The announcement on Sunday that former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon would be a senior White House advisor to Donald Trump has been met with a wave of strong reactions. Sen. Bernie Sanders said on ABC's The View that Bannon's appointment “should get us very nervous." House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was even more explicit, saying “There must be no sugercoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump administration.”
But not everyone is alarmed by Bannon’s presence in the Trump administration. However, the list of those who are excited by what the Huffington Post described as a “White Nationalist In the White House” is maybe exactly who you feared — or expected.
At the top of the list is former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who endorsed Trump’s candidacy early on, even as Trump denied knowing “anything about” him (a statement which earned Trump a “Pants-on-Fire” rating from Politifact). In an interview with CNN, Duke, who last week lost his tenuous bid for U.S. Senator of Louisiana, said Bannon’s appointment was “excellent.”
“I think that anyone that helps complete the program and the policies that President-elect Trump has developed during the campaign is a very good thing, obviously,” Duke told CNN. Duke praised Bannon on his own radio show on Monday, saying “I think that’s a good sign because I think Mr. Bannon has really been right on about a lot of issues facing European-Americans.”
But Duke isn’t the only one who’s excited. Other white nationalists have come out in support of Trump’s selection of Bannon. James Edwards tweeted “With Trump, every day is Christmas” linking to an article about Bannon’s hire. Edwards hosts "The Political Cesspool," which the Southern Poverty Law Center described as an "overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show.
Meanwhile Brad Griffin, who runs the white nationalist blog Occidental Dissent and writes under the name Hunter Wallace, wrote that “this is our dream too.” He went on to say, “Spreading the national populist revolution to Europe, overthrowing the liberal world order, turning Trump’s America into our equivalent of the Soviet Union. It’s a stunning turn events.” From my perspective, Griffin wrote with all the elation of someone who’s just won the lottery, noting “I still can’t believe it is happening.”
Even the appointment of Reince Priebus, the mainstream chair of the Republican National Committee, as Trump’s Chief of Staff couldn’t dampen the racist spirits of America’s Alt-Right. A series of tweets from Richard Spencer, who heads the National Policy Institute, which is a think tank that describes itself as "dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States” and is seen by many (including the Huffington Post) as a white nationalist organ, praised Bannon's appointment. Spencer outlined how the Chief of Staff role requires a “‘golden retriever’ personality,” and how Bannon was better-suited to help Trump focus on the “big picture.”
Regardless of Bannon’s ultimate role and influence over a president Trump, we should all be very scared that these people are happy, and we must remain alert should their agendas start to take shape.