Why are people like Richard Spencer typically classified as far right-wing activists?
If you’re like most people, you have probably heard that the alt-right movement is a fringe element of Conservatism. However, that assumption isn’t accurate; and it is important that conservatives understand the truth: There is nothing conservative about Richard Spencer, and we would do well to differentiate ourselves from his ilk. The alt-right movement has grown increasingly toxic over the past couple of years, and if we’re not careful, it could cause considerable damage to the conservative brand.
Richard Spencer is the president of the National Policy Institute which is a Virginia-based think tank. He is credited with coining the term “alt-right,” and is one of the movement’s preeminent leaders. While he does not prefer being called a white supremacist, his statements reflect views that white supremacist groups support. In a speech at Texas A&M, he argued:
“This country does belong to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is.” In a post on Radix, he wrote: “Martin Luther King Jr., a fraud, and degenerate in his life, has become the symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization.”
Both the left and people like Richard Spencer have cultivated the myth that the alt-right is an extremist arm of the conservative movement. However, when you look at the alt-right’s political ideology, it becomes clear that they have more in common with Bernie Sanders than the GOP. Hard to believe? Keep reading.
For starters, one of the biggest disagreements between conservatism and the alt-right is related to their views on Capitalism. Conservatives embrace Capitalism and the free market. We tend to reject government interference in the marketplace.
On the other hand, members of the alt-right adopt a more socialist view of economics. According to The Washington Examiner, Spencer takes issue with Capitalism: “Spencer’s biggest problems with conservatives is our championing of individuality and free markets. He would rather see a Republican-socialist alliance, which is a paradox.” On Twitter, he said:
“Democratic socialist countries that had Northern European populations were wildly prosperous in the 20th century. #GOPDebate #RandPaul”
Democratic socialists? Where have we heard this term before? You guessed it — Good ol’ Bernie Sanders.
Abortion is another issue on which conservatives and alt-righters differ. 71% of conservatives believe that abortion should be illegal in most cases. They argue that terminating a pregnancy is ending a life before it begins.
In contrast, people like Richard Spencer don’t have an issue with abortion; especially when it concerns minorities. According to LifeSite News, Spencer supports abortion because he believes it does not harm whites as much as non-whites. In a video, he said:
Those highly intelligent career women will have abortions on occasion, but to be honest, they’re using contraception and they’re avoiding pregnancy, is what they’re doing…The people who are having abortions are generally very often black or Hispanic or [people] from very poor circumstances, to be honest.
Spencer also states that white women typically use abortion only when they “have a situation like Down syndrome.” He added that blacks and Hispanics use it as “a kind of late-term birth control.” This assertion echoes the sentiments of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who viewed abortion as a way to limit the black population in the United States.
I know what you’re thinking: “But leftists don’t support abortion because they want to destroy black people!” This may be true, but while the motivation is different, the outcome remains the same. Abortion disproportionately impacts minority communities regardless of the reasons people support it.
Finally, there is the issue of health care. The GOP won the presidency and Congress because they vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Why? Because conservatives don’t want more government control over health care! As a part of the Conservative movement, you would expect Spencer’s group to recoil at the thought of government-controlled health care, right? Wrong.
The fact of the matter is that the alt-right loves the idea of universal health care. Many people in the movement have advocated for a single payer system, citing European countries as the model to which we should aspire. In a column on AltRight.com, Spencer argues that our current system is “the worst of both the free market and socialist options.” He also writes,
By doing this, it destroys the pricing mechanism, which is the one critical advantage capitalism has. The result is a bureaucratic nightmare. Universal healthcare is less confusing and nonsensical (and probably cheaper) than what White people have to deal with now.
So what is the bottom line here? Simply this: real Conservatism has little in common with the alt-right. The ideology of Richard Spencer’s alt-right is based on a foundation of ethnocentric Socialism dressed in faux intellectualism. It promotes the idea that the white race is what makes Western culture great, not our Judeo-Christian values. Racist and misguided views such as these have nothing to do with actual right-wing thought in America.
This isn’t to say that everyone who is involved with the alt-right is a bigot or a white supremacist, but it’s hard to deny that a significant strain of racism exists within the movement. The statements of Spencer and other alt-right leaders clearly reflect this pseudo-intellectual bigotry and conservatives cannot allow themselves to be lumped in with this group.
The left is already using Charlottesville to portray non-racist conservative groups as alt-right affiliates, which is something we cannot allow. They have already used this deception to shut down two free speech rallies: one in Boston, and one in San Francisco.
People who subscribe to the values of liberty and individualism must show the American public how our philosophy differs from the Richard Spencers of the world. Otherwise, the left will succeed in their attempts to convince more Americans that conservatives and the alt-right are one in the same.