To those who think this is preaching to the choir: The choir is becoming increasingly small, distracted and quiet. There must be a strong rejection of Bannon and the direction he aims to move the Republican Party and the country. I write this not as a snowflake, a liberal, or an ignorant blogger, but as a conservative activist who feels increasingly the black sheep in a party that is losing its roots and values.
The Senate Special Election in Alabama to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions seat is the just the most recent installment in a string of electoral losses for the GOP. The fault for the loss lies not with the Republican Party, it’s voters, the President, or even the Democrat who won the election. While some have pointed to the loss of a Senate seat in ruby red Alabama as evidence of an energized liberal mass, to credit Democrats with the defeat of Roy Moore would be very misleading and incorrect. The sole individual who is responsible is Steve Bannon, former special advisor to the President and executive chairman of Breitbart.
No democrat has won a statewide race in Alabama since 1992 when former Democrat, now Republican, Richard Shelby was re-elected to the U.S. Senate. To point to Doug Jones as a unique candidate that overcame tremendous political odds to win election to the Senate is not accurate. Jones did not so much win, as his opposition lost. And to be clear, Jones’ opposition consisted not of the GOP, but of the Alt-Right and its crown Prince, Steve Bannon. The Republican Senate Election arm, the NSRC fought hard to defend incumbent Luther Strange who had been appointed to fill the seat after President Trump appointed then-Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. But Steve Bannon, seeing an opening to begin his war against the Republican Party, gave perennial candidate and State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore a tremendous amount of financial and public support. Under the guise of helping enact President Trump’s populist agenda, Steve Bannon sought to increase his influence by trying to elect someone in his own image. Intent on waging a war with establishment Republicans over control of the party, Steve Bannon’s reckless actions have led to an accused child molestor being nominated, a Democrat winning in Alabama and a more divided party than ever.
While Bannon’s many disciples agree with the rhetoric that he spews, those who backed Bannon’s Moore ticket in the Alabama Primary are in the dark on the Alt-Right’s true intentions. What the primary voters who delivered Moore the nomination didn’t know is that Bannon is not concerned with advancing policy, but rather elevating himself. He is unconcerned with promoting good governance, American values, or a more unified country.
If Republicans can take one lesson away from Alabama, it should not be that their party is doomed in 2018, it should be that Steve Bannon is wrong for Republicans, wrong for decency, and wrong for America. If he continues to peddle influence and be trusted by conservatives, than far more will be at stake than control of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. The very institutions themselves could be irreparably damaged by the Bannonites who the Alt-Right are desperately trying to push over the finish line in primaries across the country.
With that, I urge fellow Republicans to reject Bannon’s bigotry and nationalism, and instead embrace American values and Conservative Values.
By Patrick Burland, Staff Writer