By Josh Hammer
A few weeks ago, I tweeted to Hugh Hewitt about the need for a Buckley-style purge of the “alt-right.” VDARE saw my tweet and quoted it in defending the very Birch-ers whom Buckley purged long ago. Less than twelve hours after unfortunately having my tweet quoted by VDARE (and thus making it visible to all accounts who follow VDARE’s Twitter account), I began being harassed by a prominent white nationalist Twitter account with 80,000+ Twitter followers. I quickly blocked the account, but as I discovered the harassment while lying in bed overnight, the damage was largely done. Over the next twelve hours, I received in my Twitter “@ mentions” some of the worst anti-Semitism I have ever received in my life. I had to block and/or mute dozens of anonymous Twitter eggs and accounts with anti-Semitic caricatures as their avatars—all of whom were sure to have “#MAGA” (“Make America Great Again”) and/or something to do with either “cuckservatives” or Jews in their account bio descriptions. Truly terrible stuff—but no one who has closely followed some of the crazies that the Trump campaign has brought out of hiding should be unfamiliar with this horrible phenomenon*, by now.*
After I wrote the piece, another white supremacist publication named American Renaissanceresponded by—you guessed it!—labeling me (and Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt, because why not, I guess) with the entirely vapid moniker, “cuck”:
Fortunately, those incidents have, for me, generally been rare. Others, including Erick, have not been so fortunate in escaping the collective wrath of some misanthropic Branch Trumpidian personality cultists and their more explicit racists who form the core of the “alt-right” movement. David French, in a remarkably forthright and absolutely must-read piece published at National Review last Friday, opened up on some of the disgusting acts the “alt-right” has perpetrated toward him and his family:
I distinctly remember the first time I saw a picture of my then-seven-year-old daughter’s face in a gas chamber. It was the evening of September 17, 2015. I had just posted a short item to the Corner calling out notorious Trump ally Ann Coulter for aping the white-nationalist language and rhetoric of the so-called alt-right. Within minutes, the tweets came flooding in. My youngest daughter is African American, adopted from Ethiopia, and in alt-right circles that’s an unforgivable sin. It’s called “race-cucking” or “raising the enemy.” I saw images of my daughter’s face in gas chambers, with a smiling Trump in a Nazi uniform preparing to press a button and kill her. I saw her face photo-shopped into images of slaves. She was called a “niglet” and a “dindu.” The alt-right unleashed on my wife, Nancy, claiming that she had slept with black men while I was deployed to Iraq, and that I loved to watch while she had sex with “black bucks.” People sent her pornographic images of black men having sex with white women, with someone photoshopped to look like me, watching.
You really ought to read David’s full piece, as he additionally provides details on sundry other “alt-right”-orchestrated vitriolic abuses directed toward anti-Trump conservatives (including Erick). David accurately notes how one of the most frequent targets for the “alt-right” has been Ben Shapiro, both because Ben has consistently written about the deep-rooted anti-Semitism of a non-negligible quantity of Trump’s most diehard supporters, and because, as David wrote:
Why Shapiro? Because he represents the worst of all possible anti-Trumpers — he’s a Jewish man who turned on **the twin pillars of the alt-right, Trump and Breitbart.com****. Shapiro famously resigned from Breitbart when it refused to support reporter Michelle Fields after then—Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbed and pulled Fields in the press scrum at a Trump event.
Ben’s prize for his efforts is that he is apparently, by far, the single most frequently targeted Jew on the entire Internet:
Hadas Gold of Politico, who broke the story last night—which Erick reported on—about Trump propaganda outfit Breitbart.com working closely with a notable Leftist activist during the primary season to quash the erstwhile bid of one-time rival Senator Marco Rubio, is perhaps the most recent Jewish journalist to find herself the target of abhorrent anti-Semitic vileness. While I have more nuanced feelings on the general tone that the Republican Jewish Coalition itself has taken toward the Trump candidacy, it is true that many Jewish conservatives—including yours truly—have made no secret of their opposition to all which Trump represents.
None of this, for those who frequently use Twitter, should be new. I nowadays pretty much instantly block almost every Twitter account that tweets at me and has a “Pepe the Frog” logo in its Twitter bio description.
