By Sam Rosser, Sports Editor
President-elect Donald Trump filled two of the most influential White House personnel posts on Sunday, one a silent nod to establishment Republicans and the other a slap in the face to Democrats of all stripes. He appointed Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff, long time head of the GOP and Breitbart news executive Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor.
Both men were on the short list for chief of staff, a job Priebus ultimately received, but both posts are expected to have serious sway with the president. One of those posts is filled by a man with substantial ties to the alt-right and white nationalist movements.
Stephen Bannon is at the forefront of the alt-right movement, giving a legitimate voice to white nationalists, racists, racists, homophobes, xenophobes, neo-Nazis and misogynists. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bannon “was the main driver between Breitbart becoming a white etho-nationalist propaganda mill.”
Bannon seems to be okay that description, telling Mother Jones that Breitbart is “now the platform for the alt-right.” The alt-right is a group of young white men that revel in harassing Jews, Muslims and other minorities by spewing disgusting insults on social media and in person. These men also believe in white supremacy, oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism, all values that have fostered the nation we live in today.
The headlines at this far right website speak for themselves:
- “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage”
- “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy”
- “After the Pulse Night Club Massacre, It’s Time for Gays to Come Home to the Republican Party” (a party that says that their way of life is an abomination)
- “There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews”
- “Racist, pro-Nazi roots of Planned Parenthood revealed”
- “Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, Renegade Jew”
- “Sympathy for the Devils: the Plot against Roger Ailes – And America”
If those headlines weren’t enough to convince you of their alt-right agenda, read the comments. If you aren’t alarmed yet, look at who’s commending Bannon’s appointment. The chairman for the American Nazi Party said Bannon’s appointment shows Trump’s intent on his policies might be “for real.” David Duke, former member and grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, described the selection as “excellent.”
A self-described “Leninist” with a goal to “destroy the state,” he is a highly confusing figure to occupy such high government office. Let us remember that he also called progressive women “a bunch of dy—” and wishes to “bring everything crashing down.” Is this really the man we want advising the most powerful man in the world?
A few Republicans have bravely spoken out at this horrific choice. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart News editor who resigned in protest, described Bannon as a “vindictive, nasty figure.” Glenn Beck, a popular conservative political commentator, called him a “nightmare.”
He truly will be my nightmare if Trump doesn’t fire him. He’ll have the ear of our president. He’ll have an office no farther than a stone’s throw from the Oval Office. Do we really want him to be whispering racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic sweet nothings in our commander in chief’s ear?