Final Election Post-Mortems: Stephen Bannon

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Stephen Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News and CEO of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, is now chief strategist and Senior Counselor for Donald Trump’s presidency. Bannon epitomizes the Donald Trump campaign. For years he was a foremost proponent of the “alt-right” movement within the Republican Party. He has been categorized by his many critics as a white nationalist, declaring him a racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic. He has been credited with normalizing Donald Trump’s outrageous rhetoric and actions on the campaign trail which generated tremendous criticism of the candidate and at times threatened the viability of his candidacy. But those words and those actions galvanized the American public and swept Trump to victory. Bannon was almost assured of an appointment in the Trump administration, even though members of the Republican Party attempted to convince Trump not to do so. Now that Bannon’s appointment has been announced, Democrats are already calling for the appointment to be rescinded.

However, it is not just Democrats who take issue with Stephen Bannon in the Trump White House. Veteran journalist Dan Rather on racism in the Trump campaign:

“I think you may get a lot of it, rather subtly put, perhaps not as straightforward. But look, the campaign is being run, not entirely — is being run by Donald Trump, but he’s taking aboard candidate people, workers who are from the fringes.

“There’s zealots from the fringes of the party, who are now helping him run the campaign. And they’re going to say the kinds of things that they previously were saying on right-wing radio, because they think if you say it often enough, they’re convinced that will get Donald Trump the white votes he needs, the big white turn-out that he needs. I think you’re going to see an awful lot of that…

“He’s turned himself over to a lot of zealots from the fringes of the party, and we’ll see how that goes.”

Conservative radio host and former Fox News personality Glenn Beck has previously declared Bannon to be a “nightmare” and a “terrifying man” who built Breitbart specifically as a voice for the alt-right. Beck has now commented on allowing Stephen Bannon into the White House:

“When people really understand what the alt-right is, this neo-nationalist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy idea that Bannon is pushing hard. It’s — I hope they wake up because, if not, we are racist. If that’s what we accept and we know it, then we are racist. I contend people don’t know what the alt-right is yet.”

What Stephen Bannon and Donald Trump has accomplished is truly significant. They have managed to get Dan Rather and Glenn Beck to agree. Bannon and Trump have galvanized Democrats, Republicans and news media across the political spectrum into a single voice. Donald Trump has brought the country together. At least for the most part.

Neo-Nazi website Infostormer declared Bannon’s appointment to be “pure awesomeness”. Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer praised Bannon’s hiring, saying Donald Trump has “surrounded himself with the right people this entire election, so there’s no reason to believe he’ll stop doing that now”. White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who has “matter-of-factly called for removing African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews from the United States”, said strategist is the best possible position for Bannon in the Trump White House because it allows Bannon to focus on the “big picture”. David Duke has similarly praised the appointment, stating “Bannon has really been right on about a lot of issues facing European-Americans”. Other white nationalist and anti-immigration sites and individuals have also applauded Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon.

In other words, partisans and media of virtually every persuasion have criticized the hire. Except racists and hate-mongers.


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