On Sunday evening, Donald Trump announced that his Chief Strategist in the White House will be Stephen Bannon. It was the first announcement he made for staffers and is a clear signal that we don’t have to wait and see who Trump values most in the world or whether or not he will become a new version of himself once inaugurated. If I had to create a list of despicable human beings, Bannon would likely be No. 1 on that list. He is an immoral, unethical, crass, vulgar, sexist, abusive, white supremacist, white nationalist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic bigot. His list of offenses is vast and well-documented. Liberals and many conservatives alike have all said that this appointment is genuinely dangerous.
It was just about 3 months ago that Trump shocked the political world by making Bannon, who was the President of the trashy conservative media company Breitbart Media, the CEO of his campaign, but the notion that such a divisive and problematic man will now be the Chief Strategist for the highest office in our land is alarming. By alarming, I mean terrifying. Nothing about Bannon or his character qualifies him for such a position. I seriously doubt that he would be hired as Chief Strategist for a single Fortune 500 company in America. Hell, he’d struggle to be hired anywhere. His record is utterly disconcerting.
He was charged with beating his wife.
Out of their divorce, we strangely learned how much he hates Jews.
It appears that everywhere Bannon goes, he scares the hell out of his employees.
In the early 1990s, Bannon was working for the Biosphere project in Arizona and the company lost a lawsuit because he threatened to assault a female employee there.
Ben Shapiro, a conservative who worked with Bannon for years, said “Many former employees of Breitbart News are afraid of Steve Bannon. He is a vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies. He will attempt to ruin anyone who impedes his unending ambition.”
I could end right there. All of that should be enough to disqualify Bannon and send him back to Breitbart without a pass to the White House and access to more information and power than any man like him should ever have, but that’s not the full extent of who he is and why so many of us are deeply concerned.
He is a bigot. Under his reign, and by his own admission, Breitbart Media has become “the platform for the alt-right.” That sounds simple and harmless, but it is neither.
The phrase “alt-right” was coined by one of the most bigoted, racist, white supremacists in America — Richard Spencer. In 2013, the Anti-Defamation League labeled him as a “symbol of the new white supremacy.” The Southern Poverty Law Center called the 38-year old-Spencer “a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old, a kind of professional racist in khakis.”
When asked what separated skinheads from the Alt-Right Movement, one of the most popular writers who worked for Bannon said they are just a Neo-Nazi movement with a higher IQ.
Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke has openly celebrated the appointment of Bannon as Chief Strategist for Trump’s White House as a victory for white nationalists everywhere.
Stephen Bannon is so extreme that the the Chairman of the American Nazi Party said his appointment by Trump actually “surprised” him because he “thought that his stable of Washington insiders would have objected too strongly.”
They didn’t. They’ve lost all moral courage. Instead, conservatives are contorting themselves to find ways to justify the unjustifiable.
Charles Pierce, the longtime political columnist for Esquire, issued a scathing critique on the whole thing saying that Trump’s hiring of Steve Bannon “is the same as hiring David Duke.”
I agree. The hiring of Bannon is not rhetorical or symbolic – it’s dangerous and is a serious setback for our nation. I’m hard pressed to find a single man as bigoted and extreme as him who has had a position in the White House in my lifetime.
And for all of the theoretical hot air that has been given over the past 48 hours on Bannon’s white nationalism and bigotry, we’re already seeing one immediate impact by his appointment. Nazis and white supremacists are elated. They feel empowered. In Bannon they have a champion.
While Donald Trump may publicly pledge to be the President for all people – his hiring of Bannon signals his true intentions. Bannon has never represented all people. He has been a hateful, mean-spirited bigot for years. Before he was ever a public figure, he was a destructive force to everyone around him – be they employees at Breitbart, young scientists at the Biosphere, or his own wife and children. I would not have trusted Donald Trump even without this appointment. With it, it has confirmed my worst fears about what his presidency will mean to my family and to millions of us who will soon find ourselves in his crosshairs.