From Maureen Dowd comes another tale of Steve Bannon's ideological horror show, a tale that was (to me) an unfamiliar one. (Before a commenter reminds me of what a bitch Ms. Dowd was for eight recent years and therefore the commenter nobly refuses to read her, I should note that I'm quite aware of what a snarky, unreasonable bitch she was. Nonetheless, I have continued to read her for the same reason I read Krauthammer et al: her style often excels. Plus, that she was a battle-ax of an anti-Obama bitch doesn't mean that her views on Trump are equally, insanely bitchy.)
Dowd borrows this story from a WSJ interview with Trump's "chief strategist."
Bannon said his anti-elitist worldview was shaped by his father’s decision during the financial crisis in 2008 to sell his AT&T stock, at a loss of more than $100,000. Marty Bannon, who started at AT&T as a lineman, got spooked by Jim Cramer’s advice on the "Today" show to take "whatever money you may need for the next five years" out of the market.
Even though one son, Steve, was a banker at Goldman Sachs and another son had an investment background, Marty Bannon did not consult them or a financial adviser until the sale was completed.
He preferred, like Trump, to get crucial information from TV pundits and eschew the experts in his own circle who might have told him that selling during panics is not wise and that having one stock in an undiversified portfolio is not smart….
So, essentially, because Bannon’s father made a bad, hurried financial decision based on watching TV, we now have to slash Meals on Wheels, Big Bird, the arts, after-school programs, health insurance, immigration from Muslim countries, climate change research, diplomats and taxes for the rich.
I have noticed over the years that among far-right ideologues, great leaps of universal thinking often spring from the narrowest of personal, or anecdotal, evidence. Bannon is said to be a vast reader, but from that, it appears, he has learned nothing. Instead, his present worldview was shaped by one very personal experience. Perspective counts for nothing. (Far-left ideologues frequently suffer from a rather similar affliction — but in reverse. Immense abstractions replace everyday experience in the formation of their worldviews, which renders them as unworkable as Bannonesque eccentricities.)