NY Times: The Pretend Populism of Donald Trump


For a politician who won the White House by railing against the elites and demonizing the establishment, Donald Trump presented an odd argument for why Americans should believe, as he does, that his adviser Steve Bannon is no racist, anti-Semitic ally of the alt-right.

“Steve went to Harvard,” Trump reminded about two dozen of us at The Times last week, and then, a few sentences later, added, “I think he was with Goldman Sachs on top of everything else.”

Well, that certainly settles it. If Bannon has been cleansed in the rose-scented bathwater of the Ivy League and then spritzed with the perfume of Wall Street, he can be no ideological outlier, no cultural ruffian, no threat. He knows to use the smaller, outside fork first and to put his linen napkin on his lap, not to cut eyeholes in it and wear it over his face.