In Donald Trump’s press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, he returned to his defense of the white supremacists in Charlottesville. While doing so, he referred to counter-protesters as the “Alt-Left.” What is the Alt-Left? It is an empty term used to divide.
Here is the video:
“What about the Alt-Left? They came charging at the Alt-Right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”
He expands upon this in the video above.
But with that, Trump introduced the term “Alt-Left” into the political dialogue and nobody knew what it meant. Trump did not attempt to define it. He put it out there and has let the media do that for him. Now a responsible approach would be to first question whether Alt-Left means anything at all?
From the New York Times:
Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the “alt-left.” Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they didn’t like.”
Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term.
“It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network,” Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. “It’s just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news.’”
Donald Trump is hoping that sloppy journalism will accept his use of the term. The best case scenario for Trump is for journalists to implicitly define “Alt-Left” in the broadest terms, thereby supporting his condemnation of both sides. He wants to create a bogeyman. Draw up an image at home that there were white supremacists but also this new, violent and militant brigade that was there to quash the assembly.
Here is the reality from CBS News:
The people who arrived to protest white supremacists at the rally were mostly clergy, students, and residents of Charlottesville, according to CBS News’ Paula Reid. And the vast majority of them were unarmed, despite Mr. Trump’s claims to the contrary.
Since we can’t rely on most media to be discerning when it comes to Trump’s antics, we used Twitter to illustrate the absurdity of the phrase “Alt-Left.”
And watch to see whether this term sticks around in the media (Possibly becoming synonymous with “Antifa”?) or whether it withers away.