With the appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist in the Trump Administration, it is no longer possible to ignore the movement he has founded. Sure, he’s a vindictive strongman who has no morals or beliefs to speak of, but that doesn’t exactly make him stand out in the President Elect’s inner circle.
What does is his position as chief executive of Breitbart News, and gleefully oversaw its transition from “news organization aimed at dismantling the left’s media narrative” to “mouthpiece for the Trump campaign”. His obsession with destroying the GOP and the Left, adeptness at aggressive social climbing, and instinct for preying on the weak has served him quite well.
Under his chaotic rule, the website has turned into a cesspool that has spawned what is known as the “alt-right”. This fringe group believes, as former Breitbart reporter Ben Shapiro has said, “that Western culture is inseparable from European Ethnicity”. If that sounds like a White Supremacy movement to you, you’d be wrong. In their own words, the difference between them and a gaggle of skinheads is “intelligence”. Just what the philosophy has been missing; it takes a lot of ego to claim you’re the master race, but the alt-right has somehow managed to up the ante.
It’s difficult to suss out exactly what they are railing against- but the most urgent matter seems to be “political correctness”. They revel in breaking the norms of polite society, such as editing pictures of reporter’s children so they’re in gas chambers, and then congratulate themselves for being so brave.
I don’t want to give Steve Bannon more credit than he deserves- he will bend in whatever direction he deems advantageous, first cursing Obama for not being hard enough on Putin, then immediately jumping aboard the Trump train. But we have to remember that this man will have the President’s ear. Now that America has given him all the power he could want, let’s see what he does with it. Small men always make grand gestures.