It is incumbent upon conservatives to attack the ideas of Alt-Right movement. Their ideas are vile, and they can spread if not challenged. Charlottesville showed that such ideas can have deadly consequences, and we need to fight them before even more people are hurt.
Additionally, the Mainstream Media will use the Alt-Right to discredit conservatives everywhere now that one of the Alt-Right’s minions has committed murder. Left unchallenged, the MSM will plant the idea in most American’s minds that there is very little difference between the Alt-Right and the conservative movement. If they succeed in making many people believe that conservatives are racists, the conservative movement will suffer for a long time to come.
A good starting point is the “Charlottesville Statement.” Penned by the dapper white supremacist Richard Spencer, with assistance from Gregory Ritter, Evan McLaren, and Hannibal Bateman, it claims to be the “meta-political manifesto for the Alt-Right movement.”
Here is the first item in the Charlottesville Statement:
Race is real. Race matters. Race is the foundation of identity.
“White” is shorthand for a worldwide constellation of peoples, each of which is derived from the Indo-European race, often called Aryan. “European” refers to a core stock—Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Latin, Nordic, and Slavic—from which related cultures and a shared civilization sprang.
Clearly, Spencer et al. feel that being white should determine one’s political beliefs. That, of course, is identity politics, the notion that race and/or gender are what defines a person’s politics. This has been a divisive force in our country as the high priests and priestesses of identity politics on the left have encouraged minorities to think of themselves as members of their race and not as Americans. Conservatives have rightly criticized that, and we should criticize the Alt-Right for encouraging whites to do the same.
Next, the Charlottesville Statement implies Jews can’t be Americans. From item number two:
Jews are an ethno-religious people distinct from Europeans. At various times, they have existed within European societies, without being of them. The preservation of their identity as Jews was and is contingent on resistance to assimilation, sometimes expressed as hostility towards their hosts. “Judeo-Christian values” might be a quaint political slogan, but it is a distortion of the historical and metaphysical reality of both Jews and Europeans. (Italics added).
Whether or not Jews have assimilated here in the United States can be tested against the evidence. Take, for example, military service. Currently, there are an estimated 4,700 Jews in the U.S. military, an estimate which is likely low. Looking at history, during the time of the American Revolution, there were approximately 3,000 Jews in the colonies, 160 of whom fought in George Washington’s Army. 250,000 Jews served in the U.S. military in World War I, 500,000 in World War II, 150,000 in the Korean War, and 30,000 in Vietnam. During the Civil War, 7,000 Jews served on the Union Side and—something that might make Spencer’s head explode—3,000 served on the Confederate side. Generally speaking, you don’t fight in a nation’s military unless you are pretty committed to that nation. By that measure, Jews have shown they are as American as anyone else.
It is tempting to suggest that ignoring the Alt-Right will take the wind out of their sails. A few months ago that might have been good advice. But in the wake of Charlottesville, that is no longer possible. As Michael Brendan Dougherty has explained, the Alt-Right now knows how to get media attention and so will almost surely keep doing it. Thus, conservatives must begin confronting Al-Right ideas head on.