There is a ‘white supremacist’ in the White House, according to the metropolitan Left.
No, it isn’t Donald Trump. That goes without saying. The man in question is of course Steve Bannon, former executive chair of Breitbart News and now chief strategist for the president-elect, who recently earned the label after bragging that Breitbart was the “platform for the ‘alt-right’”. Oh the humanity.
Of course, Bannon is not a white supremacist, and neither, for the most part, is the alt-right. As shorthand for ‘alternative right’, the term simply refers to all right-wing currents that go against mainstream conservatism. Naturally, this does include white supremacism, but it also describes the much more prominent Trump/UKIP clique as well as classical liberals. It is therefore best explained as not a racist movement, but as a broad church with a racist fringe.
Obviously, that fringe is to be thoroughly condemned. But Bannon, in line with Breitbart’s editorial stance, was quite clearly referring to the dominant, more moderate section of the alt-right spectrum: the anti-PC, anti-mass immigration but pro-free speech, multiracial and civic-nationalist ‘Trumpeters’. Luminaries of this wing include Bannon’s ex-colleagues Milo Yiannopoulos – a gay Jew with a penchant for black men – and former UKIP leadership contender Raheem Kassam. Indeed, like Trump’s wider support, they are surprisingly diverse.
This set is also defined by its online presence and trolling of ‘social justice warriors’, which to be fair, is quite an enjoyable pastime. On a rainy day, I like to search for ‘Tory scum’ on Twitter and wind up those defaming my party. They’re spitting blood as it is, meaning the hard work has already been done for you.
However, unlike Breitbart, I am certainly no fan of Donald J. Trump: he is an ignorant, unqualified and narcissistic orangutan whose election to the White House transcends parody. But for goodness sake, his administration will not be the Fourth Reich, and I relish the intellectual challenge that he, Bannon and their infectious brand of illiberalism brings.
The Left, on the other hand, do not relish the challenge, which is why they’ve portrayed Bannon as the head of a unified, neo-fascist front. Essentially, the alt-right is a folk devil that the Left have distorted in order to – once again – dodge the debates and shut down their opponents by calling them names.
Some people never learn.
The Great British Taxpayer is a political blogger
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty