The term alt-right, short for alternative right, was first coined by self-described American white nationalist intellectual Richard Spencer. The movement’s libertarian, anti-elitist, overwhelmingly male supporters say it represents a backlash against stifling mainstream political correctness and a sclerotic conservative establishment in the United States. The movement’s many critics, on the other hand, accuse it of adopting stances which are deeply misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist.
The leaderless, amorphous movement initially found a voice on anything-goes websites and forums like 4chan, Twitter, and Reddit. But it shot to notoriety over recent months for waging virulently anti-feminist online harassment campaigns against female videogame designers and Leslie Jones, the black star of the all-female remake of Ghostbusters.
But perhaps the movement’s biggest coup so far came when a senior executive of Breitbart News, a controversial website that often champions alt-right issues, was appointed the chief of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Hilary Clinton has warned the alt-right movement is attempting to take control of the Republican Party. “The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump campaign represents a landmark achievement for the alt-right. A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party. “All of this adds up to something we’ve never seen before,” she said during an election rally last month.“Of course, there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”