It started innocently enough. People on the right wanted something a little stronger than National Review-style conservatism. As the most extreme elements of the racist left ballooned, metastasized, and became an intractable part of the “mainstream,” many rightists felt hamstrung by the rules of engagement forced upon them by the conservative establishment. Leftists were all over the media railing about how whites are the root of all evil. “Whites are genetically malignant! ‘Whiteness’ must be stamped out! Nonwhites are good and noble! Any supposed harm they do is merely because whites made ’em do it!” And what type of response did the right’s “intellectual leaders” allow? Only the safest, softest, most GOP-approved talking points. “The Democrats are the real racists! We’re the party of Abe Lincoln and Jackie Robinson! We despise white ‘identity,’ and any supposed harm black Americans do is because the Democrats made ’em do it!”
In other words, responses that didn’t actually challenge the core claims of the left’s racist ideologues. Yes, you’re not responsible for your own problems! But don’t blame whites, blame Democrats! Don’t blame slavery, blame Democrat slavers!
Immigration? “Come one, come all! Just please sign in at the border before helping agribusiness keep the price of celery low. Oh, and here’s the form for public assistance. We have no problem with immigration! We just want to make sure the bouncer stamps your hand on the way in. And if the nightclub gets too cramped, the fire hazard will be our strength!”
Some folks on the right wanted a little more elbow room to fight back. They wanted to be free to counter leftist extremism on race with honest debate and factual arguments rather than sanitized, party-approved answers. They wanted to be able to cite things like black-on-white crime stats. They wanted to be able to suggest that maybe not everyone should be welcomed into this country simply because they can fill out a form. They wanted to be able to say, “White isn’t bad.”
The “alt” in alt-right was supposed to refer to an alternative to Conservative, Inc. Throughout 2015 and 2016, mealymouthed National Review, with its “fire John Derbyshire for his ‘racist’ satire” attitude, saw its influence wane. Establishment conservatives failed to stop Trump, and all of a sudden there we were, November 8th and victory. The rightists who longed for a bit more red meat in their diet seemed poised to be sated.
Of course, almost immediately, things started falling to shit. Alt-right “leaders” turned out to be narcissistic sieg-heiling morons who soon enough became obsessed with internal purity tests (“Yer a Jew-lover! No, YER a Jew-lover! Yer a faggot degenerate! No, YER a faggot degenerate!”) and bullshit issues that don’t matter one bit to the average American, let alone the average blue-collar Trump voter (“In 1784, Mayer Rothschild entrusted the father of Adolphus Solomons with the Grand Medallion of Zion, which Adam Weishaupt stole to bury the truth about the Kol Nidre”).
So, sure, the alt-right never became what a lot of people wanted it to be—a braver, more honest, and more effective voice for the right on matters of race. And now, I would argue, we’re seeing its final death throes. Because these days the alt-right is actively trying to bring back the greatest and most devastating plague of the 1980s. And no, it’s not AIDS (yeah, I used a bit of misdirection in the title). Sure, AIDS was bad (this is why people read me—I take bold stands), but I would present the honor of “worst ’80s plague ever” to the “satanic ritual abuse” hysteria that swept the nation throughout the decade. With AIDS, you could at least protect yourself by taking rudimentary safe-sex precautions. But there was no way for ordinary, law-abiding Americans to protect themselves from the “satanic ritual pedophile” madness. The targets were usually random and arbitrary, and once you were tagged, your life was ruined.
Most millennials have no knowledge of this monumentally destructive witch-hunt that ruined the lives of thousands of innocent people. Families destroyed, careers destroyed, childhoods destroyed. I don’t have the space to provide a complete history lesson, but I can supply a few links (and here and here). And if you’re too lazy to click, here’s the gist of it: In the early 1980s, America (and, worst of all, American law enforcement) became convinced that there was a massive hidden network of Satan-worshipping pedophiles stretching from one end of the nation to the other. Anyone could be a member of this infernal cabal. It could be your neighbor, your child’s teacher, your pastor, your grocer, your mailman, or Chuck Norris. Law enforcement took the existence of this network as fact, and, as a result, anyone who didn’t see it (like the children who’d supposedly been molested) was subjected to CIA-style interrogation techniques (including hypnosis, intimidation, and outright threats) designed to extract “the truth” from those too blind to know they’d been satanically abused.
Legal proprieties were flaunted, and defendants were deprived of their most basic rights. Only the narrative mattered: The network exists, it must be crushed, and anyone who suggests caution or argues for due process is a (they didn’t use this word back then, but it fits) “cuck.”
Today, the alt-right (or what continues to feed off the moss under the detritus) has decided that this is once again the most vital issue facing the nation. The alt-right has become obsessed with the idea that there’s a massive satanic ritual pedophile network crisscrossing the country, comprising the rich, the powerful, everyone in Hollywood, and anyone who dares to ask for hard evidence (“That just proves you’re part of it, man”).
In fact, just last week some alt-right anti-Jewish conspiracy ninny named “Vox Day” accused me of being an accessory after the fact to the satanic Hollywood pedo ring, because according to him I know the names of those involved but choose to remain silent, because Jew. (“Vox” was butthurt over last week’s column, in which I argued that “edgy” comedians who make kiddie jokes are not necessarily pedophiles.) I looked “Vox” up, and apparently he’s a failed garage-band musician and “elves and ogres” fantasy author (amazingly, this guy couldn’t hack it in two of the least demanding professions known to man), and now he’s supposedly some kind of alt-right honcho. Big deal. Being a VIP on the Pizzagate fringe is like being the most handsome muselmann in the terminal ward.
In just two years, the alt-right has gone from “Can we admit that there’s nothing wrong with being white?” to “Our prime directive is to hunt down the secret cabal of satanic ritual abusers that only we can see.” In a cruel irony, the disillusioned rightists who fled establishment conservatism for the alt-right have now fled the alt-right because its most lunatic elements have changed the mandate.
Here’s another irony: One would think that the alt-right would be the last group in the world to want to resummon the satanic ritual abuse genie of the ’80s. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the case of Bill and Kathy Swan (one case out of hundreds). The Swans were an ordinary white Christian couple living a normal suburban life outside Seattle…until the state seized their 3-year-old daughter and put them on trial for being ritual molesters in 1986. Why? Well, the day-care center to which they sent their little girl had recently hired a new teacher, Lisa Conradi. And very shortly after being hired, Conradi called the cops from her workplace. Apparently, according to her, the Swans’ daughter had decided, for reasons never explained, to confide in this total stranger and unburden herself of a terrible secret: The Swans were ritual abusers who’d been raping her and other neighborhood children for years.