What Does Steve Bannon Want?Breaking News
tags: Steve Bannon
There may be good reasons to worry about Mr. Bannon, but they are not the ones everyone is giving. It does not make Mr. Bannon a fascist that he happens to know who the 20th-century Italian extremist Julius Evola is. It does not make Mr. Bannon a racist that he described Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right” — a broad and imprecise term that applies to a wide array of radicals, not just certain white supremacist groups.
Nor does it make Mr. Bannon a fringe character that during the meetings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013 and 2014, he hosted rival panel discussions called the Uninvited — although it did show a relish for the role of ideological bad boy. Mr. Bannon’s panels included such mainstream figures as the former House speaker Newt Gingrich and the former Bush administration attorney general Michael Mukasey, and discussed such familiar Republican preoccupations as military preparedness and the 2012 attacks on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya. It wasn’t much different from watching Fox News.
Where Mr. Bannon does veer sharply from recent mainstream Republicanism is in his all-embracing nationalism. He speaks of sovereignty, economic nationalism, opposition to globalization and finding common ground with Brexit supporters and other groups hostile to the transnational European Union. On Thursday, at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, he described the “center core” of Trump administration philosophy as the belief that the United States is more than an economic unit in a borderless word. It is “a nation with a culture” and “a reason for being.”
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