Not for the first time, Hillary Clinton is about to dive into a topic she doesn’t understand. In an attempt to frame Donald Trump as a dangerous extremist and panderer to racists, she is going to take on the alternative right.
The move is purely cynical of course. Breitbart is the only major news site that has illuminating coverage to the alt-right, exploring its effect on the 2016 election without simple-minded denunciation or endorsement. Following the appointment of our then-executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon as Trump’s campaign CEO, she wants to tie the Republican nominee to a movement that has been disingenuously smeared as nothing but white supremacists. Coming from a media and political class that regularly cheerleads for the appallingly racist, cop-killer cheering Black Lives Matter, the claim is rich.
She will make no attempt to understand the nuances of this complex and fascinating movement, and will resort to BuzzFeed-esque simplifications in place of serious analysis. Well, nevermind — that’s what we’re here for.
We’ve covered the alt-right before. Indeed, our previous piece on the movement has become the primary source for leftist and establishment conservative writers who are horrified that anyone could give impartial coverage to it. For our troubles, we’ve been accused of “cheerleading” for the alt-right, and even being self-proclaimed members. To the pearl-clutchers who occupy the mainstream press, anything less than fearful, blanket condemnation no doubt looks like cheerleading, but their perception doesn’t make it so.
We’re happy to admit that the alt-right harbours some white supremacist hangers-on. People like the virulently anti-semitic Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, who in response to a request for comment called Breitbart “Jews” who want to smear what he described as “decent Nazis.”
But the fact that real white supremacists hated our commentary on the alt-right, and the fact that Breitbart is an unapologetically pro-Israel site with a diverse staff will no doubt be conveniently ignored by Hillary Clinton. I expect the fact that the bulk of our alt-right coverage comes from a gay Jew and a half-Pakistani (a fact that causes the alt-right’s racist faction to have fits of rage) will also escape their notice. But it won’t escape the notice of readers.
Another reason the media and the Democrats in particular are going after the alt-right is because it threatens a constituency they have historically taken advantage of: the youth. Many of the alt-right’s beliefs are not new. Michael Savage has called for “Borders, Language, and Culture” for many years on conservative talk radio. What is different is now young people are calling for it too, bringing all the energy, joie de vivre and creativity of youth to bear. That terrifies the Democrats.
The alt-right is very busy spreading the word to their fellow kids using the language of the Internet far better than anyone else in politics. The alt-right is re-energizing their parents, who are often times dispirited Tea Partiers, or proselytizing their democrat relatives who are recognizing a decade of presidential failure.
The reason why the media can’t stand Breitbart’s coverage of the alt-right is that we actually made an effort to understand the movement, instead of lapsing into the tired, knee-jerk assumptions that prop up the establishment worldview.
Allum Bokhari is a reporter for Breitbart. He can be followed on Twitter at@LibertarianBlue. Milo Yiannopoulos is a senior editor for Breitbart. He can be followed at @Nero. Email them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org