- The Washington Times - Monday, December 12, 2016

THE MYSTERY OF THE ALT-RIGHT

“News of the political movement known as the alt-right has sparked considerable debate in recent weeks, with President-elect Donald Trump drawing criticism for naming a senior adviser who is associated with it and media outlets wrestling with how to define and refer to it. Most Americans, however, haven’t heard of the movement at all,” writes John Gramlich, an analyst for the Pew Research Center, which released a survey on the issue on Monday.

“A majority (54 percent) of U.S. adults say they have heard ‘nothing at all’ about the alt-right movement and another 28 percent have heard only ‘a little’ about it. Just 17 percent say they have heard ‘a lot’ about the movement,” Mr. Gramlich continues. “Liberal Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are far more likely than other Democrats to have heard about the movement. Two-thirds of liberal Democrats have heard a lot or a little about it, compared with fewer than half of conservative or moderate Democrats (39 percent) and just four-in-10 Republicans.”

It’s complicated, and the evolving “movement” — first identified in 2002 — garners considerable press attention.

“The alt-right is small. It may remain so. And yet, while small, it is part of something this election showed to be much bigger: the emergence of white people, who evidently feel their identity is under attack, as a ‘minority’-style political bloc,” wrote Christopher Caldwell, a senior editor for The Weekly Standard, in a recent op-ed for The New York Times. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

FOUR MORE STOPS

He’s still saying thank you. President-elect Donald Trump has not forgotten about devoted voters who buoyed him up during the election, through thick and thin. Mr. Trump continues his “USA Thank You Tour” this week, with four stops in four states — showcasing the cheerful, jumbo rallies that became his signature campaign outreach. On Tuesday he journeys to West Allis, Wisconsin, with Vice President-elect Gov. Mike Pence, bound for an arena on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair. Then it’s on to Pennsylvania, Orlando and Alabama by Saturday.

A GIANT TEACHABLE MOMENT

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” resident-elect Donald Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. Yes, imagine.

“We are living in the midst of a giant teachable moment,” notes radio host Rush Limbaugh, in his summation of persistent press reports suggesting that the 2016 election results were compromised by Russian hackers, possibly in Mr. Trump’s favor.

“This is how it happens. This is how fake news takes root and becomes the narrative, becomes the daily script of the inside-the-Beltway soap opera written by the drive-by media. This whole business of Russia hacking our election is fake news with the imprimatur of intelligence agencies and the CIA, and it’s brought to us by the same newspapers that took out, tried to take out Richard Nixon,” Mr. Limbaugh continued. “And if I didn’t know better, I would say they are trying to relive the moment and ‘Watergate’ Donald Trump.”

750,000 PARDONS: MAYBE NOT

President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly said he would end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Because of the likely termination of DACA under the Trump administration, advocacy groups have been asking for President Obama to pardon the 750,000 DACA applicants in hopes of creating for them a ‘pathway to citizenship.’ What these advocates don’t realize is that the presidential pardon can only be used for criminal acts, not civil offenses, like illegal entry into the U.S.,” notes the Federation for American Immigration Reform in a new policy update.

“Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution clearly states that the President shall ‘have the Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States.’ This means President Obama could only pardon federal criminal offenses, but not civil violations. Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor crime and unlawful presence in the United States is a civil violation, meaning a presidential pardon would erase the crime of crossing the border illegally, but would have no impact on the civil offense of unlawfully residing in the U.S.,” the nonprofit group continues.

“Even if he could pardon the illegal act of entering the country without inspection, the DACA recipients would still lack legal status to remain in the U.S. This fact was recently acknowledged by an administration spokesperson, acknowledging the pardon authority ‘doesn’t confer legal status’ to its recipients. Only Congress can do that.”

STUCK IN NEUTRAL

The Times of London and The Huffington Post were among many news organizations that reported rumors Britain’s esteemed Oxford University ordered its students to use the gender-neutral pronoun “ze” rather than “he” or “she” when referring to fellow students. In a formal statement issued Monday, the university — founded in 1167 — hoped to clear up the matter.

“We would like to clearly state that we would never tell anyone to use ‘ze’ pronouns instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ if ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the pronoun someone wishes to use. That would be misgendering and would likely have the biggest impact on individuals (ie, some trans students) who may already be struggling to get people to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ for them. It would be totally counterproductive.

“We do however suggest the use of genderless pronouns like singular ‘they’ to refer to individuals whose pronouns haven’t been confirmed. This avoids assuming what pronouns a person uses based solely on how they present themselves. We also recommend that at events like campaign meetings, workshops and training sessions, people introduce themselves with their pronouns.”

POLL DU JOUR

28 percent of Americans have heard “a little” about the “political movement known as the alt-right” — and that’s a consistent 28 percent of both Republicans and Democrats.

17 percent overall have heard “a lot”; 12 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall who have heard of the “alt-right” associate it with white supremacy; 17 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

14 percent overall associate alt-right with “racism and prejudice”; 10 percent of Republicans and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

12 percent overall associate it with the “extreme right wing”; 12 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: From a Pew Research Center survey of 1,502 U.S.adults conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 5.

Hazy ideas, simple clarity to [email protected]

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide