The "alt-right" has become the new face of extremism in America, and according to Hillary Clinton's conspiracy-filled speech on Thursday, the group of internet trolls have co-opted the presidential election with the assistance of Vladimir Putin to aid white nationalists around the world.

It's almost mind-boggling that Clinton dedicated an entire speech to an unorganized group of bloggers, writers, and Twitter trolls who have spent months mostly mocking neocons.

Alt-righters haven't built a political operation, fielded candidates, or constructed a coherent governing philosophy, and frankly, they have received more attention than they deserve. They are a reaction to the death of intellectual conservatism and neocon dominance of the GOP and "Conservative Inc."

The history of the conservative movement can be long and dull, so here's a brief summary: Conservatism was a collection of thinkers like Robert Nisbet, Frank Meyer, Russell Kirk, and Richard Weaver who had very little to do with building a political operation and certainly were not strong adherents to the GOP.

After several decades in the wilderness, Richard Nixon and later on Ronald Reagan, were able to build a winning coalition with some conservative positions and several coalitions within the GOP including evangelicals, northeastern businessmen, and anti-Communist neocons.

It went along pretty swimmingly until America won the Cold War and there was a void to fill. Neocons consolidated power and influence during the two Bush administrations and among several Democrats like Hillary Clinton. Their best-laid plans, most famously the Iraq War, left many Americans astray.

Social media allowed the alt-right to fill the void. Many alt-right personalities are young, humorous, and able to attract a following simply by shitposting and trolling prominent public figures.

The alt-right only exists because the neocons failed at governing, and the few traditional intellectual conservatives left writing today refuse to adapt to the 140-character, headline-driven news media.

Intellectual conservatism still exists--not with the neocons or alt-right--but they're out there, and their absence on mass media and Twitter has become painfully obvious. Until they emerge as leading voices in the debate of ideas and governing, their void will be filled by Republicans who get it all wrong and the trolls who mock them.