Much digital ink has been spent burying the spectre of the Alt-Right. Probably most of this is butt-covering going on trying to assure the powers that be that the individual in question is NOT of the Alt-Right and therefore not deserving of de-platforming.
Along with this interment is the surprising fact that most people (including myself) are not entirely sure what the definition and origins of the Alt-Right precisely are. I know that depending on the exact capitalization and hyphenation of the name it can be the Richard Spencer coined term for the white identitarian group that he belongs to. Other versions of this and similar expressions like Dissident Right have different emphases and appeal to different points of view.
But whatever names and whatever divisions these groups make between each other (and they certainly do that), one thing is undeniable. These were the groups that identified the real problems afflicting the United States and they were the ones who backed Donald Trump before anyone else even thought he was serious. Whatever else they are wrong about they were right about those things. To deny that is to deny the truth.
And the other thing that needs to be said and that is the central point of this post is that they along with President Trump are responsible for moving the Overton Window to the point where even the normies like me have heard the details of what the Alt-Right knew and have incorporated it into our world view. No one bothers to even dispute the platitudes of the Establishment GOP when they’re mouthed. We might give a sarcastic snort and then close the link and go to some useful website where actual thinking is going on. The Alt-Right and Donald Trump truly revealed why the right always lost. It was because our supposed leaders didn’t want to win. They just wanted the job of losing.
Now, all of this is old hat. We all know all of this. But it was hammered home to me when I was perusing an article in American Greatness by Christopher Roach entitled “The Radicalism of Conservatism, Inc.” Now it’s a very good article and it delves into the history of how the establishment right became so wrong on how to win. But reading the description of how Trump deconstructed the “illegal immigration is an act of love,” and describing establishment conservatives by saying, “that they function chiefly as the palace guard for yesterday’s liberalism” could have come directly out of a ZMan post from a year ago. What that tells me is the knowledge that the Alt-Right pioneered has been successfully dispersed into the bloodstream of the conservative body politic (if I may mangle a metaphor that far).
Whatever agreements or disagreements we may have with either the tactics or the substance of what the Alt-Right believes we have to acknowledge that they have red-pilled a significant part of the normie right. And that is without a doubt an enormous achievement. Without them maybe Clinton beats Trump and with a solid liberal majority on the Supreme Court we might now be watching as the First and Second Amendments were being effectively chloroformed.