Since the beginning of the Trump campaign we have seen a change in America and worldwide. There has been a shift away from political correctness and instead towards a nationalist, “America First” attitude. Although America has become split almost down the middle between nationalism and globalism, moving from a more centrist view to the majority being drawn towards one side or the other. The election of Trump further propelled the topics of nationalism, polarized politics and race relations in to the forefront of American discussion. While this not an in depth examination of or endorsement of the ideals on either side of the political spectrum, it does cover why we have ended up where we are and how and why that shift happened. More people than ever are active in politics and there has been a change in how politics are viewed, leading to more and more people engaging in some form of identity politics whether they realize it or not.
Two such polarized areas are the rise of the alt-left or the “social justice warriors,” and the new right or the “alt-right “. People are building their identities, and their political identities, around who they feel they are and how that intersects with their political views. The most interesting side of this is the rise of the “New Right”, the new conservative and the alt-right. The alt-right has branched in many directions over the last 1-2 years, and includes a vast array of ideologies and beliefs. There is no centralized leader or organization but rather several small branches and groups that exist under a larger umbrella or eco-system know as the alt-right. Many sub-groups have sprung up that cater to specific variations of the alt-right or similarly related groups by the less far right version of the alt-right known as the alt-lite. The question is why now? Why are we seeing the rise of these particular groups with in the political sphere now?
While many say Trump is the reason that such movements, which already existed, have picked up steam and supporters and forged ahead expanding rapidly but that would only be a half-truth. In fact social justice warriors who started with a race baiting line of rhetoric and a push to build leftist politics around their racial or political identities have greatly contributed to the rise of the alt-right. In a sense the more that social justice warriors began to push people away from the left with their politically correct police and their push to pigeonhole and create a narrative around race relations mainly via mainstream media in America, the more the right began to push back. The lefts own rhetoric created a self-fulfilling prophecy in which people did begin to pull to the polar opposite of the social justice warrior movement.
Nearing the end of Trumps election, especially after his election there have been increased racial tensions and race based rhetoric forcing Americans towards one side or the other of the political sphere. The more the left pushed an anti-white narrative and tried to tell white people who they are and what they should do, think and say the more people began to push back against it. Eventually a large chunk of people got sick of feeling like they were constantly blamed for everyone’s problems and their inability to do well within society. Constant scrutiny and being told they were handed everything lead to the rise of identity politics around the fact that people were no longer afraid to be conservative and they were choosing to no longer be forced in to feeling guilty for embracing who they were. People have been thirsty for their roots, wanting the chance to connect not just to the commercial, nihilistic, vain, culture of America but to their own native cultures. People wanted to connect to the ancient cultures and traditions of their ancestors and to reject the pre-approved ideas of who they are and where they come from.
This culture vacuum also catered to the rise of a new conservative movement, one that isn’t your grandpas GOP. Once people felt they could celebrate their individual characteristics and take pride in their ancient roots they began to actively seek out groups that they could explore and connect to those identities through just as many social justice warriors have long done yet chastised other groups who attempted to take pride in their unique ancestral traditions. This is another pull towards the alt-right, the ability to celebrate and embrace ones traditional roots without feeling like they are not allowed to talk about it or enjoy being who they are.
While the left have become the new church ladies, controlling, censoring and forcing their members to adapt and adhere to a specified set of written or implied rules, the right has risen as its exact opposite an anti-pc, freedom of choice, counter culture that many are finding preferable to the smothering of individuality in favor of collectivism by social justice warriors. The reality is while social justice warriors feel like their supposed enemies are growing what they fail to realize is, its because of their own policies and actions. The more they push and criticize those on the right and try to control their own people on the left, the more people join up to movements like the alt-right or jump ship from the left to the right. People no longer believe the hype or the demonization of the right, they see through it and with social media they are no longer able to control the narrative even though almost all of mainstream media is on the side of liberalism.
This is particularly true for those conservatives or members of alt-right groups that happen to be white, although not all conservatives or alt-right members are white, both movements are diverse in their own right. White people began within the rise of Trump to begin to be blamed for all of America’s problems, problems in many cases they have had nothing to do with. People became fed up with being told they were receiving unseen privileges while working two jobs to put food on the table or working full time trying to earn a degree. They no longer wished to follow the typical path, to just accept the narrative that all white people are racist or evil. They became sick of hearing that they should cease to exist, they were awful, and a myriad of other similar slurs and insults. This pushed white people feeling betrayed, forgotten or cast out of their own country to identify with Trumps nationalistic America First campaign, which included all those forgotten people. This same rhetoric created the new powerhouse of the alt-right. It has virtually fed people to the movement with little need for recruitment. People began to wake up to what was happening within the left and decided to reject it and their version of identity politics in favor of advocating for their own identities and reconnecting with their ancestral roots.
What the left needs to understand is that while Trump may have been a catalyst he is not the reason that these movements have grown and new groups have been formed. The reality is that the lefts own false narratives and attempts to control people have created this new movement. If they weren’t spreading the narrative they are or not pushing the right so far away we may not have seen such an uptick in movement to the right or alt-right. Essentially they created their own monster and now they have to live with it and the new conservative movement is likely, here to stay.