When the alt-right appears on the scene to take credit for Donald Trump’s victory, you have to ask yourself whether or not to take them seriously. After all, these white-identity politics people came out of the woodwork first for the white billionaire, pro-America, anti-immigrant, anti-Chinese candidate, Donald Trump. Now, whatever they thought Donald Trump was going to be as a result of Donald Trump’s rhetoric, will likely be the same factors which will be used to fuel their disappointments in the future.
Trump isn’t alt-white, or alt-right, or alt-anything. He’s the epitome of a Rockefeller Republican. He’s established the most successful and, therefore, most wealthy Cabinet in history. He’s brought back many of the Bush people in an act of pragmatism. It turns out that he is not going to persecute his political opposition after making imprisoning them the hallmark of the last quarter of his campaign.
Regardless, you will see these alt-right underground websites attempting to throw their weight around, trying to claw their way into relevancy by waxing-bigotedly on Republican primaries in the run up for our statewide elections in November of 2017. If they’ll share anything in common, it’ll be their support for Corey Stewart. In fact, they will likely be the only websites supporting the Prince William Supervisor in 2017.
This is not a criticism of Corey Stewart. Remember, these alt-white people aren’t galvanized by candidates who simply share their values – none of them do. However, they will support candidates that they think they can use to support a few of their favorite issues. Stewart’s intransigent positions on illegal-immigration in the Commonwealth makes him a lightening rod and a strip of fly-tape for the Make America White Again crowd.
I think all Americans should be concerned about systemic breakdowns in the rule of law; and our tolerance of illegal immigration over the last 36 years is certainly a national systemic breakdown in the rule of law. Alt-right underground sites will use this wedge-issue within the Republican Party, however, to empower themselves and their liberal tactic of identity politics. Promoting them will lead to a rejection of the Republican Party by the vast majority of the rest of the country.
Over the last six years, Republicans—serving as an opposition party—have retaken the vast majority of legislative seats across the country, at both the state and national level. To hold that power, they need to demonstrate their ability to achieve objective victories across the board. First, because James Carville was right, Republicans need to focus on reinvigorating the economy. That means repealing Obamacare and returning to free-market healthcare solutions. That means relaxing hundreds, if not thousands, of regulations which strangle small business and dozens of subsidies that prop-up big business. It means executing a successful foreign policy aimed at creating stability and a reduction in trade barriers. It means more federalism and a return of power and independence to State Governments.
And yes… it means reestablishing the rule of law, crafting a common-sense immigration plan and enforcing immigration laws across the board. However, on an issue as controversial as immigration, there will be no way to get everything we want without compromise and the alt-white people will be there to attack anyone that tries to move the ball down the field 4 yards at a time, instead of trying for a 99 yard Hail Mary. The problem with Hail Mary’s is that they almost never work and teams usually end up turning over the ball.
This is something minority factions in the Republican Party need to keep in mind; it takes many battles to win the war and sometimes you have to retreat before achieving victory. Frustrated by their inherent powerlessness, political minorities often believe that the only way to score a win is to hold the party hostage unless they get what they want on some unpopular piece of legislation. They sacrifice their own ability to march the ball down the field in favor of short-term and high-profile priorities.
In football, if the Hail Mary was the only play an offense could run, it’s hard to imagine that team winning many contests. Likewise in politics…political minority factions need nuanced leadership and patient strategies to be effective. They need to be instrumental parts of the larger team. There will come a time when the coach will call a play for them, usually when it has the best chance of victory.
Stay away from the alt-right, from the radicals, the perpetually discontented, the hostage-takers, and the Republicans using Alinskyite tactics against other Republicans. Stay away from the activists wielding their pitchforks and talking of all-or-nothing victories. Help the Republican Party move the ball down the field 4 yards at a time. This isn’t easy. There will be compromise. There will even be retreat. Just keep moving the ball down the field.
Democrats have been using this strategy successfully for one hundred and twenty-five years. They have proven that it is the only strategy that works; and when, in 2009 and 2010, they overplayed their hand (just that once), what happened? They lost everything.
Learn from experience. Learn from history. Don’t trust firebrands screaming epithets from the wilderness. If you want to defeat the creeping march of authoritarian liberalism, help small-r republicans methodically move the ball down the field. Hold them accountable, but also help and encourage them.
Stay away from the wilderness, from the alt-right; or if you cannot, do not bring their leprosy and small-pox with you back into town.