Sunday, September 4, 2016

Trump and Bannon - Peas in a Pod

It shouldn't come as a great surprise that Trump has hired Stephen Bannon from Breitbart News as the chief executive of his campaign.  The two were made for each other.  Like Trump, Bannon is a racist, anti-immigrant nationalist, who despises any form of expression of concern for the rights and well-being of those who are not members of his own "tribe".  And like Trump, he's willing to tell any lie to gain a broader base of support.

Bannon and his online "news" organization, Breitbart News, have championed the so-called alt-right movement, which is known for its bigotry and its rejection of mainstream conservative politics.  See a primer on the alt-right movement here.  This rejection of traditional Republican conservatism seems to come at little political cost to the Trump campaign.  For many years, Republicans had focused on supporting the needs of the wealthy and the well-heeled, while paying only lip service to the low-education working-class right-wing voters of middle-America.  This latter demographic was needed by the Republicans to win elections, but they were usually left behind when it came time to hand out the big tax breaks, corporate welfare, and other rewards of having Republicans in power in Washington.

These working class middle Americans find no ideological kinship among Democrats, whose liberal ideals and multiculturalism don't sit well with the Archie Bunker crowd.  And they have been taken for granted by Republicans, who offer little more than platitudes about their deep respect for God and country in exchange for their votes.  The time is overdue for a Republican split, and a new political establishment that favors jobs for the working class and closing the borders to foreign competition, rather than corporate profits.

Bannon, along with his cohort Milo Yiannopoulos, has transformed Breitbart into a platform for that demographic.  It appeals to nationalistic interests, promotes racism, rages against all things liberal (including president Obama), and of course against political correctness.  But at the same time, it claims that its followers are much smarter than a bunch of skinheads:
There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence. Skinheads, by and large, are low-information, low-IQ thugs driven by the thrill of violence and tribal hatred. The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright. - 
Yes, these people are the new-school racist skinheads.  Nothing like appealing to the low-information crowd by telling them how smart they are.  Nevertheless, the alt-right movement is the new face of white nationalism in America.

And Breitbart has found its ideal candidate for president in Donald Trump, who instinctively appeals to the same demographic.  Not that Trump actually believes in the policies he espouses - but he is willing to advocate those policies and play up to the sensibilities of the Archie Bunker crowd to gain the support of this large demographic group.  It is no secret that Trump has no regard for honesty.  Nor is it any secret that Breitbart has long been willing to manufacture scandals and distort the truth or simply invent their own reality for the benefit of their political ends.  This is precisely why the Trump and Bannon are so well suited for each other.

Now with Bannon officially on board in the Trump Campaign, we can all look forward to the next two months of the sleaziest, slimiest presidential campaign tactics America has ever been subjected to.


  1. Each time political campaigns plumb new depths of sleaze and slime, they are only surpassed by the next campaign. I have taken to ignoring any and all things said during a campaign (especially on tv ads). Why would anyone believe anything said in a tv campaign ad? Even the candidates that I intend to vote for, lie and distort the truth.

    1. I agree they tend to drag each other down. Obama's campaign was relatively civil. But when the likes of Breitbart News are running the campaign, it is practically guaranteed to be a muck-fest.