We have elected an Orthus

We have elected an Orthus

George Payne

A graduate of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, George Payne  teaches philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College and is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International. Recently, the Messenger Post Newspapers invited George to be a Guest Columnist. His most recent piece was ‘Alternative facts’ normalize Trump’s lies, 2/16/17.


Bannon’s CPAC Performance Should Terrify Progressives

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) revealed something to me. Steve Bannon is not as smart as he thinks he is. He does not explain his ideas; he just lists them. Nor is the president’s Chief White House Strategist as funny as he thinks he is. His jokes are flat and he messes up his sarcastic punchlines. In general, he is too hyper as a public speaker; it always sounds as if he is in a football locker room. He often comes across as being erratic and insecure.

I also observed that he only talks in bullet points. The themes of sovereignty, economic nationalism, and the deconstruction of the administrative state come up over and over, and they are buttressed by an overarching belief that peace comes through strength and that “we are a nation with a culture” that must be protected. But just what this culture consists of is never described in detail. What does he mean when he says that American culture is under threat? Who belongs in this country and who doesn’t it? What religions are more American than others? What race is more American than others? He just talks in code that speaks to the deepest longings of white nationalists.

Moreover, when Bannon says that Trump is committed to “driving the movement forward” he never says what he means by the term ‘movement.’ When pressed to give more information about specific policies and their legal and social consequences, Mr. Bannon blames the questioner as being influenced by the “corporate, globalist media opposition party.” Rather than educating the public about these issues, he routinely spouts conspiracy theories to justify his worldview. These are the cheap tactics of a man who is blinded by his own arrogance and ideology.

I also witnessed someone who is convinced that Donald Trump is invincible. Bannon can not talk for more than 30 seconds without praising his boss. When Bannon says things like,”Trump will continue to press his agenda” and “everyday is going to be a fight,” it is clear that he is referring to himself in addition to his soulmate. It is his agenda. He is going to fight everyday. There is no longer any difference between Bannon’s vision for America and Trump’s vision. They are two sides of the same coin. The two men share one mind when it comes to every single issue from deregulation and trade agreements to border security and civil rights.

We have elected an Orthus.orphus

A two-headed hound was said to watch over the cattle of a giant called Geryon. This hound, called Orthus (or Kyon Orthros) was the father of the Spinx and the Nemean Lion and older brother to Cerberus the three-headed dog of the Hades.

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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