Former Goldman Sachs executive and Breitbart.com executive Steve Bannon's appointment as a top advisor to President-elect Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy due to Bannon's alleged alignments with white supremacists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazi white nationalists.
In an interview published Friday in The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon denied that he is a racist and said that his views are based in economics, not in racial politics, and that he loves being hated by liberals.
“Darkness is good,” Bannon told the Reporter's Micahel Wolff. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power."
“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” he told Wolff, who described Bannon as dressing "like a grad student." “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f*cked over."
Bannon said that the administration will push a "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan" and "rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up."
However, economists have noted that Trump's economic policies -- what we know of them -- will hurt precisely the working poor people who voted for him. His tariff plans on Chinese goods will make consumer items more expensive. His plan to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy will gut the treasury and force the curtailment of social services.
In the Reporter interview, Bannon went on to call his boss "the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan," whose "economic populist" message resonated with Americans who feel left behind by the government.
Bannon, Wolff noted, will be working opposite consummate Republican Party insider Reince Priebus, who will be, Wolff said, "in charge of making the trains run on time" and "reporting to the president."
It is an oft-repeated aphorism about Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini that -- in spite of colluding with the Nazis, committing atrocities against the people of Italy and jailing and executing his political enemies -- at least he "made the trains run on time."
Historical fact, however, says that while Mussolini did in fact benefit from improvements to the Italian rail system that took place before he took office, under the fascists, Italian trains were no more or less prompt than they were prior to the dictator's "March on Rome" in 1922.