Part 6, Bannon

Don’t start here! Start with Part 1.

A cheering, loving crowd greeted Bannon. He called this weekend an “Extended MAGA Holiday.” It’s Veteran’s Day weekend, but also the anniversary of President Trump’s election.

He talked about being in the “crack den” data center with Jared Kushner on November 8, 2016 when they got the exit polls from the “opposition party,” by which he meant the media. They said it was blowout, for Clinton, in all but two states. Bannon called Matt Drudge, who said not to worry.

Bannon, from memory, began to recite each state subsequently called for Donald J. Trump, noting that the “Deeeee-troit Free Press, god bless ’em” reversed their earlier announcement that Hillary Clinton had won the election.

“The working class finally came out,” for the first time since Reagan, “to vote for Donald J. Trump.” Bannon announced to great cheers. As Brian Hicks of Charleston’s Post and Courier notes in his November 12, 2017 column about Bannon’s visit, it was surreal to see this room full of rich, mostly white, arguably racist audience cheer for the working class. There is nothing working class about this audience, save for the very few servers who were not Citadel cadets.

Further, though the #GOP, and even the media narrative of the election is that the working class elected Trump, the truth is that Trump voters mostly looked like this audience: wealthier than average and white. It’s a populist elite uprising. It’s not economics driving the anti-establishment but fear – a fear of diversity and inclusion. They’re rich and white and they’ve been in control for hundreds of years. They’ve driven a wedge between themselves and any diversity of any kind, so brown people and non-Christians are an unknown, and the unknown is scary.

I have benefitted from white privilege every day of my life.

They insist that their success is built on their own talents, and they try hard to believe it. What they know, consciously or not, is that their family economic privilege and good-old-boy network plays a huge part in their success. It still takes exceptional talent for a minority to ascend to power. As a result, the black and brown people in the media, Congress, and in the executive suite are exceptional. The white supremacists are really afraid. They want to “take back” *their* country.


Follow Dr. Cleaveland on Twitter: @CHSPolitico

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