I’m a Jew, and I’m a Member of the Alt-Right

Joshua Seidel, Forward, August 25, 2016

Better defined by what it isn’t than what it is, the “Alt-right,” broadly speaking, is a reaction to left wing identity politics and the failure of traditional Conservatism to formulate a reply. The alt-right opposes interventionist neocon policies with the same ferocity as illegal immigration and gun control. They share more similarities with European “far right” parties, such as the French FN, than they do with traditional Republicans. History buffs may want to look at “Nationalist State Capitalist” policies of the Spanish Falange in the early 1930’s to get a clearer picture.

Aside from this, the alt-right is the most aggressively offensive political movement in existence, and it often targets the Jewish community. So why would I be there?

I enjoy the nasty talk in the alt-right. I enjoy spending rhetorical time with people who might otherwise hate me. The alt-right has energy, it has vitality, it’s something NEW and creative, it’s honest and forthright. It’s also the only viable political movement that is explicitly fighting for that nebulous concept of “Western Civilization.”

I have thick skin and a tolerance for others. Liberals like to imagine themselves “tolerant,” but real tolerance is the ability to be around people who are different than you and still value them as people. I’m from a small town, and was raised around tough, rural whites who didn’t spend much time checking their privilege.

College was where my awakening began. I majored in Philosophy, and in the mid to late 90’s, concepts such as “white privilege” and “critical race theory” were still part of the free marketplace of ideas, ideas you could debate without fear of sanction. Being acutely aware of rural white poverty, I rejected these concepts in favor of an understanding that privilege was as complex as the human experience, an experience the identity warrior on the left believes is dependent on our racial identity. Politically I called myself a leftist, but this changed as I realized the privilege equation worked against my own community. Watching the left attack Israel in the late 90’s turned me away from left wing politics for good.

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These questions led me to an unavoidable conclusion: I was no longer a liberal, and liberals no longer cared about the truth. The “tribalization” of American politics was complete. It was time to go right, not to the neocons, but a right wing that rejected their failed economic and foreign policy, and fought back against leftist identity politics. I found like-minded people online. Some of them were overtly anti-Semitic, but I found that their critique of the Jewish community was similar to mine. Neo-cons were dangerous and disloyal, liberals stuck in hypocritical identity politics. I found myself respecting Evangelical Christians who supported Israel and the Jewish Community despite our hatred towards them. I found myself offended, rather than amused, as “white” became a slur in our media, government, and universities.

I sometimes wonder what Jews who enthusiastically go on about “white privilege” think the endgame is. They seem to think this concept will serve to shut the mouths of middle and working class whites in flyover country, while liberal Jews hold the clipboards and direct victorious POC in a dismantling of “whiteness.” Privileges will be checked, and all will be well in the world. I don’t see it.

So, I could have ended up a nice liberal Jewish boy, but my wandering nature put an end to that. I’ve seen too much, experienced too much, to be bothered by the memes of the alt-right. I’ve lived with and befriended people most Jews would dismiss, and found that the meanest and the roughest can hold forth with truth. As a community we’re quick to ignore certain speech because of who the speaker is. I focus on the speech.

Western Civilization is a good thing for Jews. Sharia Law, Political Islam, identity politics, and the collapse of reason generally are bad things for Jews. I don’t care if someone standing up to the left doesn’t talk like my mother. I don’t care if someone who wants to control European borders blames Jews for the Muslim influx. Time to grow some skin, and focus on the real threats.

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{snip} I ask myself: Why do some Jews put so much effort into combating the Alt-Right for cartoonish memes, while ignoring systematic, institutional threats? Why are we, as a community, afraid of any reasonable engagement with people like this:

Is “Ricky” wrong? Does this dynamic indeed exist in our community? Are Jewish people not overrepresented in this great western push for “diversity”? Most Jews would call Ricky anti-Semitic for saying this, while I’d simply call it the truth.

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Why can I swim in a sea of (sometimes genuine) anti-Semitism and laugh at it, while other Jews can’t stand to be called “Jew”? Why am I easily able to ignore the nasty language, stereotyping, and general hostility Jews experience from the Alt-Right?

Part of it is because I believe that what happened to young Eliav Terk is worse than a million Pepe memes. Part of it is because traditional Conservative politics have failed and offer no response to the left’s toxic identity politics.

But in the end it’s just me.

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