President-elect Donald Trump’s disavowal of Richard Spencer and his far-right thinktank the National Policy Institute, a day after video of Spencer’s supporters giving the Nazi salute at an event in Washington DC surfaced, has dismayed some of his supporters on the “alt-right”.
“This constant virtue signaling needs to finally end, otherwise our civilization will simply collapse,” a commenter wrote underneath the article of Trump’s disavowal on rightwing news site Breitbart.
People in the myriad “alt-right” communities that have flourished online in recent years are also expressing their displeasure that Trump appears to have abandoned the most extreme of his policies – at least for now – such as building a wall and prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
They also objected to his visiting of the New York Times for an on-the-record meeting on Tuesday, at which Trump described the news organization as a “world jewel”.
On /pol/, the political discussion board of the anonymous message-board 4chan, one poster wrote: “Already reneging on his word before he even takes office?! People will remember that.”
A post on Reddit’s r/altright board, one of the movement’s home bases, linked to Trump’s disavowal at the New York Times meeting and asked: “Anyone here feeling bamboozled by the Donald?” Dozens of commenters responded.
“You are fooled if you think Trump was going to give us some sort of permission slip to start cleansing America. He isn’t our ‘man on a white horse’,” one said.
Another wrote: “Trump can’t be non-negative on the alt-right. We support him because he agrees with us on important policy goals, not because he flatters us.”
Over on 4chan’s /pol/, fierce discussion was raging on the issue of how to deal with Richard Spencer and his neo-Nazi event. Many thought that Trump was right to disavow him.
Another wrote: “The leaders of the Alt-Right no longer look like attractive, young, rebellious counter-culture intellectuals, but now they look like fat, dumb racists.”
Opinion on the board was split, with many saying that the entire debacle was a “false flag” operation cooked up to discredit their movement, and others – a small minority – calling for the board to rally in support of Spencer.
On Reddit’s r/The_Donald board, one of the most popular pro-Trump corners of the internet, supporters urged patience in the face of signs discouraging to the “alt-right”, like the rumors that Mitt Romney was the frontrunner for secretary of state.
One post urged people to “stay fucking calm” until the appointment of Romney – who is a reviled figure amongst the “alt-right” – was reported by Breitbart.