The Success and Sustainability of American Nationalist Movements

The Success and Sustainability of American Nationalist Movements

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5433-2.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter analyzes the viability of the selected case studies in legitimizing or mainstreaming their goals and ideology, as well as paths to success and/or failure. The chapter provides prescriptions for both movements and highlights obstacles that may impede each from achieving stated goals or solidifying political victories (electoral, legislative, or ideologically within the wider society). The phases of social movement theory first promulgated by Herbert Blumer is explained in this chapter as a method of considering future movements. The success of American social movements is traditionally marked by legislative victories or codification of change (which is what Black Lives Matter is seeking), while contemporary movements have been successful at achieving electoral victories (that of Donald Trump); this chapter explores that dichotomy as well.
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Trumpism, The Alt-Right, And The Future Of The Republican Party

The rise of neo-nationalism in America was increasing long before the ascension of Donald Trump to the leader of the Republican Party. As previously stated, the history of the Tea Party is rooted in a classism and inherent differences between the races is a cornerstone of the Alt-Right ideology that is displayed in events such as Charlottesville or the police officer who informed a white American in August 2017 after she had been pulled over in Georgia, not to be concerned that “we only kill black people” (Grinberg & Jones, 2017). The public displays of white nationalism have increased as well, with tiki torch-lit marches by the modern-day Ku Klux Klan and other nationalist groups. In a haunting 22 minute episode of Vice News Tonight, one of the white nationalists who has since gained international attention, Christopher Cantwell details his hatred for blacks and other minorities from the ‘Unite the Right’ event that occurred in Virginia. He also noted his disdain and uncertainty for President Trump because he is willingly “giv[ing] his daughter to a Jew” (Vice News Tonight, 2017). Cantwell has become a sort of de facto symbol of white nationalism, calling the murderer of Heather Heyer (the young woman who was viciously run over by a vehicle and died) a “hero” in a since deleted blog post after Charlottesville (Neyfakh, 2017). It is people like Cantwell who are so open about their hatred that define this new American white nationalist movement, and it stems from the concept of the silent majority, or the shrinking white male dominant society.

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