Steve “Turn On the Hate” Bannon is Making His Presence Felt
If there’s an explosion or a fire somewhere, Steve’s probably nearby with some matches.
The world is a scary place. Traditional Americans are constantly under attack by the ever-present vigilance of the left. Global elites conspire to destroy the middle class and distribute its wealth among the rest of the world. The judeo-christian west is at war with radical Islam, and it is a fight to the death. Hordes of immigrants pour into our country un-vetted, contributing to already rampant crime. And on an on it goes. Welcome to the world of Steve Bannon, and his baby, Breitbart News.
Bannon has ascended to the highest levels of power, and is putting his stamp all over the policy of this administration, all while largely remaining a shadow figure. This is on purpose. His views are decidedly to the right of mainstream America, and as the CEO of Bretibart he pushed the publication in a whole new, dark direction. He revamped the site into an ultra-nationalist, tabloid style outlet known for pushing the envelope as far as it could. He recognized very early on that it pays to be provocative, and business is indeed booming so far…
Lurking in the Shadows
Bannon came from the world of Golmdan-Sachs, working as a trader in Singapore before moving to Beverly Hills and dabbling in financing film and television. A savvy businessman, he took over the head position at Breitbart News after the passing of its namesake, Andrew Breitbart and quickly began to implement his ideas. He had a stong admiration for Ronald Regan, along with a hatred of the establishments of both parties, seeing the Republicans as not pure enough. He began to target specific congressmen who didn’t meet the standard. From an internal email in 2014 referring to party leaders:
We should just go buck wild. Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty. We’re gonna burn this bitch down, to quote the great Louis Head.
He has described himself as a Leninist, saying “I just want to bring the whole system crashing down.” He has stated that Breitbart is the platform of the alt-right, a borderline white-supremacist movement responsible for the inflammatory content populating the site’s comments section. By making the site as incendiary as possible, he was able to drive maximum traffic there, making it one of the leading voices in conservative media.
The Bad Boys of Conservatism
The success of Bannon’s reign was felt in the halls of Congress. Republicans everywhere suddenly were living in fear of being primaried from the right by candidates who were more willing to tow the line. This became known as the “Breitbart effect.” New purity tests were implemented. Conservatives who were not far enough to the right, including those who worked with Democrats on anything, were labeled “cuckservatives, or cucks” for short. This is a crude reference to an old British term meaning the husband of an adulterous wife. In Bannon’s world, giving even an inch makes you an emasculated joke who is no longer worth associating with.
In addition to imposing harsh standards on his own party, Bannon also oversaw several other key editorial shifts:
- Smearing of Progressives as Whiny Stereotypes: No single publication is more responsible for spreading the “special snowflake” insult. They constantly pushed the narrative that liberals have no valid arguments, just PC identity politics, thereby allowing them to summarily dismiss any arguments from the hated ‘left’
- Pushing the Philosophy of Nationalism: The publication has been advocating strongly for a Nationalist perspective on economics and foreign policy, which puts them squarely at odds with the party establishment, who prefer a market oriented economic and globalist foreign policy approach.
- Straddling, and Often Crossing the Line of Racism: Being edgy has its challenges. Breitbart walks a fine line everyday between being anti-PC and outright bigoted. They embrace this tightrope walk, stirring up divisions on not only the issue of race, but others such as immigration and religion. Aside from their comments section being a haven for white supremacist views, they publish a daily “immigrant crime” section, highlighting crimes committed by illegal aliens.
- Endless Provocation in the Name of More Profits: Being shocking is not without costs, as Brietbart has lost some credibility, but it has more than made up for that loss in revenue terms through shear outrage baiting. Their star writer, Milo Yiannopoulos, is a one-man circus, bringing drama wherever he goes, and laughing all the way to the bank.
The publication jumped on the Trump train very early on, giving favorable coverage to the then hopeful nominee. In this interview back in 2015 on Bannon’s radio show, Trump called in to discuss immigration (skip to around the 17:00 mark to catch Bannon suggesting there are too many Asian CEO’s in Silicon Valley) and other subjects, and a clear rapport was forming between the two men. Breitbart subsequently began a shift towards more overt advocation of the nominee, culminating in their becoming what former staffer Ben Shapiro labelled as “Trump Pravda”. They ultimately sided with the Trump campaign against their own reporter in a bizarre he-said she-said with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was later charged with assault due to the incident.
In August of 2017, with his campaign flailing, Trump brought on Steve Bannon as CEO of his campaign. The rest is history. He immediately began to infuse his brand of theatrics, staging a press conference with 3 women who accused Bill Clinton of rape in the 1970’s right before the second debate, and likewise began his infamous “scorched earth” strategy of going after Republican leadership for not backing him in light of the devastating Access Hollywood tapes. He encouraged Trump to double down on his populist rhetoric, a seemingly foolish strategy according to the overwhelming consensus at the time. But Mr. Bannon clearly knew what he was doing, and shocked the world on November 7 when he stood by Trump’s side in victory, forever intertwined in the history books.
The United States of Breitbart
With every new executive order, each inflammatory tweet, this man’s presence can be felt. He is having unprecedented say in policy for an un-elected official, and is hard at work trying to impose his radical vision. He blasted the New York Times in an interview last week, claiming they should just “shut their mouths and listen for a change”, mocking the reporter and profanely lashing out at him. He seems to relish his role as villain, referring to himself as “Darth Vader.” From The Times:
The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work. You’re the opposition party, not the Democratic Party. The media’s the opposition party.
He is clearly setting the stage to challenge any and all unfavorable reporting of Mr. Trump as “fake news”, biased and untrustworthy.
President Trump has admitted that Bannon wrote most of his inauguration speech, and he is also reportedly playing a huge role in drafting the executive orders that have been rolling off the White House assembly line. Just today, the president announced he would be shaking up his National Security Council to carve out a role for Bannon, elevating him to a status equal to that of a military general or top-level intelligence official. The move is of course unprecedented, and has caused quite a predictable backlash.
The Deplorable Whisperer
Bannon’s unique ability to tap into white working class anger has been as invaluable to Trump’s ascension as it has devastating to civilized political discourse. Those who know him best have attested to his fiery and vindictive style, and know better than to cross him. Indeed, this man has gone unnoticed and underestimated for far too long. Those who chose to do so are making a big mistake. His ties to Brietbart and position of influence raise troubling questions about state and media collusion.
This man is whispering into the ear of the President, and is literally writing policy. It is up to all of us to watch carefully what he is up to. Just be warned: the world of Bannon/Breitbart is pretty icky.
Try not to get any on you…