Steve Bannon is no populist. In the Charlie Rose interview, part of which you can watch below, (although you should read the entire article first) he admits it by telling us that he is a populist and then describing the people with whom he associates. It is as if Goebbels said that he was a populist and then described his friends…Borman, Eichmann, Goering and, oh yes, Hitler. And then as if he went on to describe all their good works, like invading Poland and building small communities called concentration camps.
Charlie Rose quite cleverly lets him go on and on, rambling about his past successes, not realizing that some people are going to point out that all of those efforts were done to destroy the Middle Class, elevate the already elevated incomes of the Super-Right-Wing Rich, and to create lies and exaggerations that would elect Republicans. It is all about money, about getting it and using it to get more.
Bannon starts off talking about meeting with Trump with his mentor, David Bossie who founded Citizens’ United. Bannon says Trump understood the Tea Party, which makes sense, as the Tea Party is funded by his pals, the Right Wing billionaires, several of which are in his Cabinet.
It is not a grass roots movement. It never really was. It was a bunch of totally uninformed and deliberately misinformed citizens, organized by the Koch Brothers’ organization, Americans for Prosperity. The billionaires had decided that universal health care, while good for people, was bad for their tax bills in the long run. So we know that the Tea Party has long been a vehicle for the Right Wing of the Right Wing Republicans to protest against any kind of expenditure that will help the People. It is funded by the Right Wing Super-Rich to stop any spending on policies for the people, like health care.
The idea that either Bannon, or Trump is a populist is ridiculous. Bannon’s career was one of constantly attacking Democrats, who are all progressives and many, like Bernie Sanders, are on the extreme Left. In other words, he attacked politicians who are almost unquestionably themselves on the side of the People.
Bannon was part of a group that relentlessly attacked Hillary in particular for her support of human rights, civil rights, jobs, better wages, women’s rights and gay rights, as well as trying to prevent corporations from sending jobs abroad. He didn’t attack either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney who encouraged legislation actually designed to promote sending jobs abroad. In effect, Bannon attacked Hillary for being married to Bill Clinton. He blamed her for her husband’s trade policy, even though she had nothing to do with it, and even though it worked well until provisions were changed, just as was his tax policy and his anti-terrorist protections, after he left office.
Bannon says that he became involved with Trump while making a movie with Dave Bossie, one of the leaders of the ultra-Right Wing CPAC, Conservative Political Action Group. Bannon could often be found at CPAC meetings, along with the Koch Brothers and Rush Limbaugh. Not your basic Populists. Bossie had led the effort to enable the spending of unlimited funds by the richest Right Wingers in the country through Citizens’ United. He was funding a movie that Bannon wrote and directed, called “Generation Zero” in which Bannon blamed the Baby Boomer generation, the victims, not Wall Street, the culprits, for the Great Bush Recession.
As an aside, there is no such word, so far as I can determine, as “popularist” in the writings of Carl Jung as Bannon mentions in the video. If Donald Trump is a student or was a student of Carl Jung, as Bannon suggests, I would not only be surprised, I would be flabbergasted. Donald Trump is an egocentric clod. Bannon is a man totally dedicated to Neo-Fascist principles in winning elections. I doubt he has much time for introspection.
If Bannon had always had populist leanings, as he says he did, and if he were intelligent enough to be accepted at Harvard Business School, then he would likely been accepted at Harvard or Yale or Princeton to take a doctorate in political science. But he didn’t. He chose the more lucrative route, and when he completed those studies, he went directly to Goldman, Sachs. Far from helping people, he deliberately chose to make millions by joining other callous Goldman, Sachs executives in selling worthless derivatives to pension funds. Does this sound like a Populist to you? Does this sound like Bernie Sanders, or Sherrod Brown or Al Franken or Joe Biden?
He mentions that he worked with Peter Schweitzer on making the documentary “Clinton Cash” from Schweitzer’s book. Schweitzer, who, it says on his Wikipedia listing as having won an Emmy, but I can’t find it anywhere, is challenged regularly on all of his books, which are all attacks on Democrats, as not providing sources or providing sources who deny what Schweitzer claims they said.
The Clinton book was immediately attacked by dozens of reporters nationwide for inaccuracies, misstatements, simple situations that never existed. It commonly exaggerated other situations to the extreme, and then calling it a lie or some other transgression, a common Right Wing propagandist trick. Schweitzer has similarly attacked and been debunked over his writings about Al Gore, Al Franken, Sheldon Whitehouse and others. He and Bannon both, as Bannon admits, deal in rumors, suspicions and public misperceptions to achieve the ends for which they are paid by the now clearly Neo-Fascist supporters of the Republican Party.
