The Alt-Right Should Be Re-branded As Fascists


Protesters marching in Washington, outside an Alt-Right conference. Courtesy of The New York Times

Landon Stokes, Features Editor

By Landon Stokes

Much to the dismay of many Americans, including myself, the end of the 2016 presidential election has done nothing to ease tensions and restore peace among opposite-minded Americans.

It seems that the rift that formed between political ideologies during the election has actually widened, with more and more lines drawn in the sand and cooperation between political parties at a record low. The most unfortunate result, however, has been the emergence of various hate groups in our country in the wake of radically different political stances. One group in particular, the “Alt-Right,” or “wannabe fascists” (as I like to call them) are a particular threat to both liberals and conservatives alike, and represent a terrifying underground ideology that has churning in our country for years.

The Alt-Right is a far-right group in the Republican party that advocates ideals too extreme for most mainstream conservatives. The movement (if it can be called that) includes elements of racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, and white nationalism. It shouldn’t be hard for the average American to make a decision about these scumbags. They represent ideals that threaten the freedom of our citizens and a system of government against which Americans have sworn to protect.

Even more unfortunate is the media’s apparent inability to address this movement for what it is. In a society that throws around phrases like “grammar nazi,” and “feminazi,” it is apparently not possible for us to label actual nazis as such. When having his movement delegitimized, Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer, a popular Alt-Right news outlet, said, “The goal is to ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government.” That statement should terrify even the most staunch conservative thinker. The Republican party likes to think of itself as the “freedom” party, and a party of that name should never accept a fascist ideology.

Yet it seems this radical sect of conservatism only solidified behind Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Although Trump himself has condemned the Alt-Right, the movement’s support for the president-elect cannot be ignored. It should concern all Americans, especially Republicans, that a group like this could find so much support from our own citizens. There is a lot of hypocrisy within our government and society, but fascism disguised as liberation is still fascism. You may be the “freedom” party, but ask yourself this: freedom for whom? If I remember correctly, even the Pledge of Allegiance, which is authoritarian in its own way, says “one nation…with liberty and justice for all.”

As Americans, the traction of radical, fascist ideologies is a sign of failure. We, as citizens, have failed not only our country, but the world as a whole. We operate under the guise of freedom and liberty, but to enact or even endorse laws that require followers of a religion to register and carry documentation, or forcefully return an entire ethnicity to its home country is to blatantly spit in the face of freedom. I always condemn groups of people attempting to govern how others live their lives, but in the case of a fascist movement in my own country, I can’t turn a blind eye to hate and the targeted stripping of rights of American citizens.

The first step to combatting a hate group is to not recognize their chosen name. Calling these people “Alt-Right” legitimizes their movement and identity and masks the true nature of the beast. I think “neo-fascists,” and “white supremacists” are better names for them. A nation fueled by hate and supremacy is not a free nation. Allowing an ethnocentric and radically anti-freedom doctrine to run rampant in our country would make the United States no different than the Axis powers it fought over the same beliefs only 70 years ago.

I love what the United States exemplifies, but I also believe that the most patriotic duty an American could perform is resisting ideologies that threaten the safety and freedom of other citizens, and human beings in general. If that means resisting our very government and institutions, so be it. I will not live in an authoritarian country, and I will not go quietly. I encourage all of my fellow Americans to do the same, and resist the media’s sugarcoating of radical movements. Call them out for what they are. Bigots, tyrants, and most important of all, fascists.