Disdaining the traditional Washington think tanks as passé, they’re taking aim straight at America’s sense of its own identity, with plans for “culture tanks” to produce movies that make anti-immigrant conservatism look cool, and advocacy arms that resemble BuzzFeed more than The Heritage Foundation. They talk elliptically about internet memes replacing white papers as the currency of the policy realm, pushed out by “social media strike forces” trained in the ways of fourth-generation, insurgency-style warfare. There’s the idea of taking over the Republican Party with a wave of Tea Party-style primary challenges in 2018 that will rely on novel campaign tactics like flash mobs and 24/7 streaming video of candidates’ lives.The story is worthwhile because there's no concealing the ugliness of the alt-right's agenda. The paragraph I just quoted ends this way:
There’s even a new right-wing hipster fraternal organization started by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys (motto: “The West Is the Best”), which promises to serve as an amateur security force at political events, including the Inauguration.The story profiles unabashed racists such as Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer (Spencer is the guy whose speech at a recent D.C. conference culminated in Nazi salutes) as well as people who want us to believe they're just jolly provocateurs (we learn that Milo Yiannopoulos's vision for the alt-right "DeploraBall" celebrating Trump's victory includes "shirtless Mexican laborers ... building a physical wall around" entering guests). Even if the story's author, Ben Schreckinger, spends too much time on his interviewees' ambitions, everyone he speaks to comes off as a dangerous creep.
But I'd like to point out that we have some information that's relevant to the ongoing controversy about the use of the term "alt-right":
Known until recently as the “alt-right,” it is a dispersed movement that encompasses a range of right-wing figures....Schreckinger, regrettably, uses the term "new right" a number of times in the article, and refers to some movement participants as members of the "alt-light" (a term used by Richard Spencer). Using these terms is a whitewash. I've believed for some time that using the term "alt-right" isn't whitewashing racism or neo-Nazism, as long as you unreservedly assert that alt-rightism is racist and neo-Nazi. I think the press and other commentators have successfully done this -- as the members of the movement themselves say, the term is now poisoned.
Now, as its members move on Washington, an already fragmented movement is further split between those who embrace Spencer’s racial politics and those who, for reasons of pragmatism or principle, reject the “alt-right” label for its associations. Said Paul Ray Ramsey, a blogger who flirts with white nationalism but found the Nazi associations a bridge too far, even for him: “You don’t want to tie your brand to something that’s ultimate evil.”
Many figures in the movement now disdain the term “alt-right”...
[Mike] Cernovich has condemned Richard Spencer and disassociated himself from the “alt-right” label....
Cernovich now uses the label “new right” to describe himself.
But these people mustn't be allowed to slither away and start referring to themselves as the "new right," or to say that the alt-right is racist but the "alt-light" isn't. These terms have to be tainted as well. Read about the members of the movement, in Schreckinger's piece and elsewhere. These people must not be normalized or mainstreamed.