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Politician Jason Kander Puts Down ‘Alt-Right’ Leader Richard Spencer Over ‘Cabaret’ Tweet

Variety logo Variety 3/20/2017 Variety Staff
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Online trolls can be to put down, but former Missouri secretary of state and CNN contributor Jason Kander (above right) put a particularly notorious one in his place over the weekend.

It all started when Richard Spencer, a known white supremacist and leader of the so called “alt-right,” a term he himself coined to describe the neo-Nazi movement, posted the song “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” from the musical “Cabaret” during a Twitter argument with Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall.

The song is performed by a group of Nazis in the 1972 film, hence Spencer’s affinity for it. However, little did Spencer know that it (as well as the rest of the soundtrack) was written by a gay Jewish man — John Kander, who also happens to be Jason Kander’s uncle.

The younger Kander was only too happy to point out the irony of Spencer’s post.

“Hey buddy, that song you love was written by my uncle. He’s been married to my other uncle for 40 years. And he’s a Jew. Sing it proud,” Kander tweeted in response to Spencer.

This morning, Kander appeared on CNN’s “New Day” show to discuss his put-down, which has since gone viral, earning over 120,000 likes.

“It’s not every day you get to tell off a neo-Nazi,” Kander said. “The reason that it went viral is because people are upset about what they are seeing. When you look culturally at this, what is going on right now, and the feeling that some of these folks, like (Spencer), have sort of been given the license to be more mainstream, it bothers people.”

Kander added that he feels it’s the President’s responsibility, as the “cultural and moral leader of the country by position,” to speak out and denounce the kinds of ideas that Spencer stands for.

In addition to “Cabaret,” the elder Kander and Fred Ebb wrote many other musicals, including “Chicago.”

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