Steve Bannon isn’t concerned about the “darkness” surrounding his new position with the Trump administration.
The former Breitbart executive and chief strategist for Donald Trump has been a controversial pick on the president-elect’s staff. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Bannon said the administration planned to usher in a "new political movement," one that he hopes could allow the GOP to hold its reign over the government for some 50 years.
But taking that route doesn’t necessarily mean playing nice.
"Darkness is good," Bannon told The Hollywood Reporter. "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. It only helps us when [the liberals and media] get it wrong. When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."
Despite overwhelming predictions that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, Bannon was one of the holdouts who truly believed that Mr. Trump could achieve a victory. Now, the man formerly behind a right-wing news network that supported Trump’s bid for the presidency from its early days will be responsible for shaping what a Trump presidency means for the future. While Bannon has received criticism for views deemed anti-Semitic, sexist, and racist, he decries the “alt-right” label that’s been slapped on him, his network, and the Trump administration.
He says he’s focused on reshaping the economy and rebuilding infrastructure, and it’s those views that will allow the Trump campaign to make a lasting impression on American society.
"I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," Bannon said. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia ... If we deliver, we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about."
Like Trump, Bannon has criticized establishment politicians and the GOP. Now, he’s joining the outsider candidate’s movement to reshape the Republican party, likening the movement to Andrew Jackson’s populism.
"Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement," he said. “It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution – conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."
While several senators and pundits, including conservative news host Glenn Beck, have called on Trump to rescind Bannon's job offer, the president-elect has shown no signs of heeding those calls. Meanwhile, members of the alt-right are thrilled with Bannon’s appointment, hoping he’s the person who can hold Trump to his campaign promises that may lose momentum now that he’s left the campaign trail behind.
"There's no question that of all the appointments that we have known about so far, Steve Bannon seems to be the one who would be most likely to urge President Trump to keep his campaign promises,” Jared Taylor, editor of the alt-right publication American Renaissance, previously told The Christian Science Monitor. “And that's a hugely important thing."