The nightmare reality of a Donald Trump presidency is getting off to a horrifying start. While Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are urging everyone, not least of all disaffected Democrats, to “give the President-elect a chance”, the cold hard truth of what his election means is setting in with Trump’s naming of white nationalist Stephen Bannon – CEO of Breitbart “News” – as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor to the POTUS. What Bannon’s selection demonstrates above all is what many in the corporate media failed to properly understand during the course of the 2016 presidential campaign cycle. What they so often chalked up to being major campaign “gaffes” on the part of Trump – his retweeting of “white genocide” memes, slandering of a judge’s Mexican ancestry, etc. – were not actually gaffes at all but were implicit, bordering on the explicit, appeals to the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who make up the so-called “Alt-right.” Somehow Trump understood that there is still potency in indirectly aligning oneself with the long-discredited champions of white identity politics, defying the narrative that these ugly characters are mere remnants of a dark and ugly past. Trump embraced them by retweeting their words of support and approval, their fake and debunked ‘crime’ statistics, and their anti-Semitic imagery without ever having to truly be associated with their most abhorrent views the way most candidates presumably would. When Trump first hired Bannon to be his campaign chief back in August, it was Trump’s biggest symbol yet to the alt-right crowd that yes, in fact, he is their guy. It was his way of telling them that he shares their worldview and all that it entails, though he cannot say so explicitly. According to the Washington Post, Bannon symbolized an electoral strategy that “resembles the alt-right dream of maximizing the white vote.” Trump has been sending dog-whistles to white supremacists all year on Twitter, and now that he has the keys to the White House he’s letting them know, with the hiring of Bannon and nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, that they will not only have a seat at the table in his administration, but one of the most prominent seats available.