Stephen Bannon, who recently took over as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, once gave an interview, while promoting his 2010 film, “Fire From the Heartland: the Awakening of the Conservative Woman,” where he argued that Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter pose an existential threat to the left.
“These women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative,” he explained. “That's one of the unintended consequences of the women's liberation movement––that, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be feminine, they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn't be a bunch of dykes that came from the 7 Sisters schools."
The quote captures a key attribute of the former U.S. Navy officer, whose stints at Georgetown University, Harvard Business School, and Goldman Sachs afforded a foothold at the core of America’s elite, enabling him to launch a film career that began with a Sean Penn collaboration before segueing into polemic right-wing documentaries.
His films, like the web content that Bannon would later oversee at Breitbart.com, which he took over after the untimely death of its eponymous founder, often appear to stand for something––for Ronald Reagan, the subject of one of Bannon’s early efforts, In the Face of Evil; or for Sarah Palin, who got her own standalone biopic; or for the Tea Party, which Bannon would frequently laud in the years after it began, praising Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee, even as he excoriated the GOP establishment, declaring, “What we need to do is bitch-slap the Republican Party.”