Steve Bannon is saying that the real Trump administration, of populist nationalism, is over. And I suppose it is, given that Bannon is no longer on the inside bashing heads.
Bannon said, as he walked out the door, that he commends the Democrats for starting a race war, because economic nationalism will beat a race war every time.
Bannon’s remarks, made to the NeverTrumpers at Weekly Standard, reminded me why Trump won the Republican nomination and the general election in 2016.
The reason that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination was that he stood up for ordinary Republican voters that liberals routinely name and shame as racists, sexists, and homophobes. That’s why he beat out Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the GOP squishes.
Ordinary middle-class Republicans know that, at any moment, they could be accused of racism by some SJW at work and lose their job. They are afraid; they want a president who will stand up for them.
The reason Donald Trump won the election was that his economic nationalism appealed to the white working class that is dying of despair, abandoned by the Democrats forty years ago. They want a president who will Make America Great Again.
Then came Charlottesville, and Donald Trump showed that he had our back. The problem, he said, is both sides. If President Trump does nothing more in his presidency, he has at least declared left and right extremists equivalent.
But is he right? Is the problem really “both sides?” Or is one side more to blame? When you lay Black Lives Matter and Antifa against Stormfront and the modern KKK, which is the bigger threat to democracy?
I think that the answer depends on which groups deliver “muscle” for their side.
Let’s go back to Reconstruction and the decade of 1865 to 1876. In that era the KKK, according to lefty Eric Foner in his Reconstruction, operated as a guerrilla force making the occupation of the South an expensive proposition for the Union Army and its associated scalawags and carpetbaggers. In 1876 the Republicans gave up on the South; they had bigger fish to fry up north, and so they abandoned the black freedmen to the tender mercies of the Democrats.
In the Jim Crow South, the KKK guerrillas now became the “muscle” for the Democratic Party. And the KKK role, apparently, was not so much to lynch blacks as to intimidate whites who might have a soft spot for the freedmen.
Now, ask yourself: are Stormfront and today’s KKK anyone’s political “muscle” today? Certainly not. For just about anyone on the right they are an embarrassment. We wish they would go away.
Now let us turn to Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Are they marginalized groups that liberals and Democrats are ashamed of? Certainly not. All over my liberal neighborhood in liberal Seattle there are We Believe yard-signs that proudly announce that Black Lives Matter. And just this weekend the New York Timesand the Washington Post have written pieces saying there is nothing to see here on leftist violence.
The conclusion is obvious. Black Lives Matter and Antifa are “muscle” groups that perform the same function for today’s Democrats that the KKK performed for the Jim Crow South. They intimidate from Berkeley to Middlebury to Charlottesville, and the ruling class gives them a pass, just as the police and the judges did for the KKK back in the days of the Solid South.
Is their job to “muscle” ordinary middle-class Republicans, or rank-and-file Democrats?
I don’t know. I suspect that the job of the liberal “muscle” groups is to make the utterly marginalized Stormfront and KKK and associated groups into a menace, to justify the escalation of the liberal war on the ordinary Americans that SJWs call racists, sexists, and homophobes.
Otherwise people might get the idea that the job was done 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Acts made it illegal in these United States to discriminate on the basis of race or sex. People might ask: are there no police? Are there no FBIs? Are there no Civil Rights Divisions?
Otherwise people might get the idea that America under the liberal ruling class is a country designed by, for, and on behalf of liberals. Just this week Richard Florida, he of the “creative class” and yeasty “ideopolises,” has a book out admitting that the creative class cities are just places that cater for the well-to-do and banish ordinary people to the margins. They “created economic growth only for the already rich, displacing the poor and working classes.”
On this view you might think that the Trump voters are not racist sexist homophobes, but genuinely suffering under the unjust rule of the liberal “creative classes” and their BLM/Antifa enforcers, and that they elected Donald Trump to redress their grievances.
But I couldn’t possibly comment.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.