Trump: “Bannon’s More Of a Libertarian Than Anything Else”

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Despite recent reports that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon had been sidelined within the administration, it appears he may be winning back the President’s favor.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Trump defended Bannon, describing him as a “very decent guy who feels very strongly about the country” and had received a “bad rap” from the media.

Trump also disputed the media’s portrayal of Bannon as an ‘alt-right’ figure, stating that he sees Bannon as “alt-left”, on the basis that “Bannon’s more of a libertarian than anything else.”

In response to reports of tensions between Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Trump said, “they’re getting along fine.”

Trump went on to downplay reports that Bannon would be leaving the White House, saying: “I’m very happy with our group. We’re doing very well.”

Bannon is said to have made an unlikely comeback within the White House, having reportedly been behind the Trump administration’s recent criticisms of Canada’s abuse of NAFTA, according to The Hill

Trump’s characterization of Bannon as a libertarian is certainly unusual, given Bannon’s previous dismissal of the Cato Institute and Austrian economics.

However, it is not unheard of, with Bannon himself stating “I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism” in a 2014 speech to the Human Dignity Institute. Bannon then went on to criticize “the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism,” which he considers “a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost.” This suggests that Bannon, if he is indeed a libertarian, perhaps has more of a paleolibertarian outlook, combining libertarianism with a deep-seated cultural conservatism.

Regardless of Bannon’s personal ideology, his anti-establishment outlook has made him an ally for libertarians who wish to see Trump adhere to his ‘America First’ campaign platform, with Bannon reportedly pushing back against attempts by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to escalate U.S. involvement in Syria and by Kushner to keep the United States in the Paris climate agreement.

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  • Nothing wrong with that

  • I was there when that photo was taken.

    As for Steve Bannon being a libertarian, Steve Bannon seems to disagree.

    https://www.facebook.com/mises.institute/posts/10154714225168935

  • Just two months ago, Bannon seemed to disagreed… “And then the Republicans, it’s all this theoretical Cato Institute, Austrian economics, limited government — which just doesn’t have any depth to it. They’re not living in the real world.”

  • Calling an authoritarian a libertarian is an oxymoron, isn’t it ?

  • Tushar Verma

  • you’re just getting around to realizing that?

  • GeorgeDance

    Bannon is said to have made an unlikely comeback within the White House, having reportedly been behind the Trump administration’s recent criticisms of Canada’s abuse of NAFTA, according to The Hill.

    A technicality, perhaps, but: Both of the issues that were raised last month – softwood lumber (which Canadian producers are allegedly dumping in the U.S.) and dairy products (which U.S. producers are in fact dumping in Canada) were deliberately exempted from the NAFTA agreement

    Trump’s characterization of Bannon as a libertarian is certainly unusual, given Bannon’s previous dismissal of the Cato Institute and Austrian economics.

    It is unusual; but it does make sense if one sees it as part of an attempt to fashion a ‘new libertarianism’: one that excludes the followers of Cato, Austrian economics, and Ayn Rand, but includes the Buchananites, Constitutionalists, Trumpers, and other supporters of a nativist, anti-globalist agenda.

    • Richard Freeman

      Good points on the creation of the “New Libertarianism”, although it should be rejected. . .
      Mises was right. Rothbard was right. Bannon, not so much. . . Without freemarkets (Austrian), or the N.A.P. it is not and can never be Libertarianism. . .

  • Richard Freeman

    As a Rothbardian it breaks my heart to see “Libertarian” thrown around so casually. . .
    Also not a term I would use as a descriptor for someone that rejects the Austrian model of economics. . .

    Just to be clear. . .

    lib·er·tar·i·an
    noun
    1. an adherent of libertarianism.
    “libertarian philosophy”
    2. a person who believes in the doctrine of free will.

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