Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Bannon has been called a white nationalist and a Nazi among other things. While these charges seem outrageous on their face, and the left certainly cries wolf regarding bigotry as a matter of course, it would be a mistake to grant Bannon a clean bill of moral health without close examination.Dollars and Crosses goes on to explicitly state what we should hold Trump and Bannon accountable for doing: "distanc[ing themselves] from those who identify with ethnic identity and not America's founding principles." This is an immediate need, as white nationalists have been celebrating an "awakening" after Trump's victory, including a gathering near Washington (sponsored by an alt-right "think" tank) in which participants were photographed giving Nazi salutes. Whatever Trump does or fails to do, we as individuals must start doing whatever we can to withhold even the appearance of approval or acquiescence for bigotry, and to promote the only real alternative: individualism and support for government protection of individual rights.
The problem with Steve Bannon is not his personal views, for which there seems to be little evidence of anything egregious. The problem with Steve Bannon is the role he has played in proliferating the abhorrent views of others. While in charge of Breitbart News, Bannon transformed it into a haven for the alt-right. While Bannon may not be racist, antisemitic, or white nationalist himself, the alt-right plainly is. It's their defining characteristic, and they'll be the first ones to tell you so. [links in original, bold added]
11-23-16: In an on-the-record remark later in the day of this post, Donald Trump stated that he did not want to "energize" the alt-right movement.