THE MAINSTREAMING OF ALT.RIGHT POLITICS AND CONSPIRACIES
WHY TRUMP AND BANNON ARE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER
With all the calls for Trump to “pivot toward acting more Presidential” and pleas by RINO’s and Establishment types to broaden his base of support (it’s been a confusing couple of weeks viz the Trump campaign) what does Trump do? Well, as if proving that he’s isn’t going to let “politics as usual” or that he is not going to allow anyone to tell him how to run his campaign, he appoints Stephen Bannon of “news” website “Breitbart” as his new campaign CEO. This, of course, is most welcome news to Trump’s supporters. In a parallel move, Paul Manafort, apparently too deeply embedded in the Vlad Putin camp of the world’s most admired dictatorial leader, resigned as campaign manager having become just a tad too closely linked to “under the table $12 million payments” for supporting deposed Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych. * The FBI has opened an investigation into the Manafort transactions.
So who is Stephen Bannon anyways? Well, he’s the successor to Andrew Breitbart at the right wing Breitbart site founded in 2007. Andrew Breitbart died in 2012 allegedly from a heart attack (congestive heart failure) but we all know that Andrew Breitbart assassination by Barack Obama that paved the way for Bannon’s ascendency. (I am not making this up.)
And, of you are a regular reader here, you will note that it was Breitbart who provided a Vince Foster murder update last year that went something like this: “Hillary Clinton didn’t actually pull the trigger on the gun that killed Vince Foster, but she arranged for his murder.”
The Trumpettes are overjoyed at the selection of Bannon that not only reverses Trump’s recent flirtations with cleaning up his rhetoric and revamping his campaign but brings to the fore (i.e. “front and center”) Trump’s appeal to White Nationalists and White Separatist sentiments. After all, the Trumpettes have been whining for years that multi-culturalism, race-mixing and liberal calumny has damaged them and the White race. They see Trump’s latest moves as a step along the path towards the re-establishment of White supremacy in all things American. Used to be – in fact prior to the election of Barak Obama – that “Stormfront,” the “KKK,” “Aryan Nation” and “The White Aryan Resistance” were considered radical, beyond the pale organizations that trafficked in violence and hatred and would be better shut down by the FBI. But no more.
Bannon didn’t just make Breitbart a safe space for white supremacists; he’s also welcomed a scholar blacklisted from the mainstream conservative movement for arguing there’s a connection between race and IQ. Breitbart frequently highlights the work of Jason Richwine, who resigned from the conservative Heritage Foundation when news broke that his Harvard dissertation argued in part that Hispanics have lower IQs than non-Hispanic whites.
Bannon heaps praise on Pamela Geller, an activist in the counter-Jihad movement who warns about “creeping Sharia.” When she appeared on the SiriusXM Breitbart radio show that Bannon hosted, he called her “one of the leading experts in the country if not the world” on Islam.
Steve Bannon is a warrior,” she told The Daily Beast. “He has long understood that this is a war in the information battle-space (something the right has failed to grasp despite the left’s smear machine against those with whom they disagree). The media is out to destroy Donald Trump. Trump needs a champion, a ‘Patton,’ a Bannon. This is fantastic news.”
Specifically, Geller said Bannon “articulates what millions of Americans are thinking about how we need to tell the truth about jihad and the Muslim migrant invasion of the West.”
One former Breitbart worker puts it a little differently. Kurt Bardella, who had the site as a client until quitting this year, said Bannon regularly made racist comments during internal meetings.
“I woke up and the world came to an end,” he told The Daily Beast. “They have put in place someone who is a dictator-bully—a figure whose form of management is verbal abuse and intimidation.
“He made more off-color comments about minorities and homosexuals than I can recount,” he added.
Bardella, who lives in Virginia and was formerly a Republican Hill staffer, said this November, for the first time in his life, he will vote for a Democrat: Hillary Clinton.
As you can see, Bannon is pretty much in lockstep with The Donald when it comes to raising conspiracy theories to the fine art of political pandering. Both believe that Obama and Clinton gave birth to ISIS, both believe that Obama supports ISIS, both hold Obama responsible for inflaming racial tensions and both think that Obama and Clinton are criminals. But what still troubles me, is how it is that Trump believes he can win the election by this pandering to right wing White men and women. (His current 6% standing among African Americans - despite his “Black Outreach” efforts - is not going to change.) Sure, he’ll get millions of votes but I just don’t see a way for him – absent an October surprise terrorist attack here in the U.S. – to get a sufficient number of votes to win. It is estimated that Trump would need to receive 67% of all White voters in order to win and right now he stands at around 45% among all White registered voters. Among registered Women, he has only 30%.
Trump reinforces his standing among his supporters with the appointment of Stephen Bannon as campaign CEO. But they already support him they will continue to support him with perhaps an uptick in their diehard devotion to him and their cause. But against the backdrop of the Presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, where Barak Obama beat John McCain by nearly 10,000,000 votes (a 10% margin) and Mitt Romney by 5,000,000 votes (a 5% margin) and given how vilified Obama was in both elections, it’s just not possible for Trump to rely solely on White voters no matter how dedicated or angry or devoted they are if he really wants to win.
I suspect that the recent changes in the Trump campaign – he also brought in Kellyanne Conway, a professional pollster – will not settle down for a few weeks, although such predictions are dicey given the nature of The Donald. But that will take us up to the first of the Prudential Debates on September 26th and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for the Trump campaign to “pivot” or whatever term one applies to broadening his base of appeal. In fact, the appointment of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon, right winger propagandist extraordinaire, will most likely push more undecided voters into the Hillary camp. The days when Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity could float some outrageous allegation against Obama or Clinton or Liberals has pretty much faded. Such “theories” still have traction among the Trumpettes, Stormfront and Aryan Nation, perhaps, but not so much with the rest of us today. Most of us – surprisingly among right wingers – do believe that Obama is an American citizen and Hillary Clinton did not murder – or arrange for same – Vince Foster even while Stephen Bannon and The Trumpettes still cling to this crap.
And There You Have It For Today!
* If you are interested in learning more about how Yanukovych (now residing in Russia) was overthrown by a populist uprising, watch the excellent documentary, “Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom” which is available on Netflix and other outlets.