Stephen Bannon, Trump’s Presidential Rhetoric & More on NPR’s Morning Edition

white house strategist stephen bannon

I joined David Greene on NPR’s Morning Edition today for 2 segments. The longer segment was a discussion of Stephen Bannon and his appoint as strategist and “equal partner” (according to the press release) with Reince Preibus, the newly minted Chief of Staff. Bannon horrifies many Democrats – and not a few Republicans – because of his previous role at Breitbart.

Their concern is overblown. Bannon is not the deplorable bogeyman described by Trump’s political opponents. He is instead a big picture thinker and an effective political operator focused on promoting and enacting the policies that Donald Trump ran on during the campaign: an immigration policy that prioritizes the interests of American citizens, a pro-worker trade and economic policy, and an interests based foreign policy that is skeptical of foreign military entanglements.

I counsel that those who want to understand the significance of Stephen Bannon to the Trump White House should attempt to understand him as he understands himself. He has said of himself, “I come from a blue collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union, family of Democrats.” It was not so long ago that described the base of the Democratic Party. In this election Trump won the votes of many people with similar sensibilities and similar histories. Ronald Reagan did too and confounded his many critics. Trump and Bannon are doing the same thing.

The earlier segment with David Greene focused on what kind of rhetoric we can expect from President Donald Trump as opposed to what the country heard from Trump the candidate. I argued that we need look no further than the President-Elect’s victory speech the night of the election: gracious in victory, bold in his plans for the country, and yet still more accessible than his predecessors. Witness his opening comment: “Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business.” But the short speech was also full of uplifting statements like this: “We will embark upon a project of national growth and renewal. I will harness the creative talents of our people, and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage their tremendous talent for the benefit of all. It is going to happen.”

At his best, Donald Trump, embodies the virtue Kipling described as the ability to “walk with kings” yet not “lose the common touch.” This will come as a pleasant surprise to those of his detractors that have ears to hear.

About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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8 responses to “Stephen Bannon, Trump’s Presidential Rhetoric & More on NPR’s Morning Edition”

  1. Good job this morning. Although I can barely tolerate the lying race-baiting hacks that infest the offices and studios of NPR.

  2. Try not to make too wide a distinction between a pedigreed individual like Bannon and the “deplorables” who elected Trump. Remember that such was a leftist’s caricature of the salt of the Earth American people who won him the election.

  3. Why is it that when I walk down the street people point at me and laugh?

  4. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I do want to say a few things about Bannon. The man is a remarkable visionary and understands new media in a way very few if any political operatives do. Bannon essentially ratified and refined Trump’s platform, and it has reverse triangulated the Democratic Party out of existence for at least a cycle or three. Most of his detractors fear him for these reasons and don’t believe he is a closet Nazi, although that doesn’t keep them from making the implication or outright claim with a less informed audience (you may have covered these points).
    Bannon is part of Trump’s core braintrust and presents a threat to the established order in general and the dying remnants of Conservatism, Inc., in particular. Pretty good bona fides to have there.
    I’ll check the full interview tonight.

  5. John Podesta was previously the head of the far left “Think Progress” blog, but nobody seemed to think it odd or outrageous that he was a campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton and presumably in line for a top position in her administration had she won.

  6. Always so comfortable with each other. NPR, personified here by Greene, always knows just where to go for comment, even at a time like this.

  7. Steve Bannon, like Breitbart himself, is a gift. And one of the prizes we get to keep. The left is screaming. The middle is screaming. And the silly boys in waistpants on the right are sneering. Bannon is the continuation of our voice in the ear of the President of the United States.

  8. Andrew Breitbart introduced us to Bannon years ago, but I still think of Bannon chiefly as the man who made the Sarah Palin documentary Undefeated. It is a statement of great passion and resolve. Recommended, even for Palin’s detractors. It won over my Obama-voting husband; five years later he voted for Trump enthusiastically.