Monday, August 28, 2017

Bannon has Left the White House but his Influence Remains

Steve Bannon may be out of the White House but a paint by numbers version of his ideology has been grafted onto the brain of the US Commander and Chief. Bannon's insane ideology will endure in the Executive branch as long as Trump remains in office.

Bannon was advising Trump well before becoming a formal adviser on August 17, 2016. Bannon cemented his relationship with Trump in the 2016 election. He earned himself a senior position in the Trump administration because he is the matchmaker who delivered the alt-right vote. Trump cannot eschew the alt-right because he is so widely reviled outside of this group that he really has nowhere else to turn. Without the alt-right Trump's support could plunge to single digits.

Trump must continue to feed red meat to his core supporters if he is to maintain a base. As a consequence Trump can be expected to continue his occasional overt expressions of support for far-right extremists interspersed with frequent dog whistles. 

The idea the Bannon could have hijacked the presidency and locked in a nationalist quasi-fascist agenda seems outlandish. However, we are in outlandish times. No one ever thought that we would see a fascist in the White House that is until Trump tapped Bannon to be his chief strategist and senior counselor. No one ever thought the United States could see a resurgence of white supremacists until the tragic events in Charlottesville.

Bannon's appointment as Trump's chief strategist has been celebrated by fascists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and neo-Nazi sympathizer Don Advo.

Even Sebastian Gorka's firing has not rid the White House of extreme nationalist influences (Gorka's a former Breitbart editor with Islamophobic views). Despite changes in the White House Bannon's fascist ideology will continue to lead the ideology of the alt-right.

Although he will no longer be formally advising the president, Bannon continues to be a serious player. He can be expected to keep promoting his dark agenda and wield his influence in the alt-right. Bannon has made no secret of the fact that he intends to use his newfound freedom to go to "war' using all of his "weapons". He is referring largely to Brietbart, the conservative media hub for the alt-right movement.

Bannon does not believe we owe future generations anything he believes we owe it to past generations to pass on their traditions to the future. This Burkean compact leads Bannon to believe that the US must destroy both its alliances and its institutions. The maniacal goal of his ideology is to bring about an apocalyptic conflict in which white culture prevails.

Bannon's ideology is behind the Trump administration's anti-immigrant and anti-globalization policies. Bannon directly influenced Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. Bannon is also the guy who has encouraged Trump to publicly discredit popular media in favor of conspiracy minded conservative sites like Brietbart, which is a quintessential fake news outlet that embraces fascism.

Bannon's dark narrative warrants both fear and derision. As the chief advisor to Trump he has confabulated his conspiratorial musing into what can only be described as a policy steeped in paranoid delusion. Now that he is free of the constraints imposed by the White House he may be far worse.

The Atlantic quoted a source close to Bannon as saying "Steve is now unchained". "He’s going nuclear," another friend said. "You have no idea. This is gonna be really fucking bad."

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