From Climate Denial to Islamophobia, Steve Bannon Is Pushing the Trump Administration to the Fringe
by Ryan Schleeter
February 24, 2017
Whether it’s the Muslim ban or attacks on climate science, Steve Bannon is the architect of some Trump’s most dangerous policies.
Steve Bannon’s assault on democracy and civil rights has been one of the most chilling storylines of the Trump presidency so far.
Haven’t heard of Bannon? He’s the white nationalist, neo-Nazi, former Goldman Sachs executive, climate-denying White House chief strategist whose fingerprints are all over everything from the Muslim ban to the administration’s war on climate science.
He says things like this: “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) February 15, 2017
As the editor of far-right “news” site Breitbart, Bannon ran multiple stories denying the science of climate change and advancing vast conspiracy theories attacking renewable energy (not to mention espousing hate towards the LGBT community, Muslims, immigrants, women, and basically every other marginalized group).
Bannon’s Breitbart called the Paris climate deal a “threat to U.S. sovereignty” and labeled climate activists “pure scum.” And Bannon himself claims that clean energy — which even a majority of Trump voters support — is “nonsense” and “madness.”
Bannon has been advising Trump from the shadows for months now, and we’re seeing the results in the administration’s attacks on our democracy.
In the past two weeks alone, Trump has:
- Signed an executive order allowing mining companies to dump coal waste near streams and rolled back anti-discrimination protections for trans youth. (He’s also rumored to be preparing additional executive orders that will limit the EPA’s ability to fight climate change.)
- Called his administration’s efforts to deport millions of people — inhumanely splitting families apart — a “military operation.”
- Repeated his claim that the free press, a cornerstone of American democracy, is the enemy of the American people and barred the New York Times, CNN, and other major news outlets from a press briefing today.
And — you guessed it — Bannon’s dirty fingerprints are all over these moves and more:
- Those attempts to stop the government from acting on climate? Bannon used his platform at Breitbart to spread the conspiracy that climate change is a hoax and renewable energy is a scam.
- That new anti-trans policy? Bannon has trumpeted the bigoted lie that allowing trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity forces children to “go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.”
- The repeated attacks on the free press? Bannon doubled down on Trump’s statements, calling the media the “opposition party” in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
But recently, Trump did something else unprecedented — he stepped over the country’s top intelligence experts and appointed Bannon to the National Security Council.
As scary as it is that someone as extreme as Bannon is setting the direction of national security policy, this could actually be the opening we need to finally curb his power.
Intelligence experts have stressed the threat climate change poses to national security since 2004, but the Trump administration seems intent on ignoring their warnings. Thanks in part to Bannon’s conspiracies, the White House’s climate denial is putting all Americans at risk.
Which is exactly why Congress needs to step in.
Congress created the National Security Council and has the power to regulate it. In fact, legislation has already been introduced in both the House and the Senate to protect our national security policy from Bannon’s hate and extremism. Now is the time for all members of Congress to pick a side. Will they let a neo-Nazi hijack our democracy, or will they fight back?
More than 400,000 people like you have already signed on asking them to fight back, and that number is growing by the day. Join the movement to #BanBannon and defend our democracy!