In a Hollywood Reporter profile published Friday, President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign CEO and incoming chief strategist Steve Bannon portrays himself as a “nationalist”—not a white nationalist, mind you—committed to defying elite political culture.
Bannon, who normally stays far behind the scenes, acknowledged that he’s become a bogeyman to the left (or the “donor class,” “the metrosexual bubble,” “ascendant America,” take your pick), saying “darkness is good” in shaping political perceptions.
“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power,” Bannon said. “It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
Reporter Michael Wolff writes that Bannon “derides” the “alt-right” label, despite the fact that Bannon declared just months ago that his site Breitbart News was “the platform for the alt-right.” Bannon also claimed that his brand of nationalism isn’t racial.
“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon told Wolff.
To that end, Bannon said he’s advocating for a huge infrastructure package, taking advantage of low interest rates to put blue-collar people to work.
“Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement,” he said. “It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.”
“I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors,” the article concludes with Bannon saying, comparing himself to Henry VIII’s chief minister and a prime driver of the English Reformation.
Left unsaid: Cromwell ended up charged with treason and heresy, with his head displayed on a spike on London Bridge.