On Wednesday, syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt and I had a friendly debate about the chances that Donald Trump would select a conservative Supreme Court nominee. In the process of that debate, Hugh mistakenly called me “Alt-Right.” Naturally, I objected rather strenuously to this assertion, given that I have been put on the Alt-Right post office wall as a Wanted Man — there may be no louder critic of the so-called Alt-Right than I.
What in the world made Hugh think I was Alt-Right? He said that I was Alt-Right because I opposed Paul Ryan in his primary run.
First off, I didn’t oppose House Speaker Paul Ryan, R- Wis. (F, 53%) in his primary run. But even if I had, that wouldn’t have made me Alt-Right anymore than it makes Hugh Alt-Right to support Donald Trump. Hugh seems to think that Alt-Right is a matter of “tone”; he defines Alt-Right as “an attempt to hijack limited govt conservatism in favor of nationalism.” That’s about half-right, but it’s not the whole thing. Redefining nationalism away from its conservative principles means distinguishing the United States on the basis of ethnicity rather than on the basis of creed. That’s why the Alt-Right has been so closely tied to white supremacy and anti-Semitism.
So why, then, did Hewitt link those who think Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (F, 42%) have done a less-than-stellar job with the Alt-Right? He explained on Twitter: “the often incessant attacks on real conservatives provided camouflage w/which Alt-Right advanced.”