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Politics

Everything you need to know about the alt-right movement




Stephen K. Bannon talks with callers about Donald Trump officially becoming the Republican Presidential nominee. Bannon has bragged that his site has become a platform for the alt-right.
Stephen K. Bannon talks with callers about Donald Trump officially becoming the Republican Presidential nominee. Bannon has bragged that his site has become a platform for the alt-right.
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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Hillary Clinton claims Donald Trump is embracing the alt-right philosophy, calling it a paranoid fringe movement that's taking over the GOP. Breitbart executive chairman and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon bragged earlier this summer that his website had become "the platform for the alt-right."

What is the alt-right movement? The Southern Poverty Law Center defines the alt-right as "a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that 'white identity' is under attack by multicultural forces using 'political correctness' and 'social justice' to undermine white people and 'their' civilization."

The Wall Street Journal’s national politics reporter Beth Reinhard has written about the alt-right movement. She says the “typical alt-right person is an educated person, obviously white, mostly male, mostly young and very active on social media.”

While that’s also a demographic that Trump appeals to, it’s not clear if the Republican presidential nominee is purposefully courting the group or if the alt-right is riding on the coattails of the GOP candidate’s platform. “At its best, they’re pushing boundaries and poking fun at people; and at its worst it’s the way Hillary Clinton described it as violently racist,” Reinhard says.

In an interview with ABC News, self-identified alt-righter Jared Taylor described the group as "a dissident movement" where "the prevailing orthodoxy about race is that it is an insignificant phenomenon."

“We are the champions of true diversity. We don’t want the entire world to turn into some kind of multi-culti mishmash,” Taylor says of the alt-right movement. “We should try to build a society based on a correct understanding of human nature, not to build a society on a flawed view of what we would like human nature to be.”

According to Taylor, Trump isn’t alt-right at all but some of his proposals and positions do appeal to the group, such as: sending undocumented immigrants back to their home countries, abolishing birthright citizenship and “examining whether or not we need more Muslims in the United States.”

Other Trump supporters think this whole alt-right business is a political ploy by the Clinton campaign. “I’ve never heard of alt-right until Hillary Clinton opened up her mouth,” says Republican political analyst Paris Dennard. He says making a campaign issue out of Trump and the alt-right is a “grossly inappropriate and tremendously outrageous” attempt by the Democratic nominee to divert attention from her rival’s recent outreach to black and Latino voters. In Dennard’s opinion, Trump is no more responsible for the ideologies of certain fringe supporters than Clinton is.

Do you think Trump is actively courting the alt-right movement? Or is the alt-right just spin from the Clinton campaign?

Guests:

Beth Reinhard, National politics reporter, WSJ who recently wrote about the Alt-Right movement; she tweets from @bethreinhard

Jared Taylor, Alt-Right member and editor of the online magazine American Renaissance, which he has described as a white advocacy organization; he tweets from @jartaylor

Paris Dennard, Republican political analyst and former staffer for President George W. Bush and the Republican National Committee; he tweets from @PARISDENNARD

John Nichols, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation; he tweets from @NicholsUprising