“I know how to be a gracious loser.
I could have let it go last week when Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, challenged me to look her in the eye and say she ran a campaign that gave white supremacists a platform. I considered for a split second. I knew you were supposed to be gracious when you come for the post-election forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. But I decided this was a year where normal rules don’t apply. Speaking the truth was more important.
“It did. Kellyanne, it did,” I told her. It’s just a fact. Trump winning the election doesn’t change that. To my mind, his win makes it all the more important that the truth be acknowledged. …
But it’s also important for the winners of this campaign to think long and hard about the voters who rejected them. I haven’t seen much evidence of such introspection from the Trump side. That’s concerning.
I don’t know whether the Trump campaign needed to give a platform to white supremacists to win. But the campaign clearly did, and it had the effect of empowering the white-nationalist movement.”
In Jennifer Palmieri’s benighted world, the Alt-Right = white supremacy.
As Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon knows the Alt-Right is much more nuanced than that stupid caricature. He knows the points on which we agree and which we disagree. We very much agree, for example, on globalism, illegal immigration, refugee resettlement, gun control, free-trade, disastrous foreign wars, political correctness and the corrupting influence of the donor class on mainstream American politics.
The Alt-Right was born in the George W. Bush years. It is the Alt-Right because it is not mainstream conservatism. The Alt-Right, for example, has strong views on foreign policy. We have always hated the neocons and were strongly against the Iraq War from the beginning. We’re against antagonizing Russia. We’re against American imperialism overseas. We’re the ones who want America to be a normal country.
The Alt-Right also has strong views on trade policy. There is more disagreement on this issue, but many of us have always been strongly against globalization and destructive free-trade deals. Conservatives believe in the magic of the free-market, free-trade, tax cuts and the rest of neo-liberal economics. Nationalists are skeptical of “creative destruction.” We don’t like seeing our communities ripped apart. At a minimum, we think the wonders of free-trade have been wildly exaggerated while the costs have been minimized.
When David Duke says he is winning, it is because Trump and Bannon have adopted some aspects of Duke’s message like being tough on illegal immigration or attacking George W. Bush over the Iraq War. No one believes that Trump is a closeted racist or a white supremacist or an anti-Semite or a Neo-Nazi or a White Nationalist. On the contrary, virtually everyone on the Alt-Right has publicly said otherwise.
For some reason, this never breaks through into the Lügenpresse. They can’t see that we agree with Trump on illegal immigration, Russia and trade policy, but not on Israel or Iran. Why do these people even bother to call themselves journalists?