Kellyanne Conway

Trump Campaign Absorbs 'Trump's Personal Pravda,' Moves Further To The Racist Fringe

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announced this morning that it was shaking up its leadership in midst of terrible polling, bringing on Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon as its CEO and pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. The choice of Bannon, whom former employee Ben Shapiro has described as a “vindictive, nasty figure” and “a smarter version of Trump,” is likely to take the Trump campaign yet another step in the direction of unabashed, racist nationalism.

GOP consultant Rick Wilson told the Washington Post: “If you were looking for a tone or pivot, Bannon will pivot you in a dark, racist and divisive direction. It’ll be a nationalist, hateful campaign. Republicans should run away."

Shapiro, who resigned as an editor at Breitbart after Bannon sided with Trump’s campaign in a dispute with then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, said afterward that Bannon had “shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda.” Now that Bannon is officially working for Trump’s campaign, that transition is complete.

Breitbart’s role as a propaganda arm for Trump’s campaign goes beyond boosting the candidate. The outlet also fuels the racial panic that is the subtext of much of what Trump says. Breitbart’s editor-in-chief told Bloomberg last year that the outlet focused less on specific stories than on creating long-running narratives with heroes and villains—many of them painting immigrants and people of color as the latter:

[Late Breitbart founder Andrew] Breitbart’s genius was that he grasped better than anyone else what the early 20th century press barons understood—that most readers don’t approach the news as a clinical exercise in absorbing facts, but experience it viscerally as an ongoing drama, with distinct story lines, heroes, and villains. Breitbart excelled at creating these narratives, an editorial approach that's lived on. “When we do an editorial call, I don’t even bring anything I feel like is only a one-off story, even if it’d be the best story on the site,” says Alex Marlow, the site’s editor in chief. “Our whole mindset is looking for these rolling narratives.” He rattles off the most popular ones, which Breitbart News covers intensively from a posture of aggrieved persecution. “The big ones won’t surprise you,” he says. “Immigration, ISIS, race riots, and what we call ‘the collapse of traditional values.’ But I’d say Hillary Clinton is tops.”

It could easily be a description of Trump’s campaign.

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented earlier this year Breitbart is becoming the “media arm” of the alt-right, a young “white identity” movement that sees Trump as a hero:

Breitbart recently published a lengthy defense of the Alt-Right, claiming the white nationalists such asRichard Spencer and Jared Taylor who created the ideology “have been accused of racism,” choosing to ignore the well-documented openly-racist views.

But Breitbart’s open defense of the Alt-Right didn’t appear out of thin air.

Over the past year the media outlet has been openly promoting the core issues of the Alt-Right, introducing these racist ideas to its readership – much to the delight of many in the white nationalist world who could never dream of reaching such a vast number of people.

Breitbart has always given a platform to parts of the radical right, most notably elements of the organized anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant movements. Breitbart has also organized conferences featuring nativist speakers and published op-eds and interviews with movement leaders. But since 2015, Breitbart began publishing more overtly racist diatribes about Muslims and immigrants.

One of the co-authors of Breitbart’s defense of the alt-right was Milo Yiannopoulous, who was on hand at the Republican National Convention this summer to boost Trump.

SPLC noted that Breitbart also traffics in panic about “black-on-white crime,” something that Trump has also dabbled in:

Another popular racist conspiracy theory that Breitbart has propagated is the trope that African-Americans are committing crimes against whites at alarming rates.

Following the August 2015 murder of a white journalist and a cameraman live on air by a disgruntled African-American former co-worker, Breitbart published the race-baiting headline, “Race Murder in Virginia: Black Reporter Suspected of Executing White Colleagues – On Live Television!” The headline is remarkably similar to ones seen on the website of the white nationalist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is dedicated to spreading the falsehood to the public about the “epidemic” of black on white crime.

Shapiro writes that since Bannon has jumped on board the Trump train, “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”

It’s a perfect match.

Flashback: New Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway at the RNC

As part of the Trump campaign’s latest shake-up, which brought in Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as chief executive, Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway was named campaign manager. During the Republican National Convention, Conway spoke on a panel at an event organized by the American Conservative Union; her remarks there give some indication of how she views Trump and this year’s campaign. Of course, her comments were made before Trump’s recent drop in the polls.

Conway was introduced as a “pollstress” who serves on ACU’s board and as a senior adviser to Mike Pence, and she reminded people that she had also run a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC.

Conway said Obama’s rising approval rating is “not relevant” to the campaign, because his ratings on specific issues like national security and the economy were under 50 percent. “Cool is not transferable,” she said. Obama does not, she said, have a mandate from the American people for his “decidedly left-of-center agenda.” Neither, she said, does Clinton. She said most Americans are opposed to Obamacare and that as more problems emerge in the state exchanges, Republicans should be going after it hard.

Conway said there is little ideological diversity within the Democratic party and that has made its leaders disconnected from average Americans:

Where are the boll weevil Democrats? Where are the blue dog Democrats? Where are the pro-life Democrats? Where are the pro-Second-Amendment Democrats? They are gone, particularly at the federal level…When you don’t have that in your membership, in your elected officials, particularly at the federal level, you forget that the country doesn’t agree with you. And I think that’s what’s happened to the modern Democratic Party. As it has shifted leftward, completely unrecognizable from Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party ... they believe they’ve shifted in response to the country, but that’s not true.

