Look at that stern glare. I’m shaking in my pantaloons.
Anyway, Steve Bannon is a curious man. Is he particularly complex? I don’t get that sense, but you have to work with what the media and the personalities that they focus on give you. A new book by Michael Wolff offers hundreds of interviews, and the one that is the center of this article explores Bannon’s deep relationship with the words “unpatriotic” and “treasonous.”
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House allows Mr. Bannon to put a halo on his head. A red, white, and blue one, if you want to get technical. Steve portrayed the Trump Tower meeting attended by Jared Kushner and Trump Jr and treasonous and unpatriotic. He also advocated for the FBI by saying “They didn’t have any lawyers. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Sometimes I just don’t get Bannon. He’s openly against American institutions, saying that he wants to blow up the system, and that he is anti-establishment. Despite the context of his statement, he supports an American institution, aka the FBI, a government agency that President Trump-e-tus has railed against since the beginning. Bannon has sown mistrust in various institutions, from the media to official government bureaucracies.
Steve is a politically naive opportunist, sending the FBI, the government, its laws, and everything else to Tartarus until these systems represented an efficient way to position himself as…POTUS 2020?
It seems inconceivable to suggest that Bannon is a committed altruist when it comes to Trump’s story. Bannon pieced together the tapestry of Trumpism before Trump became aware of the concept, true, but now that the President has helped to reify this as a “valid” “semi-mainstream” view, Bannon appears to be using Trump’s closest associates to solidify his own reputation.
When Trump doubted himself on the campaign trail, it was Bannon that told him to “double down.” Bannon twists the notion of Trumpism to suit himself. In the age of frenetic time, Trump has already become a relic. Trump has warped nature’s hourglass with a constant parade of tweetstorms, but in some ways, distorting time only sets you up to become a victim of it. To many people living in the United States, the Trump age has already seemed like an eternity. I can’t say I feel sorry for the guy. But that’s just what he wants: pity, one of the many tools of the narcissist.
So, 2017 seemed to go by so slowly and yet so quickly. Resentment is at a peak. On one hand, Trump holds the hysteria over nuclear war, on the other, domestic oppression. Now Bannon saunters into the saloon, pointing fingers and wagering that using comfortable labels, such as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous,” when communicated with Trump’s base will be a safe way to lampoon a diminishing avatar of economic populism.
Even though it’s tempting to see the current political landscape in the US as dystopian, or approaching dystopia, it is very much a political landscape. To Bannon, white nationalism is as old as time itself, but finding the correct language to get behind is still an ongoing process.
Some might doubt that Bannon has designs to occupy the presidency, and while it’s hardly a provable fact, he felt very comfortable exerting control over Trump early in his presidency. Is Bannon like Vice President Mike Pence this way? These two supporters of far-right-ism have walked a fine line between portraying themselves as staunch allies of Trump, and having their own voices of subdued criticism whenever a convenient situation presents itself.
The unholy trifecta that unites the far-right?