The Left is freaking out over Stephen Bannon of Brietbart being named to Trump’s cabinet because according to his ex-wife he said mean things about Jews, and we know how fair ex-spouses can be.
I don’t know what evils lurk in Bannon’s heart, I’m sure there are many, but I’m always suspicious of accusations of racism. It is the left’s go-to slur, like Conservatives screaming Socialist!! if someone thinks Silicon Valley executives could pay higher taxes, a sign of intellectual bankruptcy.
Here, Mother Jones compares him unfavorably to Andrew Brietbart. This is typical of the left: George Bush is a Nazi! Why can’t be more like his father? Mitt Romney is a Nazi! Why can’t be more like George Bush? Donald Trump is a Nazi! Why can’t he be more like Romney?
The left hated Andrew Brietbart with a passion, showed unmasked glee when he died, and now are canonizing him as an anti-racist foil to Bannon.
Anyway, Buzzfeed has a transcript of Bannon giving a talk at the Vatican, of all places (there are talks of this sort at the Vatican and in Roman Colleges all the time, let’s restrain the conspiracy theories) and sounding pretty much like any other right-wing populist.
- He seems to believe there is a “Christian capitalism” that restrains the evils of “crony capitalism” on the one hand and “Ayn Rand capitalism” on the other.
- He thinks bankers should have been jailed for the 2008 crisis.
- He admits there are racist elements on the populist right that he hopes “will wash out”.
- He sees Putin as fundamentally a threat, a “kleptocrat” who nevertheless has a dangerous appeal to Western traditionalists.
- He thinks there is a clash of civilizations with Radical Islam (though Islam might have its good or neutral points) and talks a lot about “the Judeo-Christian West”.
Even if this sort of talk would enrage some people it is not evil. I myself might have gone in for it as a boy. Nowadays I’m convinced that no one is going to save “the Judeo-Christian West” by winning elections, jailing bankers or bombing ISIS. Not that we don’t need good governance and finance, or that ISIS doesn’t need vaporizing, but our illness is an illness of the heart.