After marching in Charlottesville, Va. in a now notorious rally the Alt-Right, KKK and white supremacists have been getting a lot of attention by the media. This is unfortunate as I’d rather not see this vile group of people get any attention from anyone ever. But because these groups are kinda relevant I thought I’d dig a little to see what kind of threat these folks are or aren’t.
This term is used everyone from disenfranchised Republicans to Nazis to people who simply hate the PC culture. Jake Tapper, a left leaning reporter for CNN was even accused of being a member of the alt-right. Before his fall from grace, Milo Yiannopoulos was sort of the poster child for the alt-right. They are often described by the media as having “far right views” and are commonly seen as a sect of conservatism. Lumping the Alt-Right in with Republicans would be a mistake. When you look at what these people actually believe in, they are closer to the American left than they are the American right.
First of all, true conservatives have the utmost respect for the United States Constitution. What I mean by this is that conservatives don’t believe the Constitution is a living breathing document to be interpreted and changed willy nilly. In the conservative viewpoint, the Constitution should be upheld no matter what, it is the law of the land and that is not up for debate. Constitutionalists are an actual sect of conservatism. The Alt-Right however, doesn’t believe in the Constitution. They make fun of conservatives by making memes, saying things like “But Muh Principles!” In fact, they aren’t traditional at all and would prefer to see American politics completely revolutionized.
Their disregard for the Constitution sets up the Alt-Right to disagree with actual conservatives on just about everything as the Constitution is the root of all conservative philosophy. The Alt-Right doesn’t believe in free markets and small government. Yiannopoulos co-wrote the manifesto for the Alt-Right calling establishment Republicans belief in the free market “overriding” and those who believe in free market capitalism, “cuckservatives.”
The Alt-Right is not a religious group either. Richard Spencer, a filthy human who is a leader of the Alt-Right and is a white nationalist calls himself a “cultural Christian” meaning he believes the 10 Commandments are a good idea but God as a literal force is not a reality…well, I’d argue we’re all at least culturally Christian. Most people agree the 10 Commandments are some good rules to live by. The Alt-Right is anti-semitic and unlike most conservatives (especially religious conservatives) do not believe all men are created equal. This is how they justify white nationalism. It’s important to note that white nationalism is not the same as Trump’s American nationalism but this is probably where the Alt-Right was most drawn to Trump. That and his wall to prevent illegal immigration, which contrary to popular belief is what Trump and mainstream Republicans want to prevent whereas the Alt-Right is against any kind of immigration, legal or not.
Pro-Big Government, anti-free market, anti-religion, and anti-Constitution… does that sound like conservatism to you? The language has gotten so confusing that some have suggested conservatives start calling themselves Constitutionalists to avoid this confusion. The Alt-Right is a stupid group of people, true, but are they actually on the right? No.
These guys are sick humans who think one’s ethnicity equates to their worth. While not all members of the Alt-Right are racist, most Neo-Nazi, KKK etc folk would consider themselves to be members of the Alt-Right. These are the David Dukes and Chris Cantwells of the world. I don’t need to really dig into what they believe because I think we all know. And I think we all know they are scum. But let’s get into the actual numbers. Are the KKK and those like them a huge threat to our society?
As of June 2017 there were 42 active KKK groups across 22 states. So these idiots aren’t even active in half of the states. Today it is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 8,000 registered klan members. None of these members hold any real position of power. The Klan represent .002% of the population. The Poodle Club of America has more members than the Klan, it’s not even close.
It’s shocking and alarming to see these people carrying lit torches and chanting obscene things. But keep in mind, these people represent a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. They are poorly organized and have no real power in this country. The only power they have is the power we give them when we talk incessantly about their gatherings and respond to them violently as Antifa did.
Look, I am one of their targets. I am the result of white mixing with black, their worst nightmare. But I honestly don’t care if someone has racist ideas. I won’t seek out their friendship or hire them to be my plumber but as long as they aren’t literally hurting anyone I don’t care what they do. The way to handle these people is not to punch them or hit them with sticks but to ignore them and when you come into contact with them have a civil conversation. Never fight a bad idea with violence.
While a little unnerving and thoroughly stupid, the Alt-Right and the KKK don’t reflect the majority of Americans. What’s more is that these groups didn’t just suddenly appear. The Alt-Right is a new term but white nationalism has existed for centuries. In the last 10 years, the KKK’s peak in America was 2010 and then they were mostly ignored. This proved to be a good strategy because the KKK hit a 15 year low in 2014. There was an uptick in KKK membership in 2016 but it still represents a tiny portion of the American population and 2016 still had lower numbers for the KKK than 2010.
Be honest about who the Alt-Right is and fight them with non-violent conversation and a civil battle of ideas. Be weary of the KKK but right now there’s no reason for them to keep you up at night. If you meet a Klansman try to talk to them but keep in mind sometimes you can’t cure stupid.