August 18, 2016

Source: Bigstock

Oslan is equally optimistic: “€œI have quite a bit of confidence he can win; I think Clinton’s very presence and demeanor is enough to raise an ire in men that will cost her the election. It’s also telling that Trump’s rallies are packed wall to wall, hers are not, yet somehow she’s supposedly leading in the polls.”€

All three told me that their confidence in Trump has not been even remotely dimmed by recent events. And indeed, optimism is a fine thing. But let’s just say Trump loses. The alt-right has made him their guy. Trump goes down, what becomes of the alt-right?

“€œThey”€™ve been around long before there was a name for them and they”€™ll exist even if Trump took an attack and keeled over at the next sold-out show. Honestly I think they”€™re chthonic,”€ says MacLennan. Forney dittos that sentiment: “€œThe alt-right was here before Trump arrived on the scene and we”€™ll be here after he leaves. While Trump losing would be a blow in the short-term, the ideas and concepts that we”€™ve made mainstream will continue to percolate throughout American society.”€ Oslan is slightly less certain: “€œConsidering that the alt-right is a loose group of blogs and not defined by one specific thing, I can”€™t exactly say what it will collectively do. I know some people who have exit strategies, such as flying off to countries in Eastern Europe in case Clinton wins.”€

Speaking of which, Forney foresees that the greatest potential danger to the alt-right following a Clinton win would not be demoralization but outright prosecution: “€œThe main obstacle the alt-right”€”and indeed, all of Hillary’s opponents”€”will face is her all-but-certain clampdown on free speech. I began my writing career barely six months into Obama’s first term, and in that time, outlets like Gawker have made a killing by using crowdsourced outrage via social media to get right-wingers fired from their jobs. If Hillary gets elected, all of this is going to get worse, with the additional risk that the government itself will start cracking down on free speech. All it will take is one Hillary nominee before the Supreme Court declares that the First Amendment doesn”€™t apply to “€˜hate speech”€™ (which will be defined as everything that upsets the left, as it is in Canada, Britain, and other countries). If that happens, game over.”€

I had to ask, because it’s been on my mind for some time, if any of my three interview subjects believe that Trump is even aware of the alt-right. Some alt-rightists speak of Trump as if he were Marine Le Pen, but Marine Le Pen knows she leads the National Front. Does Trump even know he’s been declared the figurehead of something called the alt-right? “€œI doubt Trump knows what the alt-right is,”€ MacLennan admits, adding, “€œTrump may know Milo’s name but there’s no direct evidence.”€ Adds Oslan, “€œThere’s been talk that when Trump has “€œAll Right Now”€ by Free playing at his rallies that he is dog-whistling to the alt-right.”€ But other than subliminal dog whistles, Oslan sees no real proof that Trump is aware of the alt-right. And Forney? “€œTrump is almost certainly aware of the alt-right, given his political platform and public statements. He’s not likely to ever acknowledge or align himself with us, however, both for practical reasons and because while he may have much common ground with the alt-right, he’s a civic nationalist at heart and isn”€™t interested in racial nationalism/division.”€

Okay, so what about my notion that a Trump loss will lead to vicious reprisals from a furious and reenergized conservative and GOP establishment? MacLennan doesn”€™t think the alt-right is even that interested in keeping a seat at the national political table: “€œThey put the chaos into the chaos candidate. They wouldn”€™t be effective if they started showing up invited to the victory parties.”€ Still, she agrees that a Trump loss would lead to the alt-right losing whatever presence on the national scene it currently has: “€œIf Trump goes down it”€™ll be Stalinistic except with worse photoshopping.”€

Oslan doesn”€™t see it that way: “€œThe alt-right owns the “€˜memes of production,”€™ so if Ben Shapiro goes on an “€˜I told you so”€™ tirade, they”€™ll just get even more trolls on him. Unless someone imposes stricter rules on the internet, which isn”€™t likely, they”€™ll pretty much always have a seat.”€

To Forney, if the members of the establishment right think they can mount a “€œcomeback”€ following a Trump loss, the joke’s on them: “€œIf Trump loses badly, nobody aside from Hillary and her courtiers will have a seat at the table, because America as we know it will cease to exist. This is why the #NeverTrump conservatives who dream of making a comeback in 2020 are delusional. This isn”€™t an election about ideas so much as it is about demographics. The straight white men who built America are being systematically replaced, and when they go, America goes along with them. While Trump is no savior, he’s the first candidate in decades who has a chance of halting the Marxist tide.”€


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