At the end of this short excerpt from the Rose interview, Bannon talks about the campaign. He talks about how the Republicans discovered that 75% of the people thought the country was in decline. Bannon says that he saw the cynical opportunity to make Hillary Clinton the agent of the status quo, which was in fact, not the Democrats but the past 30 years of Republican government, Reagan to Bush II. And Obama failed to change that, Bannon says. Could it possibly be that he had a Republican House, Republican Senate, Republican Supreme Court….and 410 filibusters of Democratic legislation…by the Tea Party Republicans, like Bannon.
He used Trumps egocentric eagerness to say whatever he felt, lying regularly to the people all across the country. Trump accused Hillary of what the Republicans were actually doing as he spoke, and then lied about what he would do for the people. We all know it now. The economy was never in decline. On the contrary, business and jobs continue to grow, as does the stock market, exports and even, somewhat, wages. People were misinformed, largely by Bannon and Trump.
But while Trump used his money and those of billionaire friends, Bannon’s Tea Party and Republican Party used the unlimited funds that Bannon’s mentor Bossie had seen to it were available in all the key states in the country. The same people who helped to fund “Clinton Cash” and the same ones Bossie used to create the Citizens’ United campaign helped to fund elections and Republican Party efforts all over the country, especially in Wisconsin and Michigan, two key states in restricting the voting rolls.
Bannon doesn’t deny any of it. He’s proud of what he’s done. He doesn’t care whether people have health care. If he did, he’d be a Democrat. He’s not fighting against Republicans. He is proud that he fought against the Democrats, worked with the arch-conservative Neo-Fascist propagandists, like Bossie and Schweitzer and Roger Ailes of Fox News to cut taxes for his rich friends at Goldman, Sachs, and support candidates like Sarah Palin, who sold out in about 30 seconds to the Tea Party Billionaires, made 25 million dollars in a year, moved to Arizona for the winter, and never looked back. It is all about money, huge amounts of money. It is never, ever about Populism.
It might be a good idea to remind ourselves who the real Populists are. Robert LaFollette was a Populist. When the railroads had bought up huge tracts of land in the west and controlled shipping routes from agricultural areas to market, they demanded prices that impoverished farmers. And when workers asked for better pay or Sundays off, they could be and were summarily fired. Robert LaFollette, from Wisconsin, fought for farmers and laborers against the railroad trusts in the early 1900s. Teddy Roosevelt, another traditional Republican, traditional in the tradition of Lincoln and McKinley, not Reagan and Trump, fought the giant financial and manufacturing cartels and monopolies to a standstill. William Jennings Bryan and George Norris, both of Nebraska, fought for farmers and the poor and the average working man against…not with….the rich and entrenched.
The Tea Party doesn’t work for the people. It is the group in the Senate that did not think that cutting 20 million people off health care was too much…too severe. They were the group that wanted to go further…repeal and not replace with anything! Steve Bannon wants you to believe that Trump and these other people—make no mistake, they are same, look at Trump’s Cabinet—are on your side. This is how Goebbels worked. He didn’t say “We are out to get the Jews and the Catholics and the gays. (And then the Poles and Russians. And then you.)”
No. That is now how Fascists work. They blamed the Jews and the Poles and the Catholics. Bannon blames the people like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and Al Franken and Dick Durbin for supporting….whom? The scapegoats. That’s right. Today, the Neo-Fascists blame poor blacks, who “commit most of the crime.” Or, it is Muslim-Americans, “living in secret, with their Sharia law, behind Mosque walls.” Or the criminal gangs that comprise the “job-stealing, raping, reckless Mexican-Americans…dark, sinister and coming here to take your job. (mowing lawns and sweeping streets.)”
According to Bannon, Democrats do not support hardworking American families (which comprise about 80% of the entire population, by the way.) No The Democrats only support lazy people. The Democrats, and Hillary as leader have ruined our country by supporting the working poor, those with little education, living off the fat of the land on less than $12,000 per year. (Try it some time. You…may…survive.)
Trump was wrong. America is not in crisis, or failing. That was just a ruse to help win an election. In fact, Americans are doing better, higher employment rates, higher wages, beginning to restore some, not all of what they lost in the Great Bush Recession. But Bannon and the Republicans created a campaign that made uninformed votes think that their perception…70% thought that the country was in decline…was reality. What the Neo-Fascists like Bannon kept hidden was that the Republican Party, Bannon’s Party, deliberately steered the overwhelming part of national income into the hands of the top 1%. These are the people that Steve Bannon works for.
Yes, we do need to close down our southern borders. Yes, we must be vigilant against terrorism. Yes we must maintain a strong military. But, unlike what Bannon and his pals think, and despite what he falsely says he supports, Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and all the others they have attacked will strive for better jobs, better wages, fairer taxes on the rich and corporations, better and less expensive health care, equal rights for all citizens, and a cradle-to-grave life that offers freedom, choice, security and opportunity…with the dignity that all human beings deserve.