Talking with Amanda Moore about her time with the alt-right
"Suck it the fuck up and do the right thing." ✊🏽
“You might start to get that backlash. But just give it right back to them because that's what they understand, and it makes the harassment not as bad, ultimately.”
I love this. It’s scary to give it back but I think it’s a good idea. I’ve sat through too many school board meetings where the liberals keep pushing that we’re neighbors, we’re friends, we have to understand each other. Or there’s the ‘we take the high road’ attitude, which ok, yes, but I feel like it gets us nowhere.
I’m currently reading Naomi Klein’s new book, Doppelgänger (which is fantastic), and she also talks about how so many of these extreme right groups will interact and align on many issues even if they’re not in full agreement. The primary example in the book is how Steve Bannon has helped Naomi Wolf (the titular doppelgänger) establish a platform for her own outlandish and dangerous conspiracy theories. Klein says that the Left and Democrats need to be better at that.
"Suck it the fuck up and do the right thing."
This needs to be a t-shirt.
To Ms Moore's excellent point (among many) regarding involvement in local elections, For The People is a nationwide effort to run lefty candidates for library board elections. You all are plenty smart enough to find out more on your own, but I'm glad to share what I know.
More than one comment about Naomi Klein's new book and the nature of modern political alliances while the national Dems are still means-testing their would-be allies. That party is more concerned with fund-raising than winning elections, and it shows. However you all feel about this, don't sit back and presume Biden or the emerging national consensus on access to reproductive health et al has got this. No party snatches defeat from the jaws of victory quite like the Dems.
Lyz, thank you for so many things. Today, featuring this reporting is vital to the conversation we need to be having with ourselves and our neighbors. MYaM subscriptions are a true bargain and a genuine gift.
Your quote from the Yeats poem has never felt more relevant.
This reporting is phenomenal. I read a book about 20 years ago by David Niewert called "In God's Country" about the Patriot and White Nationalist movements in the Pacific Northwest, and then Sarah Palin was on the ticket with all her ties to these groups. They are specifically tied to grievance politics, but it is so much more than that. TurningPoint USA (TPUSA) is making inroads at colleges across the country, including at my little Eastern Oregon school, where the former college president's nephew is involved in the city council, student government, and is also sitting on hiring committees for administrators. I'm deeply concerned. Thanks for sharing this interview.
Well written. Don’t know if I’m a suck it up and fight kind of person. On the other hand my parents were holocaust survivors. My mother is rolling in her grave
Great interview. For a thorough history on the rise of white nationalism in the US, I recommend Blood and Politics by Leonard Zeskind. Its a dense read but outlines a lot of the strategies still in use today and how they've played the long game for 50 or 60 years to get to this point.
Rural Hoosier here. My county’s Council has been taken over by alt right folks. They are terrible -- and terrible at governing. Now the worst of them wants to run for County Commissioner. We have Democrats challenging, but I’m concerned the straight ticket R voters will prevail.
This country did not arrive at this precarious moment reported by Amanda Moore overnight. And this lurch to authoritarianism did not begin with that 2016 election. To better appreciate Moore's excellent account, read Katherine Stewart's book 'The Power Worshippers' as well as 'Jesus and John Wayne' by Kristin Kobes du Mez. Both books document the long history of what has been a strategic and multifaceted project.
Such a great interview and article. The Nazi party has been active in the U.S since…the start of the nazi party in Germany. Isabel Wilkerson chronicles how the Nazis based their laws on the Jim Crow south. After Jan 6 is there any doubt that the Republican Party is the party of fascism?
I've often been impatient with my progressive friends who throw around the term "Nazi" as an epithet, because it can be pretty glib. At best it's naive, and it's often a rather crude and opportunistic appropriation. I'm an American but I've lived out of the country for many years. For family reasons I spend a fair amount of time in Poland, where the mass murders still resonate. In France, I was very close to a person who did forced labor for the Third Reich. I can see how Americans can find rhetorical Nazi parallels to our current problems but in doing so they risk eliding important distinctions, and degrees of hurt. (Nobody's hurts are to be minimized or rationalized away, that's not my point.) But I think the U.S. awfulness at present is overwhelmingly home-grown, nativist nastiness, with deep roots in our American traditions. It has its specificity, as do the Nazis. Sure, dumbasses like to play with Nazi symbols like a kid putting on a cowboy hat, and it's nauseating and pathetic. And Tucker Carlson and his crew suck up to Orban, which is also pathetic, but to date, Orban is hardly a poster boy for the screamers I know back in my hometown of Knoxville, Iowa. (Also, Orban has his own chameleon-like, Trumpist history--less coherently ideological than narcissistic.) I agree that there's every reason to be concerned about the alt-right, and I'm glad to learn from Amanda Moore. But I'm groping and hoping for more precise language...
On the topic of the international right wing movement, the rather extreme libertarian party in NZ has been getting support (and $) from the US. They might get enough support to be a coalition partner in the next government.
I was reading about how, historically, a lot of birds got blown by the winds from Australia to NZ and couldn't establish in the different ecosystem, but after people came to NZ and burned down the trees it got easier. Hoping that fascism doesn't manage to establish, but it takes work to fight it too.
I read Amanda's piece from a Sunday link of yours and was happy to see your interview with her. It is such important information and perspective!! Thank you.