Society

CPAC Organizers Respond To The Rise Of The Alt-Right

| by Oren Peleg

On the second day of the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference, Dan Schneider, executive director of the conference-hosting American Conservative Union, discussed the growing alt-right movement.

"There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks," Schneider began, going on to accuse the alt-right movement of being a left-wing front, notes the Washington Post. “We must not be deceived by [a] hateful, left-wing fascist group."

The term "alt-right" entered the national conversation following an August 2016 speech by then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center, Clinton said that controversial news site Breitbart advocated "ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-Immigrant ideas -- all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right."

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Clinton argued that Donald Trump's hiring of then-Breitbart executive chair Steve Bannon represented a "a de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump campaign" and "a landmark achievement for the alt-right." She went on to say that "a fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party."

"They hate the Constitution," Schneider said of the alt-right at CPAC, notes the Washington Post. "They hate free markets. They hate pluralism," Schneider said. "Fascists tend to want big government control."

The conference kicked out alt-right leader and white nationalist Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. CPAC spokesman Ian Walters said that Spencer's views were "repugnant" and went to say that they had "absolutely nothing to do with conservatism or what we do here. [Spencer is] anti-free markets, anti-Constitution, anti-pluralism. This was one bad egg who bought a ticket."

The move by CPAC comes days after former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from his post at the site and lost a book deal with publishing house Simon and Schuster following controversial comments about pedophilia. His speaking invitation to the 2017 CPAC was also rescinded.

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"Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference," Matt Schlapp, chairman of the ACU, posted to Twitter on Feb. 20.

Yiannopoulos responded the following day: "I said some things on those internet live streams that were simply wrong."

Sources: Washington Post, Politico, NPR (2) / Photo Credit: [email protected]/Flickr

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