Speaking of Ironic Reversals, today the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) opened, and one of the first speeches tried to blame the “alt-right” on the left. The speech was made by Dan Schneider, the executive director of the the American Conservative Union, which runs the CPAC conference.
The alt-right is a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state, promotes white nationalism, is critical of ethnic (Black, Hispanic) or religious (Muslim, Jewish) minorities, and believes in nativism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and even neo-Nazism. Sound familiar?
But Schneider called the “alt-right” a “left-wing fascist group”, and claimed that it is “a sinister organization that is trying to warp its way into our ranks.” Schneider argued in his speech that the “alt-right” is philosophically left-wing because it departs from his definition of conservatism where “the individual” is sovereign. He tried to link fascism to the left by saying “Fascists tend to want big government control.”
Now, while fascist governments are usually totalitarian, this ignores the fact that not all totalitarian governments are fascist.
If you accept Schneider’s logic, then one could also say that conservatives, who overwhelmingly support Donald Trump, are part of the alt-right because Trump’s top advisor is Steve Bannon, who while running Breitbart News described it as “the platform for the alt-right“. Not to mention that after the surprise outcome of the presidential election, the alt-right had a victory party where the person who invented the term “alt-right” spoke, and he closed his speech with “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory”. The crowd responded with Nazi salutes and “sieg heil”-like chants.
So, if conservatives are against the alt-right, does that mean that they will fight against Donald Trump and his alt-right advisors? Or is this just more doublespeak?
Also published on Medium.