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The chief ideologist of the Trump era is surely Stephen Bannon, by many accounts now the second-most powerful man in the government. Bannon is intelligent, broadly read and has a command of American history. In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2012, for example, Bannon explained his disgust for Mitt Romney and his admiration for Sarah Palin, whose older son, Bannon noted, had served in Iraq. In a strange way, Bannon's dark, dystopian view of American history is closest to that of Howard Zinn, the popular far-left scholar whose "A People's History of the United States" is a tale of the many ways in which the 99 percent of Americans were crushed by the country's all-powerful elites.Both Bannon and Trump seem nostalgic for an age – the 1930s to 1950s – that was an aberration for the nation.The America that allowed individuals to flourish in the 1980s and 1990s, of course, was the place where the young and enterprising Bannon left a large bank to set up his own shop, do his own deals and make a small fortune. Both men are divorced, Bannon three times, Trump twice.
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