Trump is the ‘vessel’ of a right-wing ‘movement’ using him and the alt-right, but who is the real power behind the throne?

In all the media analysis since last Saturday about President Donald Trump’s defense of and false equivalence between Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists — a key constituency of Trump supporters — and the counter-protestors who were the victims of their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, the focus has been on when GOP politicians will finally disassociate themselves from Trump and disown him as their standard-bearer. It is indefensible for Republicans to stick with Trump.

But what is missing from this analysis is that Trump is a demagogue who hijacked the GOP for his own purposes, and the GOP made a Faustian bargain with the devil believing that they in turn could use him for their own purposes.

Trump’s supporters are a cult of personality who worship at the feet of this dangerous demagogue. Trump was quite literally correct when he said that “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” among his supporters. They are unquestioning devoted to him.

The GOP can disown Trump, and Trump in turn will disown the GOP, forming his own Trump-centric political party, and taking his cult followers with him. I fully expect to see this happen before 2020.

As the New York Times reported last week, they are only interested in building a movement around their “Dear Leader.” They’re Building a Trump-Centric Movement. But Don’t Call It Trumpism.:

[For] this small group of renegade thinkers on the right, President Trump represents the foundation of what they hope will be a new conservative movement premised on the inward-looking, America-centric approach his administration is pursuing.

Just don’t call it Trumpism.

Building on Mr. Trump’s populist appeal, they are attempting what many of their fellow conservatives have told them is an impossible, even foolish undertaking. They are making the intellectual case for a man who is the ultimate anti-intellectual.

“It took a Trump, of all people, to allow for a certain level of intellectual ferment to take place,” said Ben Boychuk, the managing editor of American Greatness, a new political journal based here in Southern California.

In its inaugural issue last summer, the journal published “Our Declaration of Independence From the Conservative Movement,” which argued that what worked for Ronald Reagan could no longer define the movement.

In their view, Trump is not so much a movement leader as he is a vessel. [In other words, they see him as a “useful idiot,” just like Vladimir Putin does.] “We see a lot of potential here with this particular administration,” Mr. Boychuk said, “but we’re not going to live or die by him.” [No, “we’re going to use him.”]

Until now, this brand of conservatism thrived mostly at the periphery of the movement.

The brand’s admirers include the likes of Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist; Stephen Miller, a senior White House aide involved in immigration policy; and Peter A. Thiel, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has embraced Mr. Trump as someone who could pull the Republican Party away from what he called “the dogmas of Reaganism.”

Steve Bannon is Trump’s chief political strategist — some say the real power behind the throne — and the former editor of Breitbart News, “the platform for the alt-right,” boasted Bannon. How Donald Trump’s New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists.

Point of interest: Bannon contacted Robert Kuttner at the progressive American Prospect out of the blue yesterday to give him this interview, Steve Bannon, Unrepentant (excerpt):

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump’s election were “Resisting Trump” and “Containing Trump”) and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He’s probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

He dismissed the far-right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

From his lips to Trump’s ear.

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

So it appears that this new right-wing “movement” is using Donald Trump and  the alt-right white nationalists who are fans of Breitbart as well. This begs the question, who is the real power behind the throne?

Breitbart News is owned and funded by billionaire Robert Mercer, who also owns Cambridge Analytica LLC, the data mining company under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Trump-Putin campaign investigation. Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media.

Robert Mercer is also the Billionaire Breitbart sugar daddy spending $300,000 toward unseating Republican Sen. Jeff Flake:

The billionaire funder of Trump’s campaign, of Breitbart, and of the growing racist alt-right movement is now aiming his checkbook at Trump’s newest enemy—fellow Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

* * *

The Mercer family wants America to be more like Breitbart, and are willing to pony up the dough to make that happen. It looks like that currently means getting rid of the Republicans who, however flaccidly, object.”

This new right-wing  “movement” will turn on Republicans who oppose them as well.

Maybe it’s time that the media start exposing Robert Mercer and his like-minded cohorts to public scrutiny as to what they believe and what they are after.

Back to the Times report:

“No think tank has tied this together as an intellectual construct — this populist, nationalist movement,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview, noting how dismissive and often hostile Washington’s conservative ideas machine was to Mr. Trump. “There is still a massive void.”

Today the work of these outsider conservatives is closely read at the White House. The publisher of American Greatness was part of a group of conservative journalists who recently met with the president.

West Wing aides speak their lingo. They were delighted this year to hear Mr. Bannon call for the dismantling of “the administrative state.”

We have too many right-wing billionaires like Robert Mercer, Dick and Betsy DeVos, the Koch brothers, etc. who are using their wealth in our money-driven political system to gain power — but to what purpose? What is their ultimate objective? We need answers to these questions.

