When Donald Trump hired Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of the right-wing media site Breitbart, to head his campaign last week, Breitbart’s former editor Ben Shapiro declared, 'The Breitbart alt-right just took over the GOP.' Yet most of Trump’s supporters probably don’t even know what the alt-right is. It’s entirely plausible that Trump himself doesn’t know what it is. So what is the alt-right, and has it really taken over the GOP?
Shapiro’s worry might be overstated but it’s not unwarranted. For at least a year, a small army of online right-wing trolls - who refer to themselves as the 'alt-right' - has attacked anyone who dared challenge Trump. They use some of the most racist and anti-Semitic language imaginable.