I remember the first time I heard the term "alt-right."
A reporter for the New York Times called me to ask me some questions about it a couple years ago.
I told her truthfully, I had never heard the term used in my life.
She was shocked. She probably thought I was disingenuous.
I asked her what it was all about and why she would call me to learn about something I knew nothing about.
As I recall, she said something about white supremacy.
I repeated that I knew nothing about the term, which I had never seen used before, and not much about white supremacy other than finding it morally and intellectually repugnant. Again, I pressed the issue of why she would call me. I explained that I'm the only person I know who writes a daily column voicing my opinions on anything and everything – from God to politics to Trader Joe's marinara sauce. I wondered if there was something among the millions of words I have written in my life that triggered the call.
Not that she could pinpoint.
So, I said I still didn't know what it means, never heard anyone use it and, therefore, had nothing to contribute to her story.
You would think that might bring an interview with someone to a crashing halt. It did not.
She kept asking questions, telling me what she knew, while I watched the minutes on the clock tick by in amazement.
I asked people I knew what the alt-right was all about. No one knew.
Now, understand, I have been in and around politics all my life – first as a radical leftist and over the last 33 years as a Ronald Reagan Republican. (I add Reagan as an adjective here so as to clarify what kind of Republican I am, which is very important. Note they have been few and far between since 1989.)
The call made me curious. So, I Googled it. There wasn't much at the time, but I did see some efforts in the press to link Donald Trump with a motley collection of racist riff-raff for the purpose of building a coalition to win the presidency.
I was shocked. Not that Trump's detractors would make up conspiracy theories like this, but that anyone would believe such crap – even a reporter for the New York Times. Can you imagine: You're interested in running a successful campaign for the presidency of the United States, and your "brainstorm" is to associate with white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis? Good game plan? I think not.
Over the coming months, I watched in amazement as the term began to be used by the fake media, without sourcing, without substance, without facts.
As a former leftist who learned a thing or two about how it works, I deciphered what was going on. It was pure, unadulterated disinformation – meant to scare minorities away from Donald Trump, who, by any measure, pulled more minority votes than any Republican presidential candidate in many decades – maybe since Dwight Eisenhower. Before that, most blacks voted Republican because of 100-year-old taint of Democratic Party racism, which continued through the era of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., a KKK leader who served as the secretary of the Senate Democratic Caucus from 1967 to 1971 and as Senate majority whip (How sadly ironic was that title?) and ultimately as Senate majority leader and Senate president pro tempore, where he was third in line of succession for the presidency. The stench of official Democratic Party racism lasted that long.
Later, the term was used to stigmatize Steve Bannon, the chief executive officer of the Trump campaign, his former senior White House strategist and a friend of mine. Ultimately, as the great "alt-right" epithet took on a media conspiracy life of its own, the stink of that lie probably contributed to his demise within the Trump White House.
As the fake news media kept pounding on the "alt-right" label, I decided to coin the term "alt-left." I've coined many terms throughout my career, but I've actually been credited with this one. But, unlike the alt-right disinformation artists beginning with Hillary Clinton, I actually defined it, supported it with a factual foundation and explained the phenomenon.
Since then, I've developed a proud little body of work on the topic, I'm happy to share with your friends:
- "The left's agents provocateurs"
- "A tough question for Jake Tapper"
- "'Throw more rocks,' says Johns Hopkins prof in WashPost"
- Why Lincoln memorials are being targeted"
- "Why the left loves white supremacists"
- "Let's take a look at the alt-left"
I can tell you the alt-left does not like what I am doing.
And you can get a sample of the reaction from just this weekend by some snot-nosed web developer in the conspiracy-theorizing Salon.com.
Note the extensive quote from yours truly. And note the descriptive "Christian nationalist." Though I've never referred to myself quite that way, I actually kind of like it.
I think I have some people worried. I must be doing something right – not alt-right, mind you, just right. What do you think?
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].