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.
Bannon’s Yiddish Insult For Trump Opponents
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.