Richard Spencer, the white nationalist activist who has emerged as one of the leaders of the racist Alt-Right movement, sent a celebratory Christmas Eve email to his supporters last week declaring that “2016 was our breakthrough year. It wasn’t just the year of Donald Trump; it was the year of the Alt Right.”
“A new identity politics—one with us as its vanguard—is coming into being,” Spencer wrote, before asking for funds to launch a tour of college campuses, set up a Washington, D.C., office, and hire new staff members for his National Policy Institute:
There was a time when Christmas fundraisers were about the hope that “one day” our movement might make a major breakthrough.
Well, “one day” is today.
This Christmas, I’m not asking for a donation so that we might raise our profile. That’s already happened, in an amazing way.
The Alt Right and yours truly have become something like household names.
We’ve been denounced by Hillary Clinton . . . we’re even too hot for Donald Trump . . . I’ve been on the front page of the New York Times more than I can remember . . . hundreds of international journalists attend our press conferences . . . we’ve been parodied on Saturday Night Live . . . the L.A. Times called us “the first new philosophical competitor to liberalism since the fall of Communism” . . . on campus, I’m causing mass protests and rendering Rabbis speechless . . . three books (that I know) of are being written about the Alt Right phenomenon . . .
So much winning.
A year ago, if someone had told me all this happened, I never would have believed him.
The Left is permanently freaked out and can’t stop talking about us. The “conservatives,” who had denied our existence for for years, now recognize that we are displacing them. A new identity politics—one with us as its vanguard—is coming into being.
Yes, of course, so much of what has been said about the Alt Right and me has been negative, sometimes even slanderous. And believe me, the attacks have taken a personal toll.
But to view all this coverage as merely negative is to miss the point entirely.
We have been recognized. We are part of the conversation—indeed, we are driving it—and we will never return to the fringe. And attacks are the price that we must pay for making an impact.
Of course, the Alt Right is much bigger than me, NPI, and Radix; indeed, it would not have become a phenomenon if it were not a movement of many parts. But we are right at the center of everything that is happening, and I have emerged as the Alt Right’s chief representative.
The challenge now is to capitalize on our exposure and build lasting institutions.
2016 was our breakthrough year. It wasn’t just the year of Donald Trump; it was the year of the Alt Right.