Once again, Richard Spencer is getting loads of media coverage because of a protest he led to block the possible removal of a General Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia over the weekend. Spencer still maintains he is not a racist, a claim rapidly approaching childish denial.
Charges of racism should be reserved for actual racists, people who think skin color and culture are inseparable, so that the term actually means something. But when Spencer invokes KKK style imagery by marching with torches in the night and still denies he’s a white supremacist, it does seem like a spurious claim.
Why is Spencer getting so much media coverage? The aggressive media play could be, in the words of Daily Wire’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, an attempt to paint conservatives and people on the right to all be secret Richard Spencer cabalists.
This could not be further from the truth. To be fair, it is easy for people to think Richard Spencer is on the right, since he did coin the term Alt-right and is a leader of the Alt-right.
But the Alt-right has very little to do with the American right and conservatism when it comes to ideology. The Alt-right ideology shares common ground with left- wing ideology, and Spencer is a prime example of that. Here are four reasons why Richard Spencer is a racist leftist:
1. He badmouths capitalism regularly and promotes Bernie Sanders-style healthcare.
Spencer spouts common leftist mantras, such as: capitalism is evil and exploitative, and big corporations are out to get the little guy. While Spencer does not explicitly acknowledge it, he is a socialist at heart, even advocating that the Right should adopt most of Bernie Sanders’ platform on universal healthcare and other economic issues.
2. He believes individualism and freedom are stupid ideas.
The American right’s ideology is predicated on the freedom of the individual to grow and thrive on his/her own without government intervention. The left, lacking faith in individualism, tends to think people need their hands held by the state and their freedoms restricted. Spencer stated at a recent speaking event at Auburn University that individualism and freedom were stupid concepts. He offers little rationale for his views, which could stem from his belief in racial collectivism.
3. He praises big government programs on a variety of issues.
Along with his advocacy of universal healthcare, Spencer offers big government programs to reinvent public transportation, solve climate issues, and forgive student debt. Even if any of these programs helped anything, which is doubtful, where would the money come from? Presumably higher taxes and higher deficits.
4. It’s a tactic of the left to play identity politics.
The right accepts and celebrates the idea that American and western culture is the greatest culture in the world. We are happy to encourage well-meaning and legal foreigners to assimilate into our culture in order for them to enjoy the benefits of pursing the American ideal. Richard Spencer, on the other hand, rejects the possibility that people either want to or should integrate with other cultures, as cultures tend to oppress each other. So in response to the left’s hard playing of minority racial grievances, Spencer uses the exact same logic to promote white racial grievances.