The Real Steve Bannon Revealed!

Steve Bannon (photo credit: Don Irvine via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A marvelous interview with Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has suddenly appeared in, no less, The Hollywood Reporter: Ringside With Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect’s Strategist Plots “An Entirely New Political Movement” (Exclusive).” It is a perfect antidote to the McCarthyite insults being heaped on Bannon by the elitist left and its handmaiden, the mainstream media.

Bannon is a provocateur. No sin in that; the left has a plethora of provocateurs.

By every account he is an open-minded, generous (albeit demanding) soul. The media’s efforts to smear him are the most shameful application of “Tailgunner Joe,” guilt-by-association tactics seen since the days of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Wolff quotes Bannon:

“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” he tells me. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver” — by “we” he means the Trump White House — “we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed.”

Wolff goes on to observe:

Breitbart, with its casual provocations — lists of its varied incitements … were in hot exchange after the election among appalled Democrats — is as opaque to the liberal-donor-globalist class as Lena Dunham might be to the out-of-work workingman class.

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Six Lessons from Donald Trump’s Great Victory

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Congratulations, President-elect Trump. Congratulations to the historic, never-before-seen governing majority he assembled. It’s time to hope I was wrong and work for President Trump’s success — for America’s success.

Here are my first six takeaways from last night’s historic victory:

1.) The RNC’s “Autopsy” from 2012 got it exactly wrong in arguing the key to victory was less social conservatism and more of the standard GOP economic message. One key to Trump’s victory was to combine social conservatism with a new populist economic message. White evangelicals voted for him in record, never-before-seen numbers: 81 percent to 16 percent according to exit polls. That tops George W. Bush’s record of 78 percent in 2004.

2.) Latinos were the dog that didn’t bark. Build a wall, chastise Mexican immigrants as rapists, threaten to deport illegals — despite Trump’s often unusually harsh tone, he actually gained slightly more of the Latino vote than Romney did, 29 percent versus 27 percent. In Florida, he won 33 percent of the Latino vote. Apparently, Hispanic voters care less about immigration than elites think they should.

3.) The biggest loser last night was the donor class. According to, Trump raised $250 million — less than half of the $687 million Clinton raised.  Trump demonstrated that you can lose the money primary and still win the election. Television is no longer king. This is a huge opportunity for social conservatives in particular; as donors recognize giving to super PACs is just padding the pockets of consultants who make money whether they win or lose, they are going to be looking for new more effective political vehicles. Continue Reading

I Did It. I Voted for Donald Trump. Here’s Why.

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Tomorrow is Election Day. Tomorrow, we vote.

I want to talk a little bit about why I am voting for Donald Trump.

Early on in the GOP primary, I did not support Trump. My feelings on Trump were mixed. I thought his debate performances were entertaining. I enjoyed watching him destroy squishy establishment Republicans like Jeb Bush and John Kasich. Unlike many of my peers, I liked his brash demeanor, and I was captivated by his willingness to fight the liberal media.

But I had trust issues, many of which I wrote about here at The Pulse 2016. Was Donald Trump a true conservative? Was he really pro-life? Could he be trusted?

Abortion was my biggest concern with Trump from the very beginning. But Trump, wisely, made committing to the pro-life movement a priority. In his policy platform, Trump went further than any other GOP nominee in history, promising to…

  • …apply a litmus test to judicial appointees and nominate “pro-life” Supreme Court justices.
  • …sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a 20-week ban on abortion.
  • …defund Planned Parenthood.
  • …protect the Hyde Amendment and fight against any government effort to commit taxpayer funds to abortion.

It was because of these commitments that I declared I would vote for Donald Trump in an op-ed in The Daily Caller in May:

And as President, [Trump] will promote a culture of life. He will make saving lives a priority.

Does he say stupid things? Absolutely. Trump has evoked every emotion within me.

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What to Expect From Trump’s Major Economic Speech

There is a lot of speculation about what Donald Trump will propose in his economic speech today in Detroit.

But what makes Trump’s speech unique? What separates Trump’s proposals from the past two GOP nominees?

Unlike John McCain or Mitt Romney, Trump’s economic plan will speak primarily to workers and secondarily to businesses.

Since 2013, American Principles Project has argued that the corporate-focused economic message of the GOP is a general election loser. Instead of transparently advocating for businesses and business owners, we have argued that the GOP economic message should center on workers and their families and how to address their immediate economic needs. This should be the priority. Focusing on relief to “job-creators” should be an ancillary issue.

Trump’s entire economic message has focused on workers and families, specifically those that have been hurt by illegal immigration and bad trade deals. While we may disagree on the efficacy of addressing these problems, there should be no doubt regarding the politics of putting working families first — it’s a winner and it’s why Trump has gotten this far.

