Alt-Left
According to James Wolcott of Vanity Fair, "disillusionment with Obama’s presidency, loathing of Hillary Clinton, disgust with “identity politics,” and a craving for a climactic reckoning that will clear the stage for a bold tomorrow have created a kinship between the “alt-right” and an alt-left. They’re not kissin’ cousins, but they caterwaul some of the same tunes in different keys." The alt-left can’t match that the alt-right for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left. Its outlets are many and varied. According to Dan Gainor of FoxNews, we are living in ‘alt-left’ world. The traditional media are obsessed with tying conservatives to the “alt-right.” There have been more than 50 major news network mentions this year alone as journalists try to do what they always do — paint conservatives as racist, sexist, and a few other words that end in 'ist'. All in the name of “tolerance.” But when it comes to the left, there is no alt-left. They are not alternative. Their mainstream is radical and out of the American mainstream on almost everything. This was quite obvious as liberals bemoaned the death of Fidel Castro, a man his own daughter called “a tyrant.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. summed up years of devotion, recalling how, “the oppressed the world over joined Castro’s cause of fighting for freedom & liberation.” This is what we must start thinking of as the “alt-left.” “Alt,” not because they are out of the liberal mainstream. They aren’t. Alternative because they are out of the mainstream of an America where 37 percent are conservative and 35 percent are moderate. Just 24 percent are liberal. The alt-left is everything bad the left claims about the right. It is extreme and doesn’t want compromise. It wants to demonize or destroy opponents and intrude into every aspect of our lives. Media outlets that bemoan Trump turning America to the right forget the alt-left support a Socialist had running in the Democrat primary. Good, old-fashioned liberalism has been replaced by a far-more radical brand.

A Warning to My Fellow Liberals

4/23/18
By Annafi Wahed,
from The Wall Street Journal,
4/22/18:

Burying our heads in the sand and hoping everyone we disagree with goes away is not an effective solution.

It was an unseasonably cold night, but I made the trek from Harlem to a meetup in Brooklyn. The organizers promised a night of big ideas and freethinking; the group thread included a quote from David Bohm about the virtue of free dialogue. But as with many such meetups in New York, I was quickly disappointed. Instead of open minds and lively debate, I found dogmatic progressive ideology and groupthink. One attendee told me that I, a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer, am “no better than Roger Ailes” because my company aggregates both liberal and conservative commentaries and thereby is “pushing a right-wing agenda.” Someone else said: “Trump supporters are so stupid . . . they think the tax bill was a good deal because they got back—what, a few thousand a year?” I don’t claim to have the answers. I am, after all, a card-carrying member of the liberal elite.

Still, I know that burying our heads in the sand and hoping everyone we disagree with goes away is not an effective solution.

I am a bleeding-heart liberal, a patriot and an optimist. I refuse to believe that 63 million of my fellow Americans were “duped,” that exposing people to different viewpoints is betraying “the cause,” or that liberals have all the answers. For all our smugness, we liberals have little to show.

I never thought I’d have to explain to people why understanding the other side is vital for a functioning democracy, or that someday I would feel alienated in a roomful of fellow New York liberals. We were once the party of hope and change, the party of tolerance and inclusivity. From one liberal to another: Can we stop the ideological purity tests and admit that there are more ways than one of solving a problem? Can we please stop being such jerks?

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