Bannon will be a true-to-form yes man and a megaphone for all that is incendiary about Trump’s campaign. Get ready for an even Trumpier Trump.
Even though the prospect of a Trump pivot began to seem increasingly less likely as the months progressed and his rhetoric maintained its loose, improvisational fervor, there were still some (one specifically with the last name Ryan) who were holding out hope. Now, with the hiring of Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon, all dreams of a pivot, a settling down, a reasonable Trump have been permanently extinguished.
Stephen Bannon is quite an intriguing choice as the Trump campaign’s new Chief Executive for a number of reasons. His inexperience in this realm is an obvious place to start. While Bannon has years under his belt as a banker, an executive, a film producer, a radio host and an anti-establishment revolutionary of sorts, he’s never worked on a campaign. Of course, neither has his boss Donald Trump, but Trump’s lack of experience is actually far less important. A figure head can be fed what to say, he or she can be a reflection of the mechanism that propels the campaign. But if the mechanism itself is as erratic and unseasoned as its presenting image, there is no balance. It’s like building a car with a 700 horsepower engine and spending five minutes calibrating the steering.
Chaos never quells chaos. But that’s obviously not the goal here, the goal is—as it always seems to be for Trump—a huge, reverberating, double-down. Stephen Bannon is essentially Donald Trump in print form. His site, Breitbart news is filled to this brim with flashly, left-wing demonization, fear mongering and conspiracy theorizing.
Here’s a screenshot from Breitbart News this morning:
The site, and Bannon have never hid their bias. Breitbart makes Fox News look like the New York Times—they do not mince words. Just look at this recent headline in which they referred to republican political analyst Bill Kristol as a, “renegade Jew.” Bannon has directed eight films with topics ranging from the uncompromising greatness of Sarah Palin to the abject and un-American failures of Barack Obama (equipped with “unintentional” Nazi imagery.) His latest film, which, coincidentally premiered only a few months ago is entitled, Clinton Cash. It’s based off the error-laden book by Peter Schweizer (a former employee of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin,) and it makes a lot of strong claims against the Clinton foundation, but backs up the claims with little evidence.
Moreover, this is, absolutely, not the man to hire if your plan is to appeal to fans of establishment conservatives. To quote a piece published on his own site, Bannon is an, “anti-establishment, populist warrior who revels in the fight and pissing off the right people.” That is all a headline by the way—Breitbart is not known for title concision. Bannon, is in no way shape, form or format, in any dimension known or unknown to our species, a man you select to settle things down. He will be the loudest yes man in a room that seems to be crawling with them already. Reigning in Trump was perhaps always a pipe-dream, but this is flat-out enabling. This is buying the addict drugs and giving him a room to shoot up in.
Stephen Bannon is a brash, filter-free, extremist. In other words, he’s just like his new boss. His hiring is further indication of Trump’s narcissism, and his inability to draw from sources outside of his sphere of influence. By all accounts Donald Trump does not like to be told what to do, and he probably hasn’t been told what to do many times throughout his 70 years. There’s an easy way to stop infighting within a campaign, fire or demote anyone who disagrees with you and hire new people who will tell you exactly what you want to hear.
Trump clearly wanted a yes man, and he got one. A loud one.
by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.