Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, September 4, 2018
Professor George Hawley of the University of Alabama is one of the more objective political analysts working today, and one of the few who correctly predicted Donald Trump would win in 2016. His book Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism is a serious examination of conservative thought outside the boundaries of Conservatism Inc., and his more recent Making Sense of the Alt-Right is much closer to the mark than junk rushed into print, such as Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies. White advocates should therefore listen to Professor Hawley even if some of his message seems like bad news.
Professor Hawley recently published “The Demography of the Alt-Right” for the Institute for Family Studies, and his research is both a “black pill” and a “white pill.” He estimates only about 6 percent of white Americans agree with all three attitudes that he says indicate support for “white identity politics.” Furthermore, these 6 percent tend to be relatively less educated and badly paid. However, even just 6 percent amounts to millions of white Americans. More importantly, Professor Hawley has created a demanding standard for what counts as agreement with “white identity politics.” Far greater percentages of white Americans agree with at least part of what white advocates say.
Professor Hawley bases his findings on the 2016 American National Election Survey (ANES), which polled 3,038 non-Hispanic whites during Donald Trump’s campaign. Professor Hawley identified three questions to determine who supports the Alt-Right. Respondents were asked to rank the following on a five-point scale:
- How important is race to your identity? [“white identity”]
- How important is it that whites work together to change laws that are unfair to whites? [“white solidarity”]
- How much discrimination do whites face in the United States? [“white victimization”]
Professor Hawley split respondents to each of these questions into just two categories. For example, those who said being white was “very” or “extremely” important to them were categorized as supporting white identity. He made a similar classification to the second question, white solidarity. Finally, those who thought whites suffered a moderate amount of discrimination or more were classed as believing in white victimization. Professor Hawley considered only those who agreed on all three points as supporters of the Alt-Right, and that was 6 percent of the total.
However, agreeing with any of them makes you a “racist” in the eyes of the mainstream media, and means you have courage and independence of thought. Taken separately, the poll results are much more encouraging: About 28 percent of white Americans had strong feelings of white identity, 38 percent supported white solidarity, and 27 percent thought whites were victimized.
Education was a “substantively important predictor” of who would be in the 6 percent. More than 7 percent of those without a college degree agreed with all three questions, while just over 3 percent with a college degree did. Also, support for the Alt-Right tended to decline with income; more than 8 percent of those making zero to $29,000 a year were supporters, while just under 3 percent of those making more than $100,000 a year were. The unemployed were more likely to qualify as Alt-Right supporters (at more than 8 percent) than the employed (at about 5.5 percent). Partisanship was also a predictor, though independents were actually more likely to agree on all three questions (more than 7 percent) then both Republicans (just over 6 percent) and white Democrats (just over 4 percent).
Professor Hawley noted that some analysts of the Alt-Right have identified the decline in marriage as a factor leading to the rise of the Alt-Right, a movement that supposedly reflects male grievances against feminism. The data, he argues, do not support this. “On average, married respondents expressed slightly higher levels of white identity than unmarried respondents,” he reports, with a “similar but stronger pattern on the question of white solidarity.” Strangely, there were opposite results for the question of white discrimination.
Prof. Hawley reports that though they are “much less likely to express strong feelings of white identity and solidarity,” respondents with children are more likely to say “whites suffer discrimination.” It is not surprising that white parents surveying the world of affirmative action would think this.
Prof. Hawley also says there is no sex gap on Alt-Right views. “In fact, on each question, a slightly higher percentage of women expressed these attitudes [supportive of the Alt-Right],” he reports. However, there was a striking correlation between support of the Alt-Right and divorce. About 10 percent of those who were divorced were full Alt-Right supporters by Professor Hawley’s standard. He wonders whether “the experience of divorce makes one feel more alienated and negative in general,” and thus more open to Alt-Right views, or that having Alt-Right attitudes “makes one more likely to get divorced.” For those hoping to “discourage right-wing radicalism,” he suggests that “strengthening marriages and discouraging marriage dissolution might be helpful.” Ultimately though, he admits there is no ready explanation for the correlation.
The decline of Christianity and traditional religion is another explanation offered for the rise of the Alt-Right; Peter Beinart of New Republic is one who has proposed it. Professor Hawley’s data point the other way. Those who attend services weekly are slightly more likely to support the Alt-Right than those who never attend. Another theory is that the Alt-Right is predominantly young, perhaps a response to the relentless egalitarianism of the “Boomer Generation.” However, while 18-29 year-olds are more likely than 30-44 year-olds to be Alt-Right supporters, the group with the highest support is those over 65, of whom almost 7.5 percent support the Alt-Right.
Some may not be pleased to hear that the movement is composed of the economically aggrieved and the elderly. Of course, as Professor Hawley admits, because of the intense public pressure against pro-white views, “it is possible that wealthier and better-educated respondents were simply more likely to lie about their real attitudes.” What’s more, while Professor Hawley uses his metric of white identity, solidarity, and victimization to identify the Alt-Right constituency, the people so identified “are not necessarily involved with radical movements.” This is almost surely the case, since most of the public dissidents are men, whereas more women than men were classed as Alt-Right supporters in this survey.
Professor Hawley thinks the disaster of Charlottesville weakened the Alt-Right. However, large percentages of white Americans agree with at least some of the principles of racial dissidence, and these percentages reflect interesting demographic patterns. For example, almost half of older Americans (65+) express strong feelings of white solidarity and have the highest level of expressed agreement with white identity. At the same time, older Americans are least likely to think that whites are victims of discrimination. In contrast, younger Americans (18-29) have the lowest feelings of white solidarity (30.26 percent) and the second lowest feelings of white identity (24.64 percent) but the highest feelings of white victimization (at 29.06 percent).
Older white Americans take for granted a culture in which they are “normal.” The thought of being a hated minority is hard for them to grasp. They have also not had a modern anti-white education, nor have they suffered from much affirmative action. In contrast, younger whites have been though a process designed to strip them of racial identity and solidarity. At the same time, many can’t help but notice the discriminatory policies that treat them as “white,” whether they claim a racial identity or not.
Thus, white advocates should not be discouraged by a report claiming only 6 percent of white Americans are “Alt-Right.” Vox sensationally put it this way: “Study: 11 million white Americans think like the alt-right.” If even a quarter of that number were engaged at a minimal level — such as donating money — we would have won by now. Connecting with this “explicit” base is obviously a priority.
However, when it comes to building a mass movement, white advocates should aim for the “in between” levels of support. The term “Alt-Right” is now out of favor, having lost the broad appeal it had in the 2016 election when it was claimed by everyone from Richard Spencer to Steve Bannon. Yet opposition to racial double standards and explicit anti-white sentiment is increasing all the time, driving more and more whites into dissidence. At the same time, the political radicalism of non-whites is also likely to increase; there are few forces pushing for restraint among blacks and Hispanics.
Whites who do not want to be part of a larger racial collective will be forced into racial disputes, if only to defend their fundamental interests and those of their children. White advocates should always be seeking to connect with these beleaguered European-Americans, providing them with factual, objective, and rational arguments for taking their own side. Even taking the worst-case scenario, Professor Hawley’s research shows millions of white Americans should be supporting our movement. With enough resources, we can reach and motivate far larger numbers.