The "alt-right" makes dubious claims on conservatism

Hillary Clinton plans to give a speech denouncing the “alt right,” which is news that must have a lot of you asking, “What’s the alt-right?” The answer is less important than either Clinton or the members of this group would have you believe.

They call themselves “alt” to distinguish themselves from conservatives, whom they consider weak, out of touch and boring. They find the mainstream conservative fixations on free markets, limited government, the Constitution and the sanctity of unborn human life beside the point.

Their own fixations are instead racial. A lot of them are pretty forthright about that. In one of the earliest essays to identify and defend an “alternative right,” in 2010, Richard Hoste explained that the chief defect of mainstream conservatism is that it fails to take a natural racial hierarchy, “with whites and Asians at the top and blacks at the bottom,” as its organizing principle. Both government policy and, even more, our public discussions of race have to begin from that premise, he wrote.