23 Responses to Trump is the ‘vessel’ of a right-wing ‘movement’ using him and the alt-right, but who is the real power behind the throne?

  1. Sen. John Kavanagh

    Critical thinking also entails “reading between the lines.”

  2. For Sure Not Tom

    The right wing folks defending Jim Crowe era monuments to traitors are fascinating.

    Quick history lesson, the Confederacy seceded from the United States and then attacked the United States of America. Their stated purpose was to defend the forced enslavement of other human beings.

    Many of these monuments include the actual words White Supremacy on their plaques.

    So here’s a fun game, let’s build a big fancy monument to Hideki Tojo in Pearl Harbor and see how fast you change your minds.

    You’re either racists or idiots, which is it?

  3. Meanwhile, in Trump’s world…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    …the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    …can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 4h4 hours ago

    Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…..

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 6h6 hours ago

    Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 6h6 hours ago

    The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 6h6 hours ago

    …and people like Ms. Heyer. Such a disgusting lie. He just can’t forget his election trouncing.The people of South Carolina will remember!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 6h6 hours ago

    Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists……

    • For Sure Not Tom

      ChemTrail Kelli!

      You don’t get more batshitcrazy than thinking you can be mind-controlled from water vapor!

      Look out! Your tea pot is trying to brainwash you!

      The GOP is full on crazy pants.

  4. ”…false equivalence between Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists — a key constituency of Trump supporters — and the counter-protestors who were the victims of their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia…”

    You know, AzBM, someone unfamiliar with what happened in Charlottesville would come away from reading your words with three false impressions:
    Falsehood #1: That someone is trying to make an equivalency between the white supremacists scum and the counter-protestors. No one is saying the dirtbag white supremacists and the counter-protesters are similar or share moral equivalencies. Obviously the counter-protesters have the moral high ground on this issue and the righteousness of their cause cannot be impugned while no one can make a positive case in any way for the white supremacists.
    Falsehood #2: That the neo-nazis, etc., are a key constituency of Trump’s supporters.
    Falsehood #3: That the counter-protesters were “victims” in the classic sense of innocent victims. It implies the counter-protestors showed up, marched along the road with their signs, singing their songs and chanting their chants, and they were suddenly set upon by the Neo-nazis who beat them and clubbed them and kicked them and, in general, beat them up. That is a long way from the truth where the counter-protestors showed with clubs and batons and brass knuckles, etc. and they set upon the neo-nazis as much as the neo-nazis set upon them. That is hardly the “victims” you were trying to make them out to be.

    I know nothing I say is going to change what you write, but you really should be embarrassed at being so obvious in your bias.

    • Sen. John Kavanagh

      Among many on the left today, bias is a badge of honor. Truly is a sad state of affairs, especially for liberals.

  5. Sen. John Kavanagh

    AZBlueMeanie goes over the edge:

    “We have too many right-wing billionaires like Robert Mercer, Dick and Betsy DeVos, the Koch brothers, etc. who are using their wealth in our money-driven political system to gain power — but to what purpose? What is their ultimate objective? We need answers to these questions.” – AZBlueConspiracyMeanie

    Time for the tin foil hats.

    Or how about:

    “We have too many left-wing billionaires like George Soros, Warren Buffet, Pierre Omidyar, Tom Steyer, Jonathan Soros etc. who are using their wealth in our money-driven political system to gain power — but to what purpose? What is their ultimate objective? We need answers to these questions.”

    These are people legally using their money to promote their ideas and candidates who support their positions. It’s not a conspiracy it’s the Bill of Right in action.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Yeah, see, here’s the deal, Jersey John, it’s not the same thing.

      I’ll type slow so you can keep up.

      Left wing billionaires – “Income inequality is bad, we should expand the social safety net, and rich people should pay more taxes”.

      Right wing billionaires – “Give us all your money”.

      Get it? Left wing billionaires are supporting causes that could make them less rich but benefit more people, right wing billionaires support causes that make them richer.

      Greed is a sin, remember? Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.”

      You are correct to say billionaires are using their money to promote their ideas, the problem with a politician like you supporting right wing billionaires is that they are not working for me, a citizen of Arizona/America, they’re working for themselves.

      I’m glad you visit this site, it’s clear that critical thinking is not your thing, and I’m happy to help out.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        Last I looked, first amendment rights applied to all expression, except for a few illegal acts, and not just views that you like. Your problem is with more than just income inequality, you don’t like civil liberties.

        Also, I find it hard to defend left-wing billionaires but I do because I am not a hypocrite.

        And by the way, ad hominem attacks are anathema to critical thinking. You should wean yourself of them. After you do so, we can work on your logic.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Uh-oh, you’re doing it again. I never said anything about stopping anyone’s free speech, I said one side is looking out for the common good, and your side is in it for themselves.

