Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

White Nationalist Does Massacre. Now the Gaslighting Begins.

In the hours following the massacre of Walmart shoppers, targeted for being Latinx, by a killer who authored a white male nationalist screed, the right-wing disinformation machine cranked into gear. The attack was actually a deep-state “false flag” operation, tweeted conspiracy theorist Mark Taylor, the self-described “firefighter prophet.” Brendan Dilley, who hosts a MAGA-themed YouTube program, took to Twitter to ascribe the El Paso massacre to antifa, the often pugilistic anti-fascist movement. Two days later, the president of the United States, he of the alpha Twitter feed, blamed the media for both the attack in El Paso, Texas, and a subsequent massacre at a bar in Dayton, Ohio. For the small-time gaslighters like Dilley and Taylor, it was an epic assist from the Big Guy. Taylor and Dilley are but two of the right-wing social media personalities who traffic in outlandish theories involving the so-called “deep state” or advancing the cryptic...

What Did the Vice President Know, and When Did He Know It?

If anyone still buys the notion that Vice President Mike Pence is some kind of a Boy Scout, a spin through the speech delivered on Saturday by President Donald Trump’s biggest fan to a roomful of religious-right activists should disabuse them of that dream: Pence peppered his address with demonstrable lies. If truth were still a thing, I suppose the Pence speech would have been news—scandalous news. But neither the footsoldiers nor the leaders of the right—religious or otherwise—care much for truth; they care more about a federal judiciary filled with far-right judges appointed for a lifetime. God apparently hates abortion and feminists and gays and transgender people and the enfranchisement of black people far more than he hates liars. It’s all about the net gain—which makes Pence, the performatively pious prevaricator, the perfect embodiment of the Lying for Jesus theological construct that is all the rage among right-wing evangelical leaders...

Le Pen, Salvini, and Europe’s Far Right Increase Numbers in European Parliament, as Bannon Stays Close at Hand

BRUSSELS—For Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party, her moment of triumph came at the end of a bumpy couple of weeks. First the triumph: In last weekend’s elections for the European Union Parliament, Le Pen’s party gained greater ground over that of the neoliberal President Emmanuel Macron, winning some 24 percent of the French vote to 21 percent for Macron’s La République en Marche party. In truth, it was something of a rerun for Le Pen, whose party won around the same percentage in the EU parliamentary elections of 2014. But this time was different. The embattled Macron had branded the contest as something of a referendum on himself, having had to face off against Le Pen in a 2017 run-off that determined who would be France’s next president. So branded, this year’s EU elections became an important symbolic contest between the far right, with its anti-migrant and anti-Muslim vitriol, and the pro-...

Trump and Bannon: Busting Up the World

Steve Bannon, the erstwhile White House strategist, has added a new project to his portfolio—one designed, like all Bannon projects, to harness the worst in a situation to make it worser. His latest focuses on an adversary that troubles those on both left and right: China. But Bannon’s aim is hardly to reduce tensions between the U.S. and China; he means to ratchet up the trade war, a prospect that surely plants a smirk on the face of Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation. Together with professional Islamophobe Frank Gaffney, Bannon leads something called the Committee on the Present Danger: China, a name risen from the ashes of the Red Scare of the 1950s. On Thursday, Bannon, Gaffney, and a handful of ideological private capitalists gathered in the St. Regis Hotel in New York not simply to scaremonger about China—about which there is much to worry, from human rights to lack of any rule of law—but to declare war. Should Trump arrive at a trade...

‘The Brink’: Inside Steve Bannon’s Plan to Ruin the World

Jane Barlow/PA Wire/Press Association via AP Images
If you ever wondered about the capacity of a broken, pathetic person to fuck up the world, Alison Klayman offers a case study in her documentary The Brink , which turns its lens on Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief executive and sacked chief strategist to President Donald J. Trump. The filmmaker finds Bannon regrouping in the wake of his banishment from Breitbart-world, to which he had returned following his ouster from the White House. Bannon likes to call himself an “economic nationalist,” but it was white nationalism that led to his White House ouster, when he took the fall for Trump’s outrageous remarks following the violence instigated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. In a press conference soon after the incident, the president proclaimed that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the demonstrations there—one side being people who assembled ostensibly to defend a statue of Confederate General...

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