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In his closed-door meeting with the New York Times, Donald Trump was repeatedly asked about any possible connections he may or may not have with the so-called ‘Alt-Right’.
First of all, I do not acknowledge there is a movement called the ‘Alt-Right’. There is no such party, no such manifesto to which the name is ascribed, no NGO, no lobbying group and it has no physical headquarters. When one types in www.altright.com, one finds a website under construction, weeks after Donald Trump’s election.
‘Alt-Right’ is simply a new way for the old, dying liberal establishment to slander traditional conservatives who do not fit the neo-con/neo-lib mould of the Bushes, Obamas, Sarzozys, Camerons and Merkels of the world.
As I have said countless times, Donald Trump is an old fashioned conservative Republican in the model of Robert Taft. It is true that Trump’s industrial and economic policies have a hint of socialism about them. Indeed, Taft himself was accused of having socialist sympathies by follow Republicans skeptical of funding public works programmes for the needy which Taft tended to support.
Trump is not right wing or ever far right wing, he is a traditional conservative who happens to have a dynamic personality, one which is far less personally judgmental than many so-called ‘culture wars’ Republicans who emerged in the 1980s. Likewise, there is nothing alternative about views which far from radical, are characteristic of a pre-Cold War Republicanism.
The term ‘Alt-Right’ is an epithet increasingly used to smear traditional conservatives as some kind of violent or extreme fringe movement. It’s becoming an obsession of the old liberal mainstream media, something Trump pointed out during his meeting with New York Times reporters as he purportedly stated, “Boy, you are really into (this issue)”.
Trump clearly couldn’t care less about it and nor should anyone else. It’s a distraction designed to make Trump and his core supporters look like something they are not. The New York Times demonstrated despicable behaviour in attempting to trap the President-elect in a minefield of illogic.
One is under no obligation to disassociate oneself from something which he or she was never associated with. Likewise, one has no need to disavow something to which one pledged no loyalty to in the first place. But Trump clearly wanted to show the snide reporters that the problem they imagine has nothing to do with Trump and his team.
He handled the situation well and was wise to point out that the entire ‘Alt-Right’ nonsense is an obsession of the New York Times, not his.