Hatewatch reports that Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, and campaign chairman Steve Bannon (the devious mastermind of Breitbart “News”) both appeared on a once-secret list of members for the Council for National Policy – an ultra secretive right-wing coven of white supremacists, birthers, Tea Party operatives, religious extremists, all backed by a few wealthy financiers. The public now has access to a copy of the entire rogue’s gallery, listing every influential conservative Republican in America you never knew had pull, but does:
The CNP is not controversial so much for the conservatives who dominate it — activists of the religious right and the so-called “culture wars,” along with a smattering of wealthy financiers, Congressional operatives, right-wing consultants and Tea Party operatives — as for the many real extremists who are included.
They include people like Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate who for years was on the board of the white supremacist League of the South; Jerome Corsi, a strident Obama “birther” and the propagandist hit man responsible for the “Swift boating” of John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign; Joseph Farah, who runs the wildly conspiracist “news” operation known as WorldNetDaily; Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel leader who has worked to re-criminalize gay sex; Philip Zodhaites, another anti-gay activist who is charged with helping a self-described former lesbian who kidnapped her daughter from her former partner and fled the country; and a large number of other similar characters.
As Hatewatch explains it, the group has lots of reasons for paranoia and they maintain a regimen of secrecy almost designed to fuel the imagination of conspiracy theorists, but this is no theory. The existence of this group – and the others like it that must exist – illustrates how the intersectional extremism of white supremacy, radical Christianity, and free-market fascism that animates the far-right is channeled to infect mainstream politicians by:
“providing an important venue in which relatively mainstream conservatives meet and very possibly are influenced by real extremists, people who regularly defame LGBT people with utter falsehoods, describe Latino immigrants as a dangerous group of rapists and disease-carriers, engage in the kind of wild-eyed conspiracy theorizing for which the John Birch Society is famous, and even suggest that certain people should be stoned to death in line with Old Testament law.”
The laundry list of right-wing issues that current campaign manager Conway presents in her CNP bio highlights how this secret group is used to link together influential people by issues and position in order to further their unholy agendas.
“At a time of extreme political polarization in our society, in the middle of an ugly presidential contest which has featured an almost unsurpassed record of ethnic, racial and sexual insults and lies,” said the Southern Law Poverty Center, who runs Hatewatch, in a prepared statement, “Americans deserve to know who their ostensible leaders are mixing with as we collectively decide our country’s future.” It is no coincidence that the key members of Donald Trump’s political campaign all come from this secret group – and leaves us wondering how many more are out there, plotting behind the scenes?
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition