Mining a Murder: How Seth Rich Became a Martyr for the Alt-Right
The slain DNC staffer has become an obsession for many Donald Trump supporters.
Nov 17, 2016 6 AM
While Donald Trump defied almost every prediction by winning the presidential election last week, his diehard supporters rejoiced on Trump-friendly forums like Reddit’s “The_Donald” page.
They thanked the obvious people—Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, Breitbart News president turned Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon. They praised Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who published Democratic National Committee emails suspected to have been obtained by Russian hackers.
But some of the most effusive praise went to a Democrat. Seth Rich, a 27-year-old DNC employee whose July murder in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood remains unsolved, has taken on a surprising martyrdom among Trump supporters. In their telling—based on zero evidence—mysterious forces allied with Hillary Clinton killed Rich as payback for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks.
“I know we’re in the middle of celebrating, but it’s important to remember: His name was Seth Rich,” wrote one Reddit user.
As Trump’s lead grew, his supporters continued celebrating Rich with the slogan they’ve attached to him: “His name was Seth Rich.” Reddit threads posted about Rich earned hundreds of comments and thousands of positive “votes,” as users imagined Rich cheering Trump’s 290 electoral votes from heaven.
“I know your (sic) looking down at us,” wrote another poster. “Love you bro.”
What at first looked like a tragic robbery-gone-bad has attracted attention across the globe. It’s been discussed in Assange’s London embassy hideout and within the Chinese Communist Party.