          I guess we’ll have to work on my logic some other time when you’re not trying to put words in the mouths of others and muddy the waters.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Maybe I pre-judged you. So if you believe that each group of donors should receive equal civil liberties protections, then why bring up their differences regarding motive? What was the purpose of your comment. You seemed to point out a difference but one not relevant to my post concerning their respective rights to donate.

            Please explain.

            Also note that I do not believe the motives of the conservative donors are evil.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Now you’re just fishing for a win.

            Who said anything about treating anyone differently?

            Where in AZ’s post or my comments does it say anything about anyone’s right to donate?

            AZ was questioning their motives, you brought up some rich Dems, to which I explained to you that their motives are not the same.

            No where do I or Mr. Meanie say anything about taking away anyone’s rights. You’re the only one saying that.

            No fish for you.

        • Sen. John Kavanagh

          I am glad you are defending their right to donate to political causes and candidates. I am pleasantly surprised and corrected.

      • John Huppenthal

        Left wing billionaires – “Income inequality is bad, we should expand the social safety net, and rich people should pay more taxes”.

        What a load of BS.

        Left wing billionaires – “I’ll say income inequality is bad and beat up on Trump mercilessly so that I can keep not paying any taxes and I will support my competitors and small businesses being taxed to death”

        Bezos, Buffett, the Google Boys, Zuckerberg, etc – all of them have paid less than 4% on their billions of earnings.

        • “Bezos, Buffett, the Google Boys, Zuckerberg, etc – all of them have paid less than 4% on their billions of earnings.”

          That’s not fair! They should put their money where their mouths are and make big deposits to the “I Don’t Pay Enough Taxes” Fund the IRS set up. Instead, it appears they hire legions of smart tax attorneys/accountants to whittle down what they pay in taxes to the smallest amount they can get away with.

          It is strange these people never get tarred and feathered on these pages like the right wing billionaires do. You and I believe BOTH liberal and conservative billionaires deserve to avoid taxes whenever possible, but then we aren’t hypocrites on the subject.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          As usual, off topic and incoherent. Let me try to explain this in terms even a sock puppet can understand.

          There are billionaires who work against their own self interests, for the common good, and billionaires who work only for themselves.

          My point had nothing, zero, nada, to do with legally avoiding taxes.

          Here’s the problem with billionaires and politics in general, on the left and right, D’s and R’s.

          If you can lose 95% of your net worth and not notice any difference in your lifestyle, you should not be moved to the front of the line to see your elected representative just because you have money.

          Not because you should not be represented, just that you should wait in line like everyone else. You have not more pressing need than anyone else.

          Because there are thousands, millions, of people who actually need something real from their government, like pot holes fixed or another police cruiser in their neighborhood.

          If the government was sane, billionaires would be at the back of the line, because they have the least need.

          Now, go on fighting the good fight, FalconZero, go on defending those poor sad billionaires from some internet troll who’s not named Tom, because Lordy knows they need the defending.

          Idiot.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          And another thing, Huffenstuff, if we had actual, real, 100% real free enterprise, without the political corruption, it would be almost impossible to become a billionaire, because real competition would cap your earnings.

          But we do not, so we have aberrations, like a handful of people being worth more than 150,000,000 million Americans.

          You are defending a corrupt system that is not anywhere near actual free enterprise. You are not true to your own professed beliefs.

      • “Left wing billionaires – “Income inequality is bad, we should expand the social safety net, and rich people should pay more taxes”.”

        I never thought of you as being a chump, Tom, but I am being to question that:
        Income Inequality is Bad – Cute. Yet, still these guys grow richer exponentially every year. They invest in the democrat party because that keeps them in power and able to keep the economic environment in their favor. Think about it: They keep themselves in power through the democrat party and it’s minions, they keep making money hand over foot, and they get lots of good media coverage and everyone thinks they’re great. What a deal in return for chump change given to the democrats!
        Expand the Social Safety Net – sure. Why not? It won’t make any difference in how much they pay in taxes, it makes them look good, and the democrats and their followers are happy. Again, what a deal!
        Rich People Should Pay More Taxes – Yet strangely they never actually pay more taxes. And what they do pay is only 4% of their income. That’s less than you and I pay as a percentage. What a deal. Of course, they all have tax attorneys and tax accountants that make certain they don’t pay one dime more than they have to. If they think rich people should pay more taxes, why don’t they? They can make voluntary extra payments to the IRS. But they don’t. They don’t think for an instant that rich people should pay more taxes, but it cost nothing to say that and it pacifies the naïve in the ranks of the democrats.

        Get real, Tom. Things aren’t as you seem to see them. You always talk about researching things yet you seem to be willing to accept certain bits of democrat folklore hook, line, and sinker. Things are not as you wish them to be.