Friday, February 24, 2017

Comedy From The Trump Reich: Sebastian Gorka, CPAC and Alt-Right

Meet Sebastian Gorka, Trump's deputy assistant and a supposed expert on radical Islam.  Here is the most hilarious quote from the article:

But Gorka, who prior to Trump’s inauguration crowed to Fox News that “the alpha males are back” in charge, isn’t in the White House because of his CV; rather, the available evidence suggests he’s there because of his hard-line beliefs.

I love that image of alpha males*!  It's straight out of the manuals of pickup artists, of course, but I got the instant image of Mr. Gorka clad in a furry loincloth, carrying a club, and ululating while hammering at his chest.  Then he grabs Trump by the famous hair and drags him to some backroom.


Michelle Goldberg went to CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference where the most frightening blueprints for this society are laid out.

While there (as a journalist at work) she spoke to some alt-right supporters and also to one of the CPAC organizers, Dan Schneider.  Schneider gave a speech in which he denounced the current alt-right as " a “hate-filled left-wing fascist group” which has infiltrated their august and serious conservative movement.  Except that the term was coined by a self-defined white supremacist, Richard Spencer, who was actually at the conference.**

Yet, as Michelle writes:

I think Schneider realized I was right, because he repeated the claim from his speech that “alt-right” used to mean something else. “There’s this sinister group that has hijacked the term,” he told me.
“The term was coined by Richard Spencer, who’s right there!” I replied.
“The term has been used for several years,” Schneider insisted. It has indeed, as one could learn by reading a laudatory piece about the alt-right that Yiannopoulos wrote for Breitbart last year—when Bannon was still running it. “The media empire of the modern-day alternative right coalesced around Richard Spencer during his editorship of Taki’s Magazine,” wrote Yiannopoulos. “In 2010, Spencer founded, which would become a center of alt-right thought.” Was Schneider arguing that the term predated that?

Oh dear.  One alt-right supporter was prepared to be more honest:

I asked him if he thought there was an alt-right subculture at CPAC. “Yeah, I think there is,” he said. “Definitely. It’s kept hidden, because it’s not what the elites in the Republican Party want to talk about. At the end of the day, politics is about winning votes, and someone who talks about ethnic cleansing isn’t exactly a person who would bring in the votes for a large group of people where we need it.” You can say this for the alt-right: At least they’re honest.

What's funny (in a miserable way) about this is that a) it is 2017, not 1933, b) it is the United States, not Germany and c) the power of Stephen Bannon (who was very much present at the CPAC)  of course means that the alt-right is in the mainstream of conservatism.  Can it be any more mainstream than being represented by one of the most powerful men in the government?


* The term "alpha male" has its origins in flawed research about wolves.  The alpha male and alpha female in a wild wolf pack should usually be  called the papa wolf and the mama wolf, because the packs are families.

** Until he was kicked out.