebrew word for Holocaust, Shoah.
Jonathan Weisman, an editor at The New York Times who is Jewish, wrote about his Twitter timeline: “I was served an image of the gates of Auschwitz, the famous words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ replaced without irony with ‘Machen Amerika Great.’ Holocaust taunts, like a path of dollar bills leading into an oven, were followed by Holocaust denial.”
Make no mistake. If Trump is elected president, America will no longer be great, and the Republican Party will not be the party of Lincoln or even Reagan.