Posted by Ali Albassam on November 14, 2016 in Blog

Much of the anxiety behind President-Elect Trump pertains to the fear of the unknown.

Despite his divisive rhetoric on the campaign, many still wonder if he truly meant all of the controversial statements he made. Thomas Barrack, Trump’s close friend and economic advisor told Americans to expect a “kinder, softer Trump.”

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division” Trump said during his acceptance speech.

But those are just words.

If there was ever any question as to what type of President Donald Trump will be, look no further than who he is choosing to surround himself with.

If President-Elect Trump was truly interested in binding the wounds of division, his choice to appoint Steve Bannon as Chief White House Strategist was questionable at best and counterproductive at worst.

Bannon, the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the main driver of a  “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

Breitbart is known for being the media-arm of the “alt-right”  – it promotes white nationalist ideology and regularly produces content that opposes women's rights, diversity, gay rights, globalism, gun control and civil rights.

Unsurprisingly, Bannon’s appointment has been met with a fierce storm of criticism.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) delivered a strong rebuke of Bannon on Tuesday, demanding the President-Elect to rescind his appointment, 

"If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon...As long as a champion of racial division is a step away from the Oval Office it will be impossible to take Trump's efforts to heal the nation seriously,"

Reid’s colleagues on the Hill followed suit, with over 120 members of congress signing on a letter calling for Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment. 

Conservative figureheads voiced their opposition.

Glenn Beck described Bannon as a “terrifying man” who  “has a clear tie to white nationalists”. And former Breitbart News Editor, Ben Shapiro said he was a “vindictive, nasty figure.” 

But perhaps more troubling, are those who support Bannon.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke called Bannon’s appointment “excellent” and white supremacist and “alt right” founder Richard Spencer tweeted that Chief Strategist was the “best possible position” for Bannon in the White House before having his Twitter account suspended.

Despite many Americans wondering what to expect from a Trump presidency, one thing remains certain – Steve Bannon’s new position gives the “alt-right” a powerful newfound influence in the White House. For many communities, that alone justifies their fear of a Trump presidency.