Presidential Campaign

EXCLUSIVE Bardella: On Steve Bannon and why I’m voting for Hillary

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When I began my relationship with Breitbart News it was with the understanding that the legacy of Andrew Breitbart would be honored in creating a news site with thoughtful content written with at least a semblance of objectivity and credibility rooted in some form of reality.

Over time, the components began to take shape: the addition of new talent, such as former Roll Call and National Review reporter Jonathan Strong to lead the political reporting unit, a dedicated staff committed to comprehensively reporting the news, a loyal base of readers, and and editorial staff led by Andrew Breitbart protégé Alex Marlow who was committed to guiding the site in a manner Andrew would have wanted.

What derailed much of this potential was Breitbart’s own General Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.

{mosads}Steve ran the site and controlled the content as a dictator, not only limiting the expression of his journalists but also purposefully changing the narrative to increase vitriol, playing to the fears of his readers.

Rather than expanding discourse to bring an astute voice to the conservative movement, Steve exacerbated its ugliest components and as result marred Andrew’s name to where it became associated with something toxic and perpetually malcontent.

In earnest, I didn’t know Andrew Breitbart that well. We had maybe only a handful of conversations. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to interact with a number of people who did and I am certain what Breitbart News has become is the exact opposite of what he envisioned.

Some may wonder if Donald Trump is purposeful in delivering his insensitive and often-bigoted comments that tend to serve as fodder for his supporters. With Steve there is no question, he is deliberate in his language and antagonism and promotes something beyond anti-establishment sentiment that borders on anarchism.

What eventually caused me to terminate my relationship with Breitbart was Steve’s guidance of Breitbart to become the de facto propaganda machine for Donald Trump. Toward the end of my time there, no effort was made to hide this fact as we witnessed with the Michelle Fields incident. Whatever reprehensible thing Trump did or said would be defended and supported by the daily content of Breitbart.

The America that I love cannot become beholden to our lowest common denominator. And while Donald Trump is anything but a sophisticated political strategist, a man like Steve Bannon can help amplify his hateful rhetoric to an unprecedented degree.

It is glaringly obvious that Donald Trump does not have the temperament or the judgment to occupy the Oval Office. This is one of those times where the best interests of the whole outweigh any partisan allegiances or any specific issue. It’s why I’ve made the personal choice to vote for Hillary Clinton in November.

Donald Trump is dangerous for America and is surrounding himself with a team that will empower him to leave a lasting mark on the political discourse in this country. Whether he wins this election or not, he is building an organization that ensures that this personal brand of nihilism continues to have a platform.

@KurtBardella is the President & CEO of Endeavor Strategies, which represented Breitbart News for two years.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags 2016 presidential election Breitbart News Democratic Party Donald Trump GOP Hillary Clinton Never Trump Republican Party United States

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