Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Family Research Council 'Values Voter' Summit will see religious right meet alt-right

Steven Bannon, who mainstream alt-right views in Breitbart will be a speaker at FRC's Values Voter Summit this weekend.

It's that time again when hate group the Family Research Council will have its annual so-called Values Voter Summit  this upcoming weekend (so named because the organization high jacked the word "values.")

It's always a drag to read about when FRC and various other prominent religious right members and conservatives come together to spin their lies about the LGBTQs,Muslims, and other so-called unworthy communities or wring their hands in false abject misery of how America has supposedly fallen and they stand between it and an wrathful God wielding a thunderbolt of calamity.

This year, however, it will be nauseatingly different. With Trump in office handing out all sorts of goodies such as access and anti-LGBTQ policies and executive orders, the summit promises to be worse with them in a good mood.

But in the midst of that junk, there will be another difference which cannot be ignored. I think it's not farfetched to say that this will be an official joining of the religious right and the alt-right.

From FRC:

On Friday, October 13, former Deputy Assistant to the President, Sebastian Gorka, will address the 12th Annual Values Voter Summit taking place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Thousands of grassroots activists from around the country will gather in the nation's capital to hear from Gorka and other confirmed speakers which include House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), RSC Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Dr. Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Dana Loesch, "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson, Todd Starnes, Steve Bannon, Judge Roy Moore, Lt. Col. Oliver North, and more. FRC Action's Values Voter Summit is co-sponsored by AFA Action, American Values, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Association of Mature American Citizens, The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship, The Heritage Foundation, United in Purpose, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and Family Research Council. An exhibit hall, book signings, radio row, media row, and much more will be packed into this three-day conference.

Two new and very interesting faces will be headlining the summit - former Trump Administration officials Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon. Both men are controversial figures for their comments and alliances.

According to Rolling Stone, Gorka wasn't popular in the Trump Administration and no one really knew what his position was:

t's not easy to find out exactly what Gorka does in the White House for his $155,000 salary. In terms of policy, according to The New York Times, Trump's recent pro-Saudi Arabia tilt was "driven by two advisers, Stephen K. Bannon and Sebastian Gorka." But a former top White House official tells Rolling Stone, "His only job appears to be to go on talk radio or Fox News to defend the indefensible." That he does constantly, spinning the administration's confused, roller-coaster ride of a foreign policy; slamming "the fake-news industrial complex," on CNN; supporting a Supreme Court decision as "a slap in the face" to critics of Trump's Muslim travel ban, on talk radio; and, on MSNBC, explaining Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting with a team of Russians peddling dirt as "a massive nothingburger."

And then there other problems with his supposed credentials:

 In person, Gorka is always nattily attired, sporting a distinguished-looking splash of facial hair to go with his precise, deep-baritone, British-accented English. Insisting everywhere that he be referred to as "doctor," Gorka began his rise with a 2008 Ph.D. awarded by little-known Corvinus University of Budapest, an institution that several scholars who spoke to Rolling Stone described as having a questionable reputation. "Corvinus is pretty low-tier, maybe third- or fourth-tier," says Daniel Nexon, a scholar at Georgetown University who has reviewed Gorka's dissertation. "He might as well have mail-ordered his Ph.D." Nexon ran its text through plagiarism software and found that portions of it were "repurposed."  
 "Gorka's thesis is about as legitimate as if he had been awarded it by Trump University," says Andrew Reynolds, a professor at the University of North Carolina who looked into Gorka's background. He says that of the three people who served as endorsers of Gorka's Ph.D., two didn't have any academic credentials whatsoever, and a third was György Schöpflin, a right-wing Hungarian politician who, Reynolds adds, was a Gorka family friend and once suggested studding a Hungarian border fence with pig heads to send a message to Muslim refugees. (Gorka said later that Schöpflin was "making a joke"; Gorka, whom Rolling Stone reached out to repeatedly, declined to comment for this article.)

Lastly, there were numerous allegations linking Gorka to far-right and anti-Semitic groups.  Courtesy of an investigation by Buzzfeed, it was alleged that Gorka, at the very least, was a self-promoter not above exaggerating to improve his status.

Gorka, however, is a lightweight compared to the other former Trump Administration official attending FRC's event, Steven Bannon. Before and after the time he worked for the Trump campaign and the Trump Administration, Bannon was editor of Breitbart, a far-right publication not above stretching the truth and resorting racism, Islamophobia, and homophobia to grab readers.

According to another Buzzfeed investigation, however, Bannon went further than that. He incorporated white nationalist and Nazi ideas into the publication. The magazine This Week gave the main points of what Buzzfeed discovered:

Before becoming White House chief strategist, Stephen Bannon ran Breitbart, a website he said he wanted to be "the platform for the alt-right." Documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed News show how Breitbart's former tech editor, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, worked with white nationalists to define "alt-right" and set Breitbart on its current course. With Bannon back at Breitbart after his stint in the White House, Yiannopoulos is Breitbart's most famous alumnus, having left the site in February. BuzzFeed News reveals several noteworthy tidbits about him — like Yiannopoulos' penchant for using Nazi-related passwords (one started with "LongKnives1290," another "Kristall") — as well as emails between Bannon and Yiannopoulos, including one where Bannon admonishes Yiannopoulos for not doing his part to "help save western civilization."

One would think that a savvy, supposedly morality-based Christian organization such as the Family Research Council wouldn't publicly associated itself with someone like Bannon or Gorka. But the organization seems to have no problem with doing this.

People have wondered and feared where Trump will eventually take America. I think the religious right and the anti-LGBTQ industry should start asking where will his Administration take them. And more importantly, where will they end up after it's all over.

I know where I want them to end up. But modesty and good taste forbids me from saying where.

Related post:

Fox News and CNN have not yet covered BuzzFeed report that Bannon gave editorial control of Breitbart to neo-Nazis  

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