After a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly this past weekend, President Donald Trump had a particularly deplorable response. He said that there was fault on “many sides” of the issue. Even though it was the white supremacists that rammed a car into people.
The president said:
“Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at [indiscernible] – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at them, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”
Many of us have heard the phrase “alt-right” to refer to the white nationalist, ultra-conservative group headed by Richard Spencer. However, Trump and other conservative pundits have coined this term “alt-left” recently. They use it to refer to liberals that they don’t like, basically.
They want to frame the alt-left as the opposite of the alt-right and create a false equivalence between the two groups. However, most experts have determined that there is no such thing as an alt-left.
Alt-left is a blanket term that conservatives and conservative media use to label groups they disagree with. They use it along with their cries of “fake news” to label any media that they don’t like.
This is likely how the term made it into the president’s vernacular. He often borrows language from conservative media outlets.
The main difference is that there is no such group that calls themselves the “alt-left.” Whereas, the alt-right calls themselves that.
Urban Dictionary defines “alt-left” as:
“Firm believers in a Liberal/Social Democracy ex.( Liberties mentioned in The Bill of Rights etc…) but with a type of Socialist Market Economy; “
“An alternative political movement that seeks to unite those who feel underrepresented or marginalized by current mainstream political channels, who seek to adhere to left-wing policies while rejecting what they deem the regressive left agenda; “Identity Politics”, “Censorship in College campuses”,”Trigger Warnings”, “All whites are racist”, “All men are sexist” …”
Twitter has been full of memes about the alt-left. I think Regina said it best here, though:
Featured image via Twitter.