The internet never forgets.
Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s contentious chief strategist, appeared on an episode of Real Time With Bill Maher in 2011, and the segment reveals quite a lot about his beliefs. Alongside an all-star lineup of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anthony Bourdain, and former Salon editor Joan Walsh, Bannon discussed the financial crisis that had nearly crippled America’s economy at the time.
Speaking to how millennials encounter far more financial woes than their predecessors, Bannon describes why, exactly, that’s so problematic. “We are literally taking away the most important, formative decade of a person’s life,” Bannon said. “That’s why the crisis is not something to talk about that’s going to come, the crisis is here today.”
In order to fix this problem, Bannon said that Congress must be mobilized and chastised lawmakers for not doing enough. “We should call Congress back, we should get to work, people should roll their sleeves up, they should be working 18 hours a day to try to solve this,” Bannon said in the video.
Given that Bannon seems to hold quite a bleak picture of America, his composure in the video is slightly surprising. Though beneath his cool temperament, it’s apparent that his vision of “American Carnage remains. It’s also concerning that Bannon does not seem to have a solution for the issues he describes since he is now a major influence on American policy.
In the same clip, Bourdain shared an anecdote that’s representative of another issue facing the American workforce: the idea that many white Americans consider certain jobs beneath them. “I was an employer for 20 years as a chef,” Bourdain said. “I cannot think of a single time an American-born kid ever walked into my restaurant, any restaurant I ever worked in, and asked for a job as a dishwasher, a cleanup person, or even an entry-level prep cook.” Many Americans think they are “too good” for certain jobs, Bourdain said.
Bannon appeared to agree with Bourdain’s suggestion – which is interesting, considering Trump’s administration, led by Bannon, is so hellbent on ridding the United States of immigrants.
Bizarrely, deGrasse Tyson seems to predict Trump. Referring to Congress’s inability to consistently agree, deGrasse Tyson suggests a “business person who knows how to make a hard but significant financial decision” be in charge. Welp, be careful what you wish for.