The Economist released a headline labeling him as alt-right before retracting the statement due to heavy criticism from Shapiro himself and other conservatives 1 . He has rejected this label and said that as an Orthodox Jew, he is actually one of the most hated public personas by the alt-right community.

This question is not about if Ben Shapiro is alt-right or supports their policies more than with any other political faction, it just asks whether any opinions that he has expressed align with alt-right consensus.

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    "...it just asks whether any opinions that he has expressed align with alt-right consensus." It is unlikely that anyone has never expressed some view that is commonly held by "alt-right" people (whatever you mean by that). The question that's worth asking is whether or not he agrees with any of the positions that are distinctive to alt-right groups. To that end, how you define "alt-right" and what you consider its defining positions to be is crucial to answering that question. – jpmc26 Jun 13 '19 at 11:42
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    After some thought, I don't think there's any productive way forward with this question. This question would be just as problematic if it were asking if Bernie Sanders were aligned with Anti-Fa. The question, possibly unintentionally, is baiting for an association between Shapiro and an extremist group that he explicitly rejects. Any answer must minimize the differences between Shapiro's positions and the alt-right's, no matter how significant those differences are. Doing so decreases understanding of our political landscape, contrary to the site's stated goals, and increases polarization. – jpmc26 Jun 13 '19 at 21:29
  • @jpmc26 Didn't mean to bait at all, I watch Ben Shapiro myself because he makes good points sometimes(not the open sewage tweet of course), and I do not identify as alt-right myself. Also it's really fun watching him "debate" the most uneducated college students he could find, but that's a whole different discussion. It's already clear that Ben Shapiro is not alt-right, especially because he is not white-supremacist, anti-Semitic, or isolationist, all positions that are distinctive to alt-right groups like you have mentioned. It's still beneficial to see what policies do overlap. – ChickenWingGeek Jun 13 '19 at 23:59
  • I would also say that this question can be answerable, the answer would just need to be far better supported with evidence of both Shapiro and multiple different alt-right figures of their beliefs. I'm beginning to think that the admins just saw the "What do you think?" part of the original post and put this on hold, as if politics is supposed to be based in empirical fact that can be proven with a couple of theorems. While the definition of alt-right varies with who you ask, there are still policies that most if not all of them support. – ChickenWingGeek Jun 14 '19 at 0:07
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    I'd also suggest that in such a new question, leave the term "alt-right" out of it. It's such a charged term that it will readily invite controversy no matter who it identifies, what it means, or how you use it. Someone will either be offended or will want to promote their personal witty (in their eyes) take on the matter. (Trust me. It's a temptation I personally have to stave off and don't always succeed at, and it's one people interested in politics are especially susceptible to.) – jpmc26 Jun 14 '19 at 0:30

To some extent, yes.

It's quite difficult to define what the alt-right is, since few people use that label for themselves. Per Wikipedia, here are some of the common positions of the alt-right:

The alt-right is a white nationalist, racist movement. Part of its membership supports anti-immigrationist policies to ensure a continued white majority in the United States. Others call for the breakup of the country to form a white separatist ethno-state in North America. Some alt-rightists seek to make white nationalism socially respectable in the U.S., while others—known as the "1488" scene—adopt openly white supremacist and neo-Nazi stances. Some alt-rightists are anti-semitic, promoting a conspiracy theory that there is a Jewish plot to bring about white genocide; other alt-rightists view most Jews as members of the white race. The alt-right is anti-feminist, advocates for a more patriarchal society, and intersects with the men's rights movement and other sectors of the online manosphere. Alt-rightists generally support anti-interventionist and isolationist foreign policies alongside economic protectionism and thus criticise mainstream U.S. conservatism. Attitudes to social issues like homosexuality and abortion vary within the movement. Individuals aligned with many of the alt-right's ideas but not its white nationalism have been termed "alt-lite".

Early adopters of the label alt-right (or "alternative right") include Richard Spencer, a neo-Nazi white nationalist, and Paul Gottfried, a "paleoconservative" who has very strong conservative opinions but doesn't seem to be particularly affiliated with white nationalism, anti-feminism, or other such philosophies. But they don't necessarily define what the alt-right is today. I think the definition given previously is a fair broad strokes characterization of the alt-right, so that's mostly what I'll be comparing it to.

So, how do Ben Shapiro's views compare?

  • Shapiro is anti-Muslim and anti-Arab. He said that "We're above 800 million Muslims who are radicalized – more than half the Muslims on earth. That's not a minority... the myth of the tiny radical Muslim minority is just that: it's a myth." He also claimed that "Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue." This aspect of his views aligns with the alt-right, particularly with respect to their anti-immigration and white nationalist beliefs.

  • Shapiro doesn't express overt white nationalist views, but does dismiss racism, having suggested that black people don't face more obstacles than white people in the US, and has asserted that racial wealth disparaties are unrelated to racism. He has also advocated in favor of the Confederate flag. These aspects of his opinions align with the white nationalist beliefs of the alt-right.

  • Shapiro is generally anti-LBGTQ. He's characterized transgender people as having a "mental illness." He believes that same-sex intercourse is immoral and that gay families are worse than families with a mother and a father. Although the Wikipedia definition notes that opinions on homosexuality "vary" among alt-right believers, since LBGTQ rights are heavily associated with the feminist beliefs that the alt-right generally rejects, much of the alt-right is hostile to LBGT people.

  • He's also strongly opposed to left-wing groups, criticizing, for instance, the membership of university professors in "leftist parties." The title of one of his books literally is about "destroying" leftists in argument. Although this view is obviously not unique to the alt-right, it nonetheless aligns strongly with them.

  • He is anti-feminist, saying that "radical feminism" (among other things) has "destroyed the foundation of our own greatness." This aligns, obviously, with the anti-feminism of the alt-right. He's also advocated for traditional gender roles, saying, for instance, that "As a society, we have robbed men of their protective missions," another opinion that aligns strongly with the alt-right.

  • Shapiro is not aligned with the common anti-Semitic stances of the alt-right, which is perhaps unsurprising considering his Jewish background.

  • He is also not aligned with the common isolationist and anti-interventionist stances. For instance, in 2005 he wrote an article titled "Why the Iraq War is right for America."

So Ben Shapiro's opinions have significant overlap with the alt-right, particularly with regard to racism, anti-feminism and belief in traditional masculinity, and anti-LBGTQ opinions, as well as a fixation on "leftists." They don't overlap as far as outright white nationalism or isolationism and particularly not with respect to anti-Semitism.

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    It's worth noting that people's opinions can change over 14 years of time. Do you have a more modern source for his interventionist stances? – nick012000 Jun 13 '19 at 5:02
  • @nick012000 - No, unfortunately. But the information might be out there. – Obie 2.0 Jun 13 '19 at 5:03
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    Your answer lacks supporting sources for these positions. – jpmc26 Jun 13 '19 at 11:43
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    I'd like to offer my apologies for the debating in these comments. I was frustrated, and rather than attack the reason for that frustration directly, I disputed this answer. Please see my most recent comment on the question for a more accurate representation of what I see as the problem here, though I do think this answer's presentation contributes to that problem rather than helps alleviate it. – jpmc26 Jun 13 '19 at 21:31
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    Here is the source I linked in a now deleted comment for your quote about "radicalized" Muslims if you still wish to edit sources into your answer. I highly recommend that you do so, and I highly recommend your readers examine the full presentation for context, definition of terms, and other matters of clarity. – jpmc26 Jun 13 '19 at 21:38

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