As public awareness of the collection of neo-fascists who call themselves the “alt-right” has increased, some within the Republican right concocted the term “alt-left” in order to deflect attention from the growth of racism that is the inevitable product of the GOP’s decades-long reliance on white identity politics to promote upward economic redistribution of wealth.
At the same time, many Republicans have pretended that the term “alt-right” had no meaning and was really just a fabrication by Democrats. It’s a classic case of political projection.
President Donald Trump has been particularly fond of both techniques. He has on multiple occasions pretended that “alt-right” was a meaningless slur — acting as if he’d never heard the term, or had no idea what it meant — while also implying that anti-fascist activists really were the “alt-left.”
On Aug. 25 of last year, as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, Trump waxed downright postmodern during a CNN interview when asked about Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that he was too close to the alt-right. He appears to have made up the word “alt-left” on the spot.
“Nobody even knows what it is,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, referring to the alt-right. “This is a term that was just given that — frankly, there’s no alt-right or alt-left. All I’m embracing is common sense.”
A few days after that interview, Joseph Farah, the Christian nationalist founder of the conspiracy website WorldNetDaily, concocted a definition for Trump while accusing Clinton of engaging in political projection….
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