President Donald Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon is the administration's "ideologist" whose background and beliefs have made him "an unusual conservative," CNN host Fareed Zakaria said Sunday.
In opening remarks on his "GPS" show, Zakaria drew parallels between Bannon's political views those of old-school European thought.
"If there is an ideologist," in the Trump administration, "it's Steve Bannon," Zakaria said. "He's intelligent, broadly read and has a command of American history. I've waded through his speeches, but he is an unusual conservative."
"Bannon represents an older school of European conservative thought that is distrustful of free markets, determined to preserve traditional culture, religion and unabashedly celebrates nationalism…"
According to Zakaria, the "core of Bannon's world view" is found in his 2010 documentary, "Generation Zero."
"The main point is the financial crisis happened because of a larger moral crisis," Zakaria explained.. According to Bannon, the breakdown of old fashioned values created a culture of self-centeredness that measured everything and everyone in one way: money."
But Zakaria argued "a more accurate version" of recent history is that there was "a culture shift" beginning in the 1960s fueled by "individualism."
"The America that allowed individuals to flourish in the 1980s and '90s, was the place where the young and enterprising Stephen Bannon left a large bank to set up his own shop, do his own deals and make a small fortune," Zakaria said.
It also allowed Trump to "get out of Queens and Manhattan, build skyscrapers and his name brand while horrifying the establishment."
"They have succeeded in achieving their dreams because society was wide open to outsider," Zakaria said. "Breaking traditional morality did not stigmatize you. Their stories are the stories of modern America."
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