Waking up with a slight hangover, pushing the cobwebs from my brain, I find that Donald Trump has pulled off what might be the greatest political upset in American history and won the Presidency.
What does this mean for some of his most fervent supporters in the “Alt Right”?
First off, this victory shows the effectiveness of their engagement methods, particularly on social media. The comprehensive jihad against White people that the Liberal Establishment has launched gives the Alt Right easy ideological points, but a key to their success isn’t viewpoint, but tactics. The Alt Right is conscious of itself as a movement within history, and how this movement is viewed by outsiders. Their aggressive engagement is meant to appear powerful, confident, assured of itself. On the internet, the Alt Right are the “winners,” the Alpha males. The anonymous avatars behind this engagement may belong to an introvert, but social media gives people the freedom to be someone else.
To put it simply, the Alt Right acts like winners, because they have studied how winners act. The actual victory of Trump is a tremendous confirmation that their tactics have been effective.
In terms of policy, Trump’s victory may not advance the Alt Right’s agenda, particularly for the extreme members. The “Trumpenreich” isn’t going to “name the Jew,” women are still going to be allowed to vote, Black people aren’t going to be enslaved. Jews will occupy high places in the Trump administration. More than likely, Trump isn’t as focused on issues of identity as the Alt Right would like him to be. The extreme members will be disappointed and likely drop out, while more nuanced thinkers will continue, with perhaps a greater “air of respectability.”
So, for the less extreme ideas? White identity politics? Reaction to globalism? Trump’s victory gives them a place at the table. No longer can the concerns of White Americans be mocked and ignored. No longer can the mainstream media claim to represent the views of the country. The echo chamber has been breached, and the right wing is on its way in. I expect this will take the form of reaction to the identity politics of the left. The Alt Right has built its following pointing out the Liberal Establishment’s hypocrisy on the issues of race, gender, and other identities. They will still win points here, particularly if liberals double down on identity politics. If we continue moving down the path of racial division, the Alt Right will be well placed as leaders of “the White faction.”
Trump’s victory is a tremendous vindication of the Alt Right’s tactics and many of their less extreme ideas. The issues which gave rise to the Trump Presidency are the same which gave rise to the Alt Right. Welcome to America, 2016.
This story "What Trump’s Victory Means for the Alt Right" was written by Joshua Seidel.