Ready for War: Bannon pick means the fight has only begun
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People who call for unity – Pres. Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy MORE among them – are doing so because they’re supposed to. They’re following protocol.

But they are the only people so moved. Donald J. Trump had a rocky first week as president-elect, during which he appointed Stephen K. Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counsel. That set fire to any notion of compromise or gentility among the righteous.

Regardless: It’s on. 

Oh, it’s so on.


Trump’s missteps have been egregious, but then he hired the chief executive of Breitbart News, a right-wing website that’s beloved by white nationalists, everywhere. Wait. Let’s call them what they are. This election, says Richard Spencer, who came up with the phrase “alt-right,” was about “identity politics for white people,” And Breitbart News has become a media standard for both the alt-right and white identity politics. 

Don’t believe me?

Listen to a recent NPR interview with Breitbart senior editor, Joel B. Pollak, who tried to say that he couldn’t be held responsible for a few racist/misogynistic pieces out of “tens of thousands” of pieces they run.

And then he accused NPR of racist content, because of their Code Switch race and identity podcast and blog.

Ha, ha, Joel. Good one.

A few days ago, Pollak wrote a paean to his boss titled “Stephen K. Bannon: Friend of the Jewish People, Defender of Israel.” Pollak is a Harvard educated attorney, and this is how they taught him to write.

Up is down, and reaching across the aisle would be like sticking one’s hand into a meat grinder.

No. Thank you. But no.

Here are some more Breitbart headlines, from the tens of thousands of pieces they’ve run.

From July 2016: “The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off.”

From January ’16: “Political correctness protects Muslim rape culture.”

From Dec. ’15: “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”

From Aug. ’15: “Why white people seek black privilege.”

From July ’15 (two weeks after a white supremacist shot and killed nine African American worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church: “Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage.”

Bannon is not some small-time provocateur here. He is a general fighting a war. 

A war, which those of us on the left believe is waged against anyone who doesn’t fit into the European American model, as David Duke euphemistically says. It’s a war on women, on immigrants, on gays, lesbians, people of color — pretty much on all my friends. And it’s not a stealth war or a subtle campaign. It’s war.

So those people who voted for Trump because they believed he could bring about a better business climate (a claim to which economists respond “Uh, no.”)? You let the rat in the kitchen, opened up the cupboard, and said, “Have at it.” 

You did that and now we’re going to hold you responsible for it. Every racist/misogynistic bit of nonsense that Trump/Bannon tries to push into public policy, we are going to remind you. 

You: You with your small businesses and your angst and anger and your willingness to (literally, if Trump starts slashing government programs that help families who are struggling) throw the baby under the bus, this is on you.

One last thing: If you click on the Breitbart website link for their store (and you can just go find it yourself; I am not going to make buying this crap any easier), an ad pops up for a t-shirt featuring the screaming face of website founder Andrew Breitbart, who is dead and in hell, with the words: “Ready for #War?”

Why yes, we are. We most certainly are.

Campbell is a journalist, author and distinguished lecturer in journalism at the University of New Haven. She is the author of Dating Jesus: Fundamentalism, Feminism and the American Girl and the upcoming Searching for The American Dream in Frog Hollow. Her work has appeared in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Magazine, The New Haven Register and The Guardian. Follow her @campbellsl

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