Trump may face strong backlash by not pursuing an alt-right agenda

Trump already departed from a number of very controversial ideas heard during his campaign. Something the alt-right doesn’t really appreciate.

Rebecca Savransky on The Hill:

An alt-right leader said Tuesday he is “disappointed” in Donald Trump’s choice to disavow the movement, the Associated Press reported. […]

Trump on Tuesday said he did not want to “energize” the alt-right movement. He also denounced the National Policy Institute conference held over the weekend where white nationalists celebrated his victory and used Nazi-era terms and salute.

“I disavow and condemn them,” Trump said at an on-the-record session with New York Times reporters and columnists when asked directly about the meeting.

Louis Nelson and Nolan D. Mccaskill on Politico:

President-elect Donald Trump is reneging on his promise to jail Hillary Clinton, a sharp departure from the “lock her up!” chants that Trump encouraged at his campaign rallies, immediately drawing the ire of some conservatives.

Breitbart News, the alt-right news organization seen as an arm of the Trump campaign, headlined the lead story on its home page “BROKEN PROMISE.”

In a Facebook live I made in French about the Trump victory, I said that Trump did with his campaign the same thing François Hollande did with his own 2012 victorious Presidential campaign: he made strong and vocal statements well received by the extreme, but vague enough to not be considered as pledges – pledges he has no intention to implement once in office. But after the very same extreme realized it has been tricked, it turned against Hollande (which is now the most unpopular President of the French 5th Republic). The early signs highlighted by the two stories I quote suggest Trump could experience a similar backlash.

François Hollande (center left Socialist Party) said in 2012 that “[my] adversary is the world of finance” (source). Extreme left voters were appealed by such a strong slogan, a few years after the 2008-2009 crisis and the consecutive Euro’s turmoil in Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland (among others). But once elected, François Hollande did nothing specific against “the world of finance“. This is something he recognized himself in a disturbing book of interviewes published a few weeks ago, “A President shouldn’t say that” 1. He’s now so unpopular it’s not clear he’ll rerun for President next year – as of now his chances to pass the first round are very low (but it could change in the future, who knows).

Trump made vague statements against minorities, on what he exactly means by “building a wall”, and so on. Radical Republicans (and/or alt-right voters) could have seen in Trump the victory of some kind of “white supremacism”, but he didn’t bind to do anything really specific against minorities. Don’t get me wrong: by no mean I say what Trump said was acceptable. I rather say: were these vague statements an appeal to racist voters 2 he had no intention to actually pursue once elect? Vague statements allow people to interpret things very freely, often by understanding what they want to understand (instead of what’s actually said). This is exactly what Trump offered to the alt-right – a huge room for interpretations 3.

If this is true (as suggested by these two stories), Trump historically low approval rates for a President-elect could plunge even lower if he loses support from a significant part of his (somewhat angry) voters.

November 25, 2016: Some minor style edits.

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