Conway said that while Clinton has built a traditional campaign, Trump built a movement and has done a good job at making people feel like they are part of it. People believe, she said, that he’s making a sacrifice to make this run. She believed that Trump family operations like The Apprentice reality TV show and Ivanka’s clothing line have helped him tap in the cultural zeitgeist. And she praised his use of direct language, like complaining during the primary of a “rigged, corrupt system” that was robbing people of their votes.

Conway said that Trump is the first national politician in a long time to talk to people who are hurting economically. The Republican Party she said, had become “dangerously close to becoming the party of the elites,” but Trump has moved it to becoming “the party of the worker.”

“We need to be the party of the job holders,” she said, not just the wealthy job creators.

Conway said that a year or a year and a half earlier, she had said in response to a question that her major criterion for the GOP candidate was that he be “unapologetically, unflinchingly unafraid” of the Clintons and their networks—“all the king’s horses, all the king’s men, all their money, all their stock, all their lies, all their corruption, all their distortions, all their name-calling.” Trump is not afraid of them, she said, and voters find him refreshing. And they like that he “occupies rented space in Hillary Clinton’s head.”

 

Maggie Gallagher Warns Of 'The Horrible Things The Left Is Going To Do' As They Impose 'This New, Strange Sexual Orthodoxy'

On Saturday, a group of Religious Right activists at the Values Voter Summit were pitched on the possibility and necessity of a stronger union between social conservatives and libertarians, a discussion that was heavily tinged with the rhetoric of anti-Christian persecution that dominated the weekened.

In a panel titled “Moral Decline Causes Big Government,” the American Principles Project’s Maggie Gallagher (formerly of the National Organization for Marriage), the director of Rand Paul’s PAC, Doug Stafford, and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway made their best case for libertarians to adopt social conservative causes — or, given the makeup of the crowd, for social conservatives to be open to an alliance with libertarian conservatives.

Gallagher brought up the Religious Right’s fears about the persecution of conservative Christians by the LGBT rights movement, warning that with the current Supreme Court she was “not optimistic” about preventing marriage equality from becoming law in all 50 states, and that if that happens, there will be “more cases where people are being oppressed…for their views on marriage.”

Libertarians, Gallagher said, should share the concern of social conservatives about gay rights advocates “using the government to impose this new, strange sexual orthodoxy” and their fears of “the horrible things the left is going to do.” She warned that the window for a stronger alliance was narrow, because if LGBT rights advocates succeed, “there’s not a way to build a winning conservative coalition.”

She also made an ideological case for libertarians to join social conservatives, arguing that  “the decline of marriage” caused the growth of “pretty much every part of government, besides the defense budget, in America.”

“When the family falls apart, the government grows to step in,” she said.

Conway told the crowd that “values voters and libertarians have a great deal in common” from opposition to “big government” and abortion rights to being “sick of lawyers in black robes making stuff up” to a refusal to “redefine” family to be “whatever feels cool.” She also saw an opening to win over libertarians with the Religious Right’s increasing reliance on persecution rhetoric, or what she called the “assault on religious liberty in so many parts of our culture.”

Stafford echoed Conway, explaining that many libertarians oppose abortion rights and putting in a plug for the two groups to work together and with liberals to end the drug war.

Whatever the few libertarians in the room might have thought of the panel’s appeals, however, the bulk of the social conservative crowd seemed deeply skeptical of any attempt to woo libertarians. The biggest round of applause at the event came when a man came to the microphone, introduced himself as a pastor and proceeded to deliver a soliloquy against such “sins” as homosexuality. In an apparent jab at Sen. Paul’s position that marriage equality legislation should be left to the states, the pastor said, “Don’t let the states decide on marriage. God has already decided!”

As the panel ended, after little discussion of the morality of same-sex marriage, the woman next to me turned to me and shook her head. The panelists, she said, “didn’t listen to a thing that pastor said.”
 

GOP Pollster advised Akin to Withstand Controversy like David Koresh Faced the ATF in Waco

While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway said she told her client Todd Akin to withstand the controversy that emerged following his comments on “legitimate rape” just like David Koresh, the Waco compound cult leader whose standoff with the ATF led to over eighty deaths. Conway told Perkins that she advised Akin to survive efforts to “smoke him out” like Koresh until they “realize the guy’s not coming out of the bunker.” She was speaking with Perkins just as the deadline for Akin to drop out passed, and Republican figures such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint, including DeMint’s powerful Senate Conservatives Fund, rallied to Akin’s behalf. Conway said she expects even more Republicans to follow Perkins’ lead in rallying behind Akin.

Perkins: The distance between them is narrowing, Todd Akin has bounced back up, and the evidence of that is pretty clear because now you see other Republicans who abandoned him are now taking a second look at the race and realizing just how important this seat is.

Conway: They are and they’re following your lead Tony. You saw former speaker Gingrich there on Todd’s behalf at a fundraiser on Monday, saying it’s just “conventional idiocy” that’s preventing people from backing Todd, and he predicts that come mid-October everyone will be following yours and his lead back to Missouri, with their money. Of course, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Senator Jim DeMint came out just yesterday to support Todd. I believe that the establishment will have to look at this race and they will have to hold their nose because the first days—and I’ve expressed this to Todd as my client for a while now, I’ve expressed it to him directly—the first day or two where it was like the Waco with David Koresh situation where they’re trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams and the helicopters and the bad Nancy Sinatra records. Then here comes day two and you realize the guy’s not coming out of the bunker. Listen, Todd has shown his principle to the voters.
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