Paul: The Alt-Right Has No Place In Conservative Politics

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American politics is usually seen as a two-sided affair. Republicans are conservative, Democrats are liberal, and moderates are compromisers and "flip-floppers." Yet dozens of other political ideologies and schools of thought exist on the periphery. Some comfortably fit under the broader umbrellas of Conservatism or Liberalism, but many do not. These fringe groups, excluded from the political mainstream, have to get creative in order to find an audience and be taken seriously.

This is the plight of the Alternative Right. As the name might suggest, these groups identify themselves as an alternative to Conservatism. While some of their key beliefs overlap with conservative thought, the movement is ideologically distinct. With no seat at the table, the Alt-Right’s leaders realized that their only shot at general acceptance would have to involve unseating either the mainstream conservative or liberal ideologies. To this end, the alt-right has tried to discredit conservative Republicans and take their place.

The three pillars of the alt-right’s ideology are Isolationist foreign policy, Mercantilist/protectionist economics, and an Ethno-Nationalist view of America.

Their isolationist stance on foreign affairs puts them at odds with the Neo-Con faction of the Republican Party, which rose to prominence under George W. Bush’s administration, but aligns better with more libertarian-leaning Republicans. This is where the similarities between libertarians and the alt-right end. Their opposition to government intervention abroad is not matched by opposition to government meddling at home.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the prominent and infamous alt-right provocateur, has said,
Libertarians are children. Libertarians are people who have given up looking for an answer. This whole ‘everybody do what they want’ is code for ‘leave me to do what I want.’ It’s selfish and childish.
The alt-right espouses a strong, even authoritarian government, and holds small-government conservatives in disdain.

The alt-right’s economic agenda borrows heavily from the Mercantilism and Protectionism of the 18th and 19th Centuries, respectively. Their emphasis on cultivating domestic industry and limiting foreign imports has found a large and receptive audience, especially among those affected by the decline of industry in the rust belt. Their opposition to free trade is a sharp break from trade policy of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, however. Free trade has been a cornerstone of Republican policy for decades, and has also been championed by many Democrats like Bill Clinton, who created NAFTA during his Presidency.

The most subversive and far-reaching element of the alt-right’s ideology is their espousal of an ethno-national worldview. If this sounds like an academic euphemism, that’s because it is. This worldview rejects the notion that the United States is exceptional because of its multicultural demography or guarantee of freedom for a widening scope of people. Instead, they credit the country’s success to the predominance of the white, Christian majority. This stance aligns the alt-right with the KKK and neo-Nazi groups against ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and other groups like feminists. In a 2016 speech at Texas A&M, prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer declared,
This country does belong to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is.
Equally as troubling is Spencer’s view of an ideal society, given in 2013,
"Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence.
His movement disapproves of an America defined by freedom and inclusion and individualism. The alt-right calls for an ethnically hierarchical America, with privilege for some and subservience for others. They reject Communism, mostly because Communism is international collectivism. Instead they advocate national collectivism, state-worship, and cultural purity, much like the Nazi and Fascist movements of the early 20th Century.

Though the alt-right is hopelessly outnumbered by the legitimate conservatives of America, it has grown like a bacterial infection over the past few years. The alt-right doesn’t deserve its own seat at the table, much less Conservatism’s seat.

So the next time that you see a parade of angry, dough-faced protesters decked out with Tiki torches and white polos, remember this: they have no place in Conservative America. They are Nazis.

Nat Paul was born in Australia with dual citizenship and grew up travelling between there and the USA. At 19, he enlisted in the US Army Reserve. Nat believes that a career of service is an important prerequisite for political office. He graduated from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, with a degree in Political Science, a focus in International Affairs, and a minor in East Asia Studies.

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About Nat Paul

Behind Enemy Lines is a national Award-Winning radio show / podcast broadcasting live out of the belly of the Democratic beast - "The People's Republic of" New York City that airs on multiple radio stations as part of the Talk America Radio Network! The show is also available on multiple networks across the internet, with more being added regularly.

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