The New York Times ran a story a few days ago that made the case that “reformocons” were trying to use Trump as a vehicle to turn the GOP into more of a workers party — something Trump has already stated as a goal.

What are they advising him? Instead of handing out big tax breaks to wealthy individuals, why not expand tax cuts and credits to the poor and middle class? Continue Reading

My Trouble with “Never Trump”

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I don’t like Donald Trump for president, but I do like Trump voters. It is the job of the presumptive nominee to unite the party and I am pausing for a few breaths, at least before deciding to go third party.

The very thought, though, of uniting behind a independent candidate, as Ben Sasse is urging, exposes my trouble with the Never Trump movement. Any serious third-party effort requires uniting the Cruz and the Kasich factions, and I’m not sure that is either doable or desirable.

You see many stories floating around about how Trump’s rise proves that social conservatism is dead. This is absurd. Trump located himself as a social conservative. He opposes abortion and promised to pass a late-term abortion bill. Right now, the Human Rights Campaign is pounding him for agreeing, in response to a letter that the American Principles Project sent him, to sign the First Amendment Defense Act.

Some social conservatives are leading the Never Trump effort in part because they do not believe Trump will keep his promises and in part because of the man’s character flaws. But the candidate himself defined himself as at least as strong a social conservative as Romney or McCain were. Social conservatives would likely be disappointed by a President Trump but no more than they would have been by a President Romney or a President McCain.

No, the really revolutionary change in policy that Trump represents is on foreign policy and — and this is key — on Republican economics, which has degenerated over the years into Chamber of Commerce economics: protect job creators and all will be well.

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Voters to Washington: “The System is Rigged”

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a genius. His latest attacks on Ted Cruz are resonating widely. The new PPP poll has Trump at 51 percent, up 26 points in Pennsylvania, and at an astonishing 59 percent in Connecticut, up 34 points over Kasich, with Cruz lagging behind in the low teens.

Cruz keeps snuffling up delegates, while Trump is winning at the ballot box. 

Why? The genius of Trump is that he has in his attacks on Cruz put his fingers on the pulse of what the American people are feeling right now, the strongest message they want conveyed to Washington elites: “The system is rigged,” Trump proclaims, and he means the GOP delegate system that may deny him victory in the convention, even as he wins sweeping victories at the ballot box.

But if you had to sum up what the American people are feeling right now, it’s that the whole system is rigged against them.

The economy is rigged so Wall Street gets richer, but they do not.  They are right. (For an analysis of why, see George Gilder’s brilliant new book, The Scandal of Money.)

The political system is rigged somehow so that voting Republican never gets GOP voters any returns.

Democrats are not nearly so angry at their leaders. President Obama passed Obamacare, even though the American majority opposed it. Core Democrats were happy with that as a down payment on national health care. 

He repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” endorsed gay marriage, and is now using the regulatory apparatus of Washington to shut down enterprise (though global warming fears) and to impose the values implicit in gay marriage on every school child in America. Continue Reading

What Is Cruz’s Biggest Roadblock to the Nomination? (VIDEO)

Frank Cannon is president of the American Principles Project and a respected conservative political strategist with over 30 years of experience.

Well, I think it’s to broaden the base of support. Die-hard conservatives such as myself like Ted Cruz, but there’s a whole part of the party that’s angry for reasons that aren’t articulated on an issue dimension. They’re tired of the country being ineffective and government being ineffective, and it has a populist impulse to it. And Donald Trump, whether you like him or not, has been able to mine that to a great degree, and Ted Cruz hasn’t. And until he does, there’s no chance for him to really get to the levels he needs of delegates to beat Trump on the first ballot.


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Donald Trump, Political Parasite Exterminator?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Many commentators, including me, together have spilled billions of pixels attempting to explain the riddle of Donald Trump’s uncanny appeal. There may be one simple, striking, explanation. It is implied by James Piereson in his new book Shattered Consensus. It may well be that Trump’s appeal is his implicit promise to end political parasitism.

Sometimes the political parasites are termed “special interests.” This epithet can be applied equally to Big Government and Wall Street, Big Business and Big Labor. There are those who game the system to take out more than they contribute. If the federal government has become a siphon of the fruit of our honest labor into the pockets of the special interests — the parasites — this is a legitimate, and hot, grievance.

This is not a new thing. Consider among the particulars recited in the Declaration of Independence as a grievance against King George:He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

Given the last 15 years of economic stagnation it has intensified. And the elites, who are doing OK, may be purblind to it.


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Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics. Continue Reading