A sane lefty cuts through the lies about “alt-right”

Lumping everyone with the extremists makes constructive dialogue impossible.

When almost the entire political left seems to be far left crazies, it’s increasingly difficult to remember that not everyone on the left is a rabidly intolerant radical. Even centrists like myself who still consider themselves at least as much left as right despair of finding anyone on the left with whom it is still possible to have a rational conversation.

So reading Caitlin Johnstone’s The “Alt-Right” Label: What’s Real, What’s Fake, And Why It Matters comes as a much-needed relief.

The confusion around the label alt-right is one of those things that makes it abundantly clear how thick the walls of the political social media echo chambers are.

Sure, there is indeed an alt-right, but they are a tiny core of racist extremists.

let’s be very clear about this: alt-right refers to those who embrace white nationalism, also known as white ethnonationalism…a disgusting ideology with the stated agenda of creating an all-white ethnostate.

And that’s it. That’s the full meaning. Unless you see someone advocating the creation of an all-white ethnostate, as people like Richard Spencer and David Duke do, it’s inaccurate to label them alt-right. Many conservatives in America want stricter policies against illegal immigration…think political correctness is ruining the world, and are opposed to notions like gay marriage and gender fluidity. That doesn’t make them alt-right, it just makes them conservative.

This blanket dismissal of opposing opinions, whether as “alt-right”, “fascists” or “Nazis” is being exploited by some very toxic political operators bent on tearing apart America in a particularly nasty divide-and-conquer strategy.

In August of 2016 a widely circulated article titled “What Is The ‘Alt-Right’? A Guide To The White Nationalist Movement Now Leading Conservative Media” was published by Media Matters, a Democratic party-aligned propaganda firm headed by the Clinton campaign’s David Brock, who Bernie Sanders once charitably referred to as “the scum of the earth”. The article mentions Richard Spencer and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, but it also lists people like Steve Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Mike Cernovich, who have all said some gross things in their time but have never been advocates of white separatism or the creation of a white ethnostate.

By the strangest of coincidences, the very day the Media Matters article was published, Hillary Clinton joined in the chorus.

.…any figure remotely associated with Trump [was] painted as alt-right, effectively creating the “everyone to the right of Hillary Clinton on any issue is an actual, literal Nazi” mind virus that is still wedging Americans apart today.

Someone’s profiting from this divisive dynamic, and it ain’t you.

Johnstone is an avowed “bogan socialist”, but she also comes across as an unusually honest and open-minded (for these times) member of the left. Whilst I disagree with her on many things, I sense that she is at least someone on the left with whom it would be possible to have a constructive debate.

I insist that we’ve got to learn to interact with each other…This means learning a bit about the other side instead of believing what Media Matters and Hillary Clinton tell us about them. Basically, it means being a normal adult and interacting with people of differing opinions…

Some on the right might also want to keep this in mind. When Antifa are throwing bricks and screaming Nazi! at everyone they just don’t like, it can be hard to remember that there are sane left-wingers out there. If the sane people of right and left can remember how to talk to each other, the current hyper-partisan nightmare just might end.

We are capable of this.

Mediu


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Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

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