Despite repeated attempts by the left to depict Trump’s new domestic policy adviser, Stephen Bannon, as a witting agent of the alt-right and white nationalism, I see a different picture emerging.
I perceive an Irish-American patriot from the working class who, in the course of acquiring a Harvard MBA and a large measure of material success as a Goldman Sachs employee, gained intimate exposure to many among this nation’s ruling class and ended up detesting what he saw.
Following the 2008 crash, he saw his octogenarian father, Marty Bannon, a retiree, struggle financially after he was forced to cash out his AT&T stocks – the bulk of his net worth – to tide himself over the hard times. The elder Bannon was a self-made man who started out as a telephone lineman and worked his way up his company’s corporate ladder. For Bannon, his father’s late-life financial crisis drove home a searing lesson in what he had come to regard as the “socialism of the wealthy.” As the 2008 crisis demonstrated, many among the wealthy class are often insulated from deleterious market effects, while little people like has father are forced to bear the risks.
Other lessons were driven home. One of Bannon’s proudest moments was when his oldest daughter, Maureen, qualified for West Point. Yet, he soon discovered that among his daughter’s fellow West Point cadets, not was one supplied from the upper reaches of the country’s wealthiest citizens.
I was reminded of all of this last night watching reports of the desecration of the U.S. flag by snowflakes at many of the nation’s elite colleges and universities.
Virtually none of these kids will ever be forced out of a sense of economic necessity to darken the door of a military recruiter’s office. They will go immediately to a leading graduate school, to an elite investment firm, or to an premiere nonprofit or media entity as a writer or researcher . A few of them will go into national politics, feigning regret over their youthful indiscretion, even as they formulate the policies that send the next generation of patriotic, working-class kids into the world’s danger zones. Ironic, isn’t it?
Many among the Left are still beating their chests over how an intellectual lightweight, corporate real estate brawler and TV showman who affected sympathy for the beleaguered working-class Americans prevailed over one of the nation’s best and brightest, one who had garnered the support of virtually everyone in this country who really counted.
It think a simple appraisal of what is unfolding among the self-indulgent, self-pitying snowflakes on many of this nation’s elite campuses would supply one compelling explanation for this electoral upset.