Tales of protest and assault from the left are commonplace among right-leaning students, professors, and speakers. I expected pushback from professors and peers when I started a Turning Point USA chapter at my university in Albany, New York. What I didn’t expect was to be approached by a Richard Spencer supporting, white nationalist. When I defended individual liberty and capitalism, he started harassing me. After debating the white nationalist for a time, I saw the futility and ignored him, speaking Japanese to my friends to spite him.
The harassment continued, though and, at the end of the year, I was fed up; I called him out. He followed me to a group of my friends and tried debating, defending racial identity politics, big government, and socialism. Things escalated and he tried to fight me before I diffused the situation. He is an immigrant from South Africa, so I told him he came to the wrong country. He called me a racist and walked away. Although the media portrays establishment conservatism and the alt-right to be partner movements, reality sees them as opposites.
Many think the alt-right is synonymous with conservatism. In their defense, alt-righters do support Trump, call for stricter immigration, and show disdain for the left. More specifically, the alt-right would prefer increased white immigration and decreased immigration from countries with predominantly people of color; the left prefers the reverse. The alt-right likes Trump. The left hates him. While they both adore economic intervention and cronyism policies, the left tends to favor globalist socialism (communism) while the alt-right are national socialists (fascists). However, these few variations are the extent of the differences.
A closer look at their policy positions show remarkable similarity to those of the left. Both the far-left and alt-right disdain free markets, civil liberties, and Judeo-Christian values. They support identity politics, nationalized healthcare, the welfare state, and have a bad track record when it comes to anti-Semitism. As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out to a group of students at Young America’s Foundation, the left and the fascists both support “State control of banks, healthcare, education, religious liberty. In other words, state-run capitalism… they are all men of the left. Jason Kessler, the main organizer of Charlottesville [was] an Obama activist and occupy Wall Street guy.”
In an interview with the poster boy of the alt-right, Richard Spencer, D’Souza found even more similarities between them and the left. Spencer is quoted saying, “No individual has a right outside of a collective community.” He goes on to say that rights come from the state, not God or nature. These are antithetical ideas to conservatives commitment to individual liberty and inherent rights given by God.
Fortunately, the alt-right movement is small in America. Media coverage portrays them not only as a huge movement, but as one and the same as conservatives. Much of the left, especially on college campuses, hear conservative and immediately think of the evil hate filled rhetoric of the alt-right. Now only my own experience, but also subsequent research has shown me that conservatives are entirely opposite the alt-right. In fact, nearly as opposite as the left.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.