In a recent article for The Washingtonian, an anonymous author makes the argument that leftists, not conservatives, are the ones responsible for making the alt-right look so appealing to disgruntled young dudes.
Granted, Mommy Alt-Right doesn’t intentionally blame Woke Progressives for her teenage son Sam’s descent into alt-right rebellion. But as the author details her teenage son’s journey into (and, thankfully, out of) alt-right hell, the indictment of leftist “tolerance” goblins couldn’t be much clearer.
In order to understand why leftism helped drive this young man and many others into the clutches of evil alt-right buffoonery, let us first consider the psyche of the average pubescent male. What does a middle- or high-school boy value? What does he desire in life? What does he want from the world? Here are a few answers.
A Righteous Cause
Although children begin to understand right and wrong at a much earlier age than middle school, kids often begin forming ethical systems in their adolescent years. In the occasional free moment when hormones aren’t causing them to obsess about the opposite sex, your average adolescent will often obsess over these newfound moral principles and philosophies, seeking out a cause that he believes can make him into a righteous person.
Once he’s found his cause, this adolescent will often become an overzealous, overnight disciple—firmly devoted to defending the downtrodden and upholding all that which is good and true, as defined by his movement of choice, be it intersectionality, vegetarianism, atheism, or alt-right antagonism.
Nonconformist Conformity and Tribal Protection
Very often, adolescents believe that the more unique and different they are from their peers, the more valuable they are. Yet, because they still recognize that social value is not self-generated but granted to them by others, being a nonconformist puts them at risk of being socially ostracized.
To resolve this conflict, the average adolescent will often seek out a community of like-minded people who will embrace him. Such communities are often found among those who share his commitment to the aforementioned righteous cause he’s chosen—friends who will give him so much acceptance that he won’t have to conform to the social expectations of “normies” to feel accepted.
Maintaining that acceptance, however, will require the nonconformist teen to continue conforming to the expectations of his fellow nonconformists.
To Irritate Adults
Adolescents like saying things that adults tell them not to say. It doesn’t particularly matter what ideology lurks behind the taboo statement, be it “capitalism is bad,” “Hitler was misunderstood,” or “regular Oreos are better than double stuff.” Whatever irritates adults, whatever makes them scream and howl and lament the state of the youths today, that’s the stuff the youths want to say.
Here are the key elements of Sam’s story: Sam was a 13-year-old kid who frequently spoke with his friends about not wanting to be conformist idiots like their classmates. One day a female classmate eavesdropped on a private conversation between Sam and a friend, misunderstood something he said as sexual in nature, then reported him for sexual harassment.
An administrator then raked Sam over the coals in front of his progressive parents, who barely came to his defense. He was then forced to write an apology to the girl, even though he’d done nothing wrong to her. Then, after having his life torn apart by the progressive dogma of “never believe men,” Sam began discovering alt-right voices on Reddit, who acknowledged his status as a victim and welcomed him into a movement despised by his peers and parents.
In other words, the alt-right became appealing to Sam because it promised to let him hit these three things adolescents love: a righteous cause, non-conformity conformity, and the ability to irritate the adults in his life.
Sam Found All Three
Why was Sam attracted to the “righteous cause” of warring against feminism? It wasn’t because conservatives gave him a taste for woman-hating and he began to crave the purer form of misogyny offered by the extremists. Rather, it was because the leftist administrators at his school decided he didn’t have enough intersectionality points to merit the presumption of innocence and that demonizing an innocent kid wasn’t as important as the “believe all women” article of their creed.
Likewise, because his progressive parents couldn’t muster much more than a tepid defense of their son, progressivism left him feeling alone and helpless, so he sought refuge in the people he presumed were progressivism’s greatest enemies—the alt-right.
Who were the conformists that Sam wanted to distinguish himself from? It wasn’t a bunch of Reaganites mindlessly reciting talking points in favor of trickle-down economics. It was a bunch of lefty progressives mindlessly regurgitating intersectional talking points like “women don’t lie” that were responsible for his suffering.
Likewise, why did Sam conform to the expectations of the alt-right and further bury himself in their ugly ideology? It wasn’t because conservatives were threatening to attack him if he lost the approval of his tribe and found himself without their protection and alone again. It was because progressives were the ones flashing their teeth, waiting to devour him, at least in Sam’s mind.
Furthermore, who was providing Sam the list of forbidden words that his adolescent heart couldn’t wait to speak? It wasn’t the Republican National Committee or the Heritage Foundation. It wasn’t right-leaning teachers who vowed to fail any student who dared criticize the goodness of free markets. It was the leftists in his school who nearly expelled him for uttering something that might possibly have been one of the outlawed un-inclusive words that was added to the list of unforgivable blasphemies merely 15 seconds ago.
In summary, Sam didn’t seek out the alt-right because conservatism made it look acceptable and harmless. Rather, he sought it out because leftism backed him into a corner and the tiki-torch wielding dweebs seemed the only way to find escape and acceptance.
The Left Devours Its Own
Sam is not alone in this. Leftism is not merely a political ideology; it’s an all-consuming religious system built around demonizing its opponents, denying them forgiveness, and devouring its own when the supply of infidels runs out.
It’s a faith that seeks expansion not be winning hearts, but by overtaking institutions and driving out all opposition—something this religion has accomplished quite well in recent years, especially in public schools across the country. LGBT indoctrination is rampant. Propaganda-filled textbooks abound. Bringing a Bible to school gets you reamed out by your teacher.
Leftism has ceased to be the hip, brave, rebellious movement that its adherents imagine, at least in the eyes of many adolescent boys. Rather, they’ll often see it as the ideological equivalent of wearing Abercrombie and Fitch in the late ’90s. It’s the default cause for mindless automatons. It’s useless, boring, and oppressive to anyone who runs afoul of its dogma. It needs to be mocked, defied, and defeated.
The more leftists insist on destroying the lives of anyone who opposes them, the more attractive they’ll make the alt-right seem to angry adolescent boys who want to rage against the progressive machine.
Likewise, when woke progressives try to lump mainstream conservatives in with the alt-right, we’ll all have a harder time convincing angry adolescent boys to avoid the Richard Spencers of this world. Telling kids that “the Jews control the banks” is just as offensive as “the wage gap isn’t real,” as Sam’s mom seems to believe, and they’ll (wrongly) think anti-Semitism is just as harmless as feminist talking point-skepticism.
Tell kids that they are white supremacists for questioning any of the progressive dogmas and they’ll become desensitized to the term—so desensitized, in fact, that they might not be afraid to let actual white supremacists bend their ears for an ideological sales pitch.
As with all fads, I’m sure that the league of alt-right middle schoolers will eventually disband. If so-called progressives want to make that happen sooner rather than later, it would behoove them to consider walking back their own extremism a bit. They don’t have to walk it back completely, of course. Just enough so that they don’t make a bunch of vitamin-D deficient, citronella-smelling dorkwads with evil beliefs seem cooler by comparison.