If any more confirmation is needed of Donald Trump’s embrace of white nationalism, look no further than his selection of Stephen K. Bannon, the head honcho of Breitbart News, as his presidential campaign’s new chief executive.
With one hire Trump dispelled the fairytale he would act more presidential, while doubling down on his hate-powered campaign by allying with a toxic dump of racists, fabulists, and conspiracists posing as a news outlet. This move is perfectly aligned with Trump’s tin-foiled conspiracies that shot him to prominence beginning with blatantly fraudulent birtherism.
Just last October, a lengthy Bloomberg News profile of Bannon pronounced him “the most dangerous political operative in America.” The site’s founder, Andrew Breitbart, admiringly told the reporter that Bannon was the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement,” referring to the reviled Nazi propagandist.
As for Breitbart News, the Southern Poverty Law Center, commented that under Brannon’s tenure, the website has adopted the “key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right,’” including “Racist ideas,” “Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas.” (Though given the infestation of pop-up ads on Breitbart, it’s questionable if many readers make it past the panicky headlines into the ditch of festering slander and dissembling that follows.)
Trump has handed the keys of the Republican Party to Breitbart and the Alt-Right, the inevitable conclusion to decades of right-wing race-baiting and conspiracy-peddling.
Bannon’s trade is vicious slander, and he sits so far on the fringes even Glenn Beck blasted the Breitbart executive as “a horrible despicable human being.”
Exhibit A is Bannon’s July radio show in which he hosted dirty-tricks maestro and Trump confidante Roger Stone. They promoted the known falsehood that long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin was tied “to extremism and to terrorism [and] the actual attack on American on 9/11.” But this was no one-off attack. Breitbart regularly churns out stories calling Abedin “a Saudi spy” and trying to link her to the 9/11 attacks.
This fits into Bannon’s strategy of “rolling narratives” like “immigration, ISIS, race riots,” and anything about Hillary Clinton, most recently bizarre claims of on-camera “seizures.” For Breitbart, truth is disposable when encouraging their following of good ol’ bigots ranting about “Islamic terrorism,” “feminist wackos,” “Obama is a Muslim,” and “racist” Black Lives Matter. Breitbart thrives on a warped fantasy world in which America’s precious bodily fluids are being sucked dry by enemies within the highest reaches of government.
But it’s not all ISIS coming over the Mexico border. Bannon is a skilled bomb-thrower with an agenda. Breitbart marries fear of a brown planet to white nationalism by mainstreaming the Alt-Right. A former senior editor of Breitbart explains that under Bannon, the site “openly embraced the white supremacist Alt-Right,” turning the comment section “into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”
In March, Breitbart published “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” co-authored by its notorious senior editor, Milo Yiannopoulos. He wrote that websites like Alternativeright.com, VDARE, and American Renaissance were merely “accused of racism,” while glorifying the “dangerously bright” people behind them as “intellectuals” and “an eclectic mix of renegades who objected to the established political consensus.”
It’s all part of Yiannopoulos’s schtick, the “Dangerous Faggot” who loves “black dick” and gushes over “daddy” Donald Trump. He achieved a rare form of infamy in July with a lifetime ban from Twitter for leading a digital lynch mob against actress Leslie Jones, forcing her off the social media platform.
Breitbart strikes a pose as the hipster right, waving the banner of free speech in the face of an intolerant left, while tut-tutting that the overt white nationalists, racists, and neo-Nazis who gobble up the gaudy Klan-talk on Breitbart are “the worst dregs of Human society.”
Except those dregs include the very groups Breitbart praises. VDARE says, “Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies.”
Richard Spencer of Alternativeright.com stated in 2014, “Martin Luther King Jr., a fraud and degenerate in his life, has become the symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization. We must overcome!”
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance once wrote, “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”
The Alt-Right is a collection of gutter racists who see in Breitbart a ticket to the ball. And it’s all too happy to oblige. The SPLC found that “since 2015, Breitbart began publishing more overtly racist diatribes about Muslims and immigrants.” The Raw Story revealed last year that Breitbart editor Katie McHugh tweeted out statements like “Slaves built the US like cows built McDonald’s.”
If racists have found a stepping stone to respectability in Breitbart, then Breitbart sees in Trump a vehicle to broaden its influence and fatten its wallet. Toward that end, its ethics are cheaper than a copy of Sarah Palin’s memoirs. Accusations dog the privately owned Breitbart that it pimped itself to Trump for an undisclosed sum of money.
It’s a match made in an outhouse. This is the path Trump took the moment he threw his hat in the ring by attacking Mexican immigrants as rapists, drug dealers, and criminals. Breitbart eagerly joined forces with Trump as have Stephen Bannon, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Ailes, Ann Coulter, and every other grasping backstabber peddling hate.
Trump’s campaign is the Large Hadron Collider of white nationalism, smashing together the elemental prejudices of the right with terrifying energies and spawning new forms of bigotry. “Trump being Trump” means he is even likelier to lose the general election to Clinton.
But Trump and his white power posse will inevitably rise out of the ashes of defeat. They have a megaphone in Breitbart, a huge fundraising network, and millions of angry followers. The movement for white nationalism that Trump has consolidated can never be accommodated. It has to be destroyed.