Former Breitbart News executive and newly selected chief strategist Steve Bannon just gave Americans a reason to be worried about his appointment to president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.
In his first interview outside of Breitbart since Nov. 8’s stunning result, Bannon happily compared himself to the likes of Dick Cheney and even Satan.
“Darkness is good,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Friday. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they [liberals and the media] get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
Bannon insisted he isn’t a racist, despite popular belief. He maintained that his views are, and have always been, based on economics and not racial politics.
“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist,” the new chief strategist to the president-elect said during the interview. “I’m an economic nationalist. 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.”
Although Bannon asserted that he’s never been racially insensitive toward Blacks or other ethnic minorities, Americans are calling BS. Last week’s announcement that he was a top pick for chief strategist to the president-elect drew swift backlash from critics citing a series of racially charged, anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments made by Bannon in the past.
“It is a sad day when a man who has presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house,’ ” read a statement from the Anti-Defamation League.
According to Atlanta Black Star, writer Ben Shapiro, who worked alongside Bannon during his time at Breitbart, accused the former exec of promoting and legitimizing ideas that were consistent with the white nationalist movement. He reportedly used the phrase “alt-right” as a synonymous term for his white supremacist followers, as well.
The Hollywood Reporter piece didn’t discuss previous controversies surrounding the new U.S. chief strategist but rather focused on Bannon’s plans to re-establish the Republican party in its entirety.
“Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement,” he told the paper. “The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Shipyards, iron works, get them all jacked up.”
“It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives plus populists in an economic nationalist movement,” Bannon added.
Bannon drawing inspiration from the likes of Jackson, a slave-holding president who ordered the removal of thousands of Native Americans from their lands, and Ronald Reagan, the president responsible for waging the war on drugs that disproportionately put Black men behind bars, is a major cause for concern for many Americans. The ex-Beitbart exec is one of the most powerful people in Trump’s Cabinet, so its likely his bigoted views will influence those in leadership with him.
Calls for Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment have largely fallen on deaf ears, as far-right proponents celebrate the reality of a presidency headed by a former reality TV star and Goldman Sach’s exec.
“He gets it; he gets it intuitively,” Bannon said in awe of Trump’s “leadership.” “You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message.”