After a terrible week on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton lashed out at her Republican opponent yesterday as – surprise, surprise – a racist.
But this time, she claims, Donald Trump is backed by a nasty, racist “alt-right” conspiracy that aspires to lynch blacks and Muslims and that laughs at feminist idiocy.
When in doubt, scream “racist!”
That has been Democrats’ rule of thumb since their party’s image took a huge hit when Democrat senators fought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 tooth and nail. Ultimately, the legislation only passed when Republican senators put it over the top.
In her speech in Reno, Nev., the former secretary of state assailed the allegedly racist “alt-right” or “Alternative Right” movement, which she claims Trump champions. It is old wine in a new bottle. Clinton hopes to portray Trump as really, really, really scary – even scarier than he was a few days ago! – because this supposedly sinister new force is backing him.
The proof of alt-right ascendancy in the Republican Party, she said, is the fact Trump “hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called Breitbart.com, as campaign CEO.” (Disclosure: I’ve written many articles for Breitbart.)
It's truly hard to believe, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces “ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right."
This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have know it. These are race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas, anti-woman –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’
Now Alt-Right is short for “Alternative Right.”
The Wall Street Journal describes it as a loose but organized movement, mostly online, that “rejects mainstream conservatism, promotes nationalism and views immigration and multiculturalism as threats to white identity.”
The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump campaign represents a landmark achievement for the “Alt-Right.” A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party.
Not so fast, Hillary.
Alt-right is so new to the American political scene that it is difficult to describe it.
The alt-right that Clinton smears as racist may be more accurately described as a right-leaning, anti-establishment, grassroots movement whose supporters are sick and tired of being betrayed by weak-kneed Republican politicians.
In other words, much of what the alt-right embraces is tactical rather than ideological. It’s edgy and hard-hitting and its proponents like to make a splash. Many of its supporters are markedly younger than traditional conservatives. Alt-right people, who are not all Caucasians, are against open borders and affirmative action; some want trade restrictions imposed, a position mostly eschewed by conservatives in recent decades. The alt-right, unlike much of the conservative movement establishment and the GOP, strenuously avoids accepting the premises of the Left. They’re generally smart, media-savvy, and effective. They reject political correctness and they’re not easily intimidated.
Yes, there are some racist Internet trolls, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis that are attempting to attach themselves to this movement, but they don’t define it. If these people want to call themselves alt-right and pretend that they are, there is not much anyone can do about it.
A few days before his untimely death in 2012, Breitbart.com founder Andrew Breitbart lectured Bill Maher about how destructive it is to call someone a racist. “There's nothing in this country that's a worse accusation,” he said. “In America, if you accuse somebody of racism, that person has to disprove that. It's completely un-American …”
But Clinton can’t help it. She’s being doing it for too long. Now she is building up a boogeyman so she can tear it down. She hopes to make alt-right a swear word and make it stick to Trump.
To this end, her campaign released an inflammatory video containing Ku Klux Klan members saying nice things about Trump. The fact that the KKK thinks highly of Trump is proof he is a threat to the republic, according to Hillary.
Two can play at that game of guilt by association.
The Communist Party USA embraces Hillary, saying “[o]n all the major democratic issues and demands, i.e. collective bargaining rights, racial and gender equity, climate change, immigration reform, etc., Clinton is on the right side.”
Will Quigg, Grand Dragon of the California KKK, endorsed Clinton in March. “We want Hillary Clinton to win,” Quigg said. “She is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda.”
Incidentally, Clinton hailed a former Ku Klux Klan recruiter when he died in 2010 as a “friend and mentor,” saying he was a man of “surpassing eloquence and nobility.” She was referring to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Byrd had at one time referred to black Americans as “race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” Even in his later years Byrd, this man who was an inspirational figure to Clinton, remained a fan of the N-word.
Seddique Mateen, the Taliban-supporting father of mass-murdering Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen, endorsed Clinton, calling her “good for the United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions.” In June Mateen’s late son killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., after repeatedly declaring his allegiance to Islamic State.
Other Hillary endorsers include unrepentant Nazi collaborator George Soros, self-described “communist” and “rowdy black nationalist” Van Jones, racial arsonist and riot-starter Al Sharpton, porn pioneer Larry Flynt, admitted child molester Lena Dunham, and Viet Cong admirer Jane Fonda.
You can’t choose your supporters. They choose you. Sometimes they reflect what you stand for; sometimes they don’t.
In her oration, Clinton accused Trump of doing what she and just about all Democratic officeholders at the federal level do every day.
“Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election. And I understand that concern, because it’s like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for president of the United States from one of our two major parties.”
Conservatives know that President Obama, who, like Clinton, is an in-your-face Alinskyite, smears his adversaries more or less every day. He compares Republicans to the murderous mullahs in Tehran and condemns cops for this phantom the Left calls systemic racism.
In 2008 Obama attacked gun owners and churchgoers in his “bitter clingers” speech, told his comrades “if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” and urged supporters to argue with their neighbors and “get in their face.” In 2009 Obama said that police “acted stupidly” when they arrested his personal friend in Cambridge, Mass. The next year he urged Latinos to “punish” their “enemies.”
This is not an exhaustive list of the current president’s divisive, insulting rhetoric.
Clinton assailed Trump for building “his campaign on prejudice and paranoia” and “taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.”
Trump, she said, “is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.” She continued:
“A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.”
Such chutzpah. This comes from the woman who coined the phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy” and whose campaign routinely deflects attacks on her by labeling them conspiracy theories, whether the attacks are related to her lethal bungling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the email scandal, her failing health, or the bribe processing center known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
She attacked Trump for “leading the charge for the so-called ‘Birthers.’” Trump “promoted the racist lie that President Obama is not really an American citizen – part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black president,” adding that with Trump there has been “a steady stream of bigotry.”
Of course it is a well-established fact that her 2008 campaign spread rumors Obama was born overseas. And Obama himself is the original birther. He allowed promotional material from a publisher to claim he “was born in Kenya.”
Hillary accused Trump of anti-Semitism, repeating the lie that “his campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on a white supremacist websites.”
But it’s not actually a Star of David that appears in the graphic to which Clinton refers. The actual Star of David appears on the Israeli flag because it has over time come to be considered exclusively a Jewish symbol. The figure on the poster is an opaque six-pointed star or hexagram that is closer to a sheriff’s badge. A Star of David, by contrast, is a hexagram formed by compounding two equilateral triangles and it is translucent, i.e. not filled in. In any event, nobody can credibly claim Trump is anti-Semitic. He hasn’t said anything that is anti-Semitic. His daughter married a Jew, became a Jew, and gave birth to Jews and Trump was fine with all of it.
Hillary didn’t mention that her party has formally endorsed the violent, racist Black Lives Matter movement and that she has said wonderful things about.
And for the remaining days of the campaign cycle, my guess is she won’t.