The latest “alt-right” tactic—as if its hatred for the Jewish people were not facially obvious enough to even the most cursory observer—has been to deliberately excavate an old Nazi term that refers to the media. As BuzzFeed reported:
It’s become a familiar routine by now: Trump supporters haranguing the press at rallies, booing them and screaming at them.
“Tell the truth!” and “CNN sucks!” have become staples at nearly every Trump rally. On Saturday night, a new and foreign accusation came to the fore: “LÃ¼genpresse!”
The term, which means “lying press” in German, has a history dating back to the mid-1800s and was used by the Nazis to discredit the media. In recent years, it has been revived by German far-right anti-immigrant groups. And on Saturday, it made an appearance at a Trump rally in Cleveland, Ohio.
While I have generally been loath to make explicit “Trump=Hitler/Mussolini” comparisons, it is simply undeniable that the Trump candidacy has not just tacitly allowed, but has invariably openly fomented and conscientiously mainstreamed, some truly noxious elements of the American political landscape. That is just a fact. I still think Trump is much more “utterly amoral” (yes, Ted Cruz had it right back on May 3) and brute narcissist/opportunist than he is actual open racist—and, as an avowed immigration hawk, it really pains me to see border security staunchness and general immigration skepticism stances become as markedly gauche as they have become due to Trump’s cartoonish misappropriations of them—but I still think Cheeto Jesus is a truly dangerous man who knows full well the flames he is fanning. And constitutionalists, even in the “category 1” reluctant Trump-supporting camp, will vote for such a demagogic carnival barker at their own peril. As I wrotein May:
The issue with these well-intentioned constitutional conservatives, I believe, is that they are either too casually dismissive of or are not sufficiently scared of the very real historical perils of nations falling victim to undiluted authoritarianism. Some of these folks are so (properly) gung-ho about American constitutionalism, and so peppy about Tocquevillian democracy, that they cannot properly channel a more Machiavellian lens to decipher the motives of ill-intentioned malevolent actors. There is no real reason why authoritarianism cannot ever take hold in America, if We the People willfully discard our own constant vigilance. Yes, the Constitution’s structural safeguards for the preservation of individual liberty—via both the separation of powers and federalism—are permanently entrenched precisely in order to guard against such a result. Yet, at the same time, Thomas Jefferson only thought the Constitution would last 19 years*, and many others from the Founding generation also viewed the Constitution as less of an eternal guide and more of a merely marked improvement over the failed Articles of Confederation.*
I wrote that, of course, only nine days before the beacon of liberal democracy known as North Korea decided to endorse Donald Trump.
But for the “alt-right,” this is all part of their orange god-king’s intrinsic appeal. The overtly neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer sometimes refers to Trump as their “Glorious Leader.” These people pine not for a humbled or Christian constitutionalist, but for a would-be despotic, institution-undermining fascist. Yes, fascist. And Donald Trump, whether he has done so intentionally, subconsciously, or somewhere in the amorphous middle thereof, has given these types of people a voice they have not had in decades—or, potentially, insofar as presidential candidates are concerned, in the history of the American experiment.
Frequent visitors to this site know that I always put the term, “alt-right,” in scare quotes. I do that intentionally. The neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and abject racists who form the core of their movement do not deserve to be dignified with an ostensibly anodyne-sounding label like, “alt-right.” Call them—not the median Trump supporter, of course, but the actual anti-Semites and white nationalists to which this piece has frequently made reference—what they are: they are vile Jew-haters and wicked racists. Period. Their views on racial and religious issues do not merit any consideration in legitimate right-of-center political discourse. (As an aside, note in the previous sentence that I am refraining from using the distinct term, “cultural,” because my stance in the assimilation/multi-culturalism debate (wherein I earnestly believe in the need for the former and oppose the insidious excesses of the latter) and belief that American society is idiosyncratically not well-equipped, at this current juncture in our history, to assimilate mass quantities of legal immigrants, is what largely accounts for my own professed inclinations toward a degree of immigration skepticism.)
It is obvious to all but the most inveterate Branch Trumpidian cultists that Donald Trump is going to lose in an Electoral College landslide on November 8. If conservatism is going to henceforth survive as a coherent intellectual movement and political ideology, it will have to expiate itself of the wretched cancer that refers to itself as the “alt-right.” A good first step would be to actually do away with the superficial niceties and call these folks out for who they really are.