WASHINGTON — Two weeks after Hillary Clinton gave a lengthy speech condemning the alt right, prominent leaders from the movement held a nearly two hour long press conference explaining their views.
The press conference was hosted by Richard Spencer, founder of the National Policy Institute and alternativeright.com. He was joined by American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor and VDare founder Peter Brimelow. All men have been accused of being white nationalists.
They originally planned to hold the event at the National Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge, but were barred from doing so, ironically enough. They ended up hosting the event at a D.C. hotel.
According to Spencer, the alt right has now reached prominence because “we are radical” and “we get to the truth.” The alt right objects to the mainstream idea that race is a social construct and instead sees it as a biological reality that has societal consequences.
This of course brings up accusations of white supremacy. However, all three men object to this description. When asked about this label, Brimelow pointed to race and IQ studies which show “whites are not the superior race” and it is instead East Asians. He then joked that he must then be a “yellow supremacist.”
The alt right leaders also received many questions related to whether they are anti-semites. Taylor and Spencer disagreed here, but both said that Jews could be part of the alt right. Taylor said he considers European Jews to be European and Spencer said that Jews are a distinct people.
The movement has been described frequently as relating to conservatism but those present at the meetings objected to this characterization. Spencer said the “origin of the alt right is really a revolt against conservatism as we know it.” He spoke about “cuckservatives,” and defined them as “defending institutions for other people.”
Clinton spoke about the alt right in connection with Donald Trump. However, Spencer doesn’t think Trump is alt right — just that he is “high energy” and what they want in a leader. He agrees mostly with Trump’s immigration policy, but would want tighter legal immigration that prefers Europeans.
The movement has no strict leadership or orthodoxy and Spencer said that he is opposed to specific policy proposals. He instead prefers “meta-politics.” He has a vision for a white ethno-state, but this is a utopia he sees occurring far into the future. Spencer said having a utopia-like vision is positive and better than the “negativity” of mainstream conservatives that just seeks to oppose liberal policies.
Taylor’s goal for the alt right is possibly more realistic. He envisioned a PTA meeting where people are discussing the lack of black students in AP classes, and a mother stands up and mentions race’s influence on intellect.
Before either of these goals are achieved, Spencer wants the alt right to professionalize like other political movements. When asked about where they will get money for this, Spencer joked and said, “Vlad,” in reference to Vladimir Putin.