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MALCOLM

The alt-right? They’re alt-Reich

By Candice Malcolm

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

A so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend ended in violence and tragedy.

There were many groups in attendance — on the left and the right — and while both sides engaged in violence, the alt-right has blood on its hands.

Amidst the chaos of protests and counter-protests, a white supremacist is accused of using an ISIS-style tactic, deliberately driving his car through a crowd of leftist activists.

It was a terrorist attack that left one woman dead and 19 injured.

Far from “uniting the right,” this incident underlines the need to shine light on the extremists that have latched onto the conservative movement, and to purge racists and bigots from our midst.

Conservatives must disavow, denounce and distance themselves from this poisonous fringe group.

It’s important that conservatives loudly and clearly call out the racism and bigotry that make up the alt-right, or, what I believe is a more apt description: the alt-Reich.

I call them them that because, like the Nazis in the Third Reich, they are traitors to the Enlightenment tradition and enemies to the West.

They echo Nazi sentiment about race and white nationalism, and use Nazi symbols and slogans.

Far from being patriotic conservatives, these white supremacists argue positions that are counter to core conservative principles of individual liberty, limited government, the rule of law and equality before the law.

They believe in a collective group identity, whereas conservatives believe in individual rights and responsibilities.

They are obsessed with race, whereas conservatives believe in pluralism, fundamental equality and dignity for every person in society.

They obsess over religious differences, whereas conservatives believe in freedom of religion.

They use violence and intimidation, whereas conservatives advocate for free speech to help resolve our differences.

In fact, the leaders of the alt-right openly reject conservatism.

They talk about the need for big government and the welfare state to promote white nationalism.

Like the original Nazis, these neo-Nazis are national socialists — not conservatives.

Like many of today’s activists on the far-left, the alt-right engages in counter-productive and divisive identity politics.

They’ve taken a page from leftist group victimhood and merged it with an abhorrent ideology and one of the most grotesque chapters in 20th century history.

Conservatives should fight against identity politics of the left, emphasizing what unites us and what makes Western civilization so successful, rather than engage in similar race-baiting.

The alt-right is a fringe group with a small following. But because of its online activity, it’s created the impression of a powerful and growing movement.

That isn’t true.

As conservative author and broadcaster Ben Shapiro pointed out, the great majority of alt-right and anti-Semitic comments comes from fewer than 2,000 online accounts.

That’s not a big movement. It is a loud band of losers.

Every conservative should push these extremists out of our movement, and challenge the leftist narrative that says the alt-right represents all conservatives.

Conservatives should criticize Donald Trump for his initial statement after Charlottesville that failed to call out this evil by name.

The alt-right is to everyday conservatives what extremist hate preachers are to everyday Muslims.

They’re poisonous and their idiocy casts a negative light on the entire community.

Rather than ignoring the alt-right, conservatives should call out their vile worldview and refute their daft ideas.

There is no room for the alt-right inside the modern conservative coalition.