Twitter is in a war over what #AltRightMeans—and the jokes are winning

Trump Pepe

Photo via @realDonaldTrump/Twitter

This backfired quickly.

It's been a big month for the alt-right movement. Earlier in August, the Southern Poverty Law Center added the alt-right to its list of extremist groups, describing it as essentially white nationalism for the Reddit generation. On Thursday, news broke that Hillary Clinton planned to give a speech condemning alt-rightist who have united behind Donald Trump. 

Alt-rightists aren't very happy about this state of affairs, and they're attempting to defend themselves on Twitter with the hashtag #AltRightMeans.

The tag is trending, but not for the reasons conservative kiddos hoped. It's been hijacked by people opposed to the alt-right's central tenets (which, according to the SPLC, are "white ethno-nationalism" and unironic use of the word "cuckservative.")

If you look at the hashtag now, you'll see an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet from Prison Planet
But you'll mostly see people mocking the hell out of what the SPLC describes as the alt-right's main constituency, "anonymous youths who were exposed to the movement’s ideas through online message boards like 4chan and 8chan’s /pol/ and internet platforms like Reddit and Twitter."
This is but a sampling of the myriad humorous owns on a hashtag intended to make the alt-right look more palatable and less like something out of the SPLC's Extremist Files. #AltRightMeans is overrun with good owns. The ownage is flowing forth in immense, frothy waves and nothing can dam it.

But it's not as if the alt-right was doing itself any favors in terms of convincing the mainstream population it's not a racist enterprise. These tweets are pretty representative of the effort to defend white nationalism:


Then again, what's in a name? "Calling them the 'alt-right' does obscure the fact to the general public that they are white supremacists, mostly," Marilyn Mayo, a research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said in an interview. "And getting rid of that term, 'alt-right,' may clarify things for the general public."

The alt-right has come under attack this week from both Democrats—via Hillary Clinton—and the GOP establishment. Now that they're in the spotlight, they have a crucial opportunity to polish their message and make it as acceptable as popular to the U.S. mainstream.  

Let's check in on how it's going: 

The #AltRightPoetry they won't teach you in cuckservative English class
If it has often seemed to you that the Donald Trump phenomenon is less about ideology than some ineffable mix of betrayal, loss, fear, insecurity, and anger, you're not alone. It's hard getting a handle on a voter base whose platform rests on truths deeply  felt rather than, say, baseline reality.
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