Steve Bannon might have promoted Breitbart News as “the platform for the ‘alt-right,’” but that has not prevented him from using the universal language of insults: Yiddish.
Bannon, now the White House chief strategist to President Trump, used to refer to backers of rival Hillary Clinton as “shmendriks,” according to a new book on the campaign from journalist Joshua Green.
The term “shmendrik” refers to a stupid or foolish person, another entry in the line of Yiddish put-downs, including words like schlemiel, schnorrer and an array of unprintables.
According to Green, whose book is excerpted in New York magazine, Bannon was the architect of Trump’s no-apologies campaign strategy and reveled in lobbing insults at the Clinton camp.
Bannon’s appointment as a White House adviser caused controversy because of his connection with the “alt-right,” a group of modern-day white nationalists, white supremacists and fellow travelers. His pick was opposed by numerous Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Bannon’s Yiddish Insult For Trump Opponents