Alt Right is amorphous, difficult to pinpoint. One clear characteristic, however, is elitism. (I’m not declaring this site Alt Right, though I do believe in elite theory.)
Americans have an irrational mythology built on democracy and populism, that the people actually wield significant power, are, or at least can be, the ones in charge.
This is wholly contrary to elite theory, which states that elites are always behind society.
The Trump movement, though it is claimed by Hillary to be both an Alt Right conspiracy and a Russian conspiracy, is actually extremely populist. We have a revolt of the people, by the people, for the people, with Trump supporting pretty much whatever is both popular and in our interests. (Trump also seems to generally agree with “the people” and to be out-of-step with Washington politicians.)
If this movement fails, I think we’ll have to conclude that populism simply cannot, and never can, work. Those with money, those with power, always win, can only be slowed or pushed. So, then the only means of winning is to become wealthy/powerful oneself, rather than bothering with populist movements. That is, assuming electoral victory is desired. (Someone will add how an elite could direct a populist movement, but that is a powerful elite doing the directing.)
Continuing on American populist mythology:
Similarly, American conservatives tend to cherish “organic” culture, that arises on its own, from “the people”. I say this sadly, but I expect we only have “organic” culture when the individual or elite few that produced it has been forgotten.
Another point: Americans Southerners believe that schooling should be done privately (populist and individual), without government involvement. Northerners, it is said, tend to believe in central, government directed education. And we’ve generally seen how Northern culture has won this battle. This could be due simply to confusion about our Southern traditions, since originally we had the plantation aristocracy and the closer ties to Europe, both we seem to have lost. Either way, it appears the Southern rejection of an elite, post-planter society, has not thrived. We’re similarly vulnerable to mass culture, each of us individually struggling (usually failing) to filter the mass culture for the next generation.
I don’t mean to equate “elite” solely with wealth, but if Trump loses, I think it’s safe to declare populism a failure and something that has never and can never work.