Continetti Addresses ‘Alt-Right’ Movement on PBS NewsHour

• August 25, 2016 7:42 pm


Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti joined the Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel on PBS Thursday for discussion on where the "alt-right's" place is in the conservative movement.

Continetti was asked about the future of the conservative movement now that the alt-right has risen under Donald Trump.

"I think it is one more sign that conservativism as we understand it is coming under great strain during the era of Trump," Continetti said. "And so you have all of these criticisms of the mainstream conservatism represented by William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan. All of these critics feel empowered with the rise of Donald Trump, anyone who had a bone to pick with the George W. Bush administration, with the Republicans in Congress, with the editors of National Review, The Weekly Standard, now says Trump's our guy. Trump's going to be the agent of change that legitimates our somewhat fringe marginal ideas."

Continetti said that while there is not a large contingency for the alt-right's ideas, it is mostly found on the Internet.

"The danger for the conservative mainstream is to say, ‘Oh. all the sudden since it's on the Internet maybe we need to incorporate it into our own thinking," Continetti said. "As soon as that happens, I think, you are going to find conservatism itself illegitimated."

Continetti said that since we live in the age of the Internet that there are not the same gatekeepers that were once able to keep the alt-right opinions to a minimum. He added that there is a large audience for these types of opinions. Continetti labeled them as cyberbullies and said that they were going after Jewish conservatives.

"This is something that I think is very ugly and I worry for the future of conservativism that it may displace the more traditional, mainstream conservativism that most Americans think of when they think of conservatism of the last 30 years," he said.