It’s good that Steve Bannon has been eclipsed in the court of the Sun King. By all accounts, he’s a hate-spewing, fear-mongering, immigrant-bashing, Muslim-banning, dark force.
But Bannon did have one important insight into today’s politics. And Democrats should take heed of it.
Bannon has a clear focus on the anger that millions of Americans feel about the economy, the 2008 crash and the greed, recklessness and arrogance of the political and financial class. See more below.
That seething anger – over trade deals, Wall Street bailouts and lost jobs – fueled Trump’s election. Yes, there was racism, sexism and Russia. But there was also the real pain of real Americans – especially in the Midwest states where the manufacturing economy has collapsed and Trump picked up surprising wins.
Now Trump is siding against Bannon and with the Goldman Sachs-billionaire-Wall Street crowd. With Ivanka, Jared and their wealthy friends.
Democrats should side with the millions of Americans who are hurting.
Hillary Clinton lost in large part because she and Bill were seen as wealthy captives, if not platinum-card-carrying members, of the Wall Street crowd. You can’t be a populist and get paid $675,000 to give a speech to Goldman Sachs.
That’s why she nearly lost the nomination to Bernie Sanders.
Trump, because he’s wealthy, was seen as independent of Wall Street. Rich enough to tell Goldman Sachs to go to hell.
Instead, he’s put Goldman Sachs in charge of his administration.
No surprise. Trump is a man of no ideas and no fixed principles. He thinks he got where he is because he’s great. He has no feel for people who are hurting. He doesn’t care about them, except as props at his rallies and photo ops.
Going back to FDR, Democrats have been the champions of the forgotten man and woman.
Trump has already forgotten them. It’s time Democrats remembered them. And stood up for them.
Bannon himself put it well in a 2014 speech:
“The 2008 crisis, I think the financial crisis — which, by the way, I don’t think we’ve come through — is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks….And so the crisis of 2008 was, quite frankly, really never recovered from in the United States. It’s one of the reasons last quarter you saw 2.9% negative growth in a quarter. So the United States economy is in very, very tough shape.
“And one of the reasons is that we’ve never really gone and dug down and sorted through the problems of 2008. Particularly the fact — think about it — not one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis. And in fact, it gets worse. No bonuses and none of their equity was taken….
“…the underpinning of this populist revolt is the financial crisis of 2008. That revolt, the way that it was dealt with, the way that the people who ran the banks and ran the hedge funds have never really been held accountable for what they did, has fueled much of the anger in the tea party movement in the United States.”