CPAC speaker says the alt-right is actually "left-wing"

White nationalist Richard Spencer arrived at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, looking like a sign of the "alt-right" movement's attempts to fit in with conservatives. But Trump - and his success at electrifying the Alt-Right - has changed all that. Spencer, who went viral after he was caught during an NPI conference in Washington, D.C., shouting "hail Trump, hail victory, hail our people" was essentially asked off of the property by a security guard. No matter: His mission is accomplished.

In an effort to distance his own far-right views from those of Yiannopoulos, Spencer denied that Yiannopoulos was ever associated with the alt-right. "They are racists. They are sexists". Really conservatism-ism? Really Republicans? Instead, he maintains, "they are garden variety left-wing fascists".

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is thanking conservatives for helping elect President Donald Trump. You conservatives are so in bed with the "alt-right" that you carpool to work in the morning. At a speech called "The Alt Right Ain't Right at All", ACU executive director Drew Schneider sought to place the alt-right outside the bounds of acceptable GOP politics. Spencer mocks Schneider, derisively saying he is unaware that "garden variety left-wing fascists were so numerous", and insists that the ranks of the Alt-Right are.

So the drama of this year's CPAC revolves around how conservatives should handle the alt-right. After being disinvited from CPAC losing his book deal with Simon and Schuster, Yiannopoulos resigned from his position at Breitbart and said in a hastily assembled press conference that, going forward, he will focus less on journalism and more on "entertainment and education". Nick Gricus, a student at DePaul University, calls it a "deflection mechanism". "That's not a partisan definition".

The ejection of Spencer, who had paid at least $150 for a CPAC ticket, comes on the heels of the conservative gathering rescinding its invitation to alt-right provocateur and then-Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos after videos resurfaced showing him appearing to defend pedophilia. "We chose to say that everybody is part of our conservative family". And we all know it so kill will it with the we don't kick it with the alt-right bullshit.

Like CPAC, the conservative movement faces a hard choice. "There's a new political order being formed out of this", he says. "They're adamantly opposed to the economic nationalist agenda President Trump has". So if anyone says that, they say 'Oh, you're a racist.' That's just a way of shutting us up. "We are a nation with a culture and a reason for being", he adds, with words redolent of Spencer's self-described "identitarianism".

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Regardless of whether they understand what the Alt-Right is, or how it is altering conservatism, Trump has already drawn new devotees to CPAC.

Thomas Melvin, a retired school principal from Charleston, South Carolina, also has come to his first CPAC, though he had followed it on television in the past. As for the Alt-Right, Hunter says it's "a monster that the left points to and that the right doesn't want anything to do with".

  • Carolyn Briggs