Nationalist and white power/alt-Right leader Steve Bannon is Trump’s chief strategist and personal advisor. He appears to be the most influential and powerful person in the Trump administration. Bannon is on record with many of his extremist opinions about the government and the world he wants to see replace the world we live in today and it’s pretty frightening.
Consider these quotes from Bannon and the picture they paint of him and his intentions:
“Fear is a good thing. Fear is going to lead you to take action.”
“I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
“Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”
“We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.”
Bannon has openly stated that he wants to see (and lead) a global movement that promotes the anti-foreigner/nationalist views represented by Brexit and Trump’s election, where mostly white, Christian nations treat those who aren’t as threats and inferiors.
The weakly veiled anti-Muslim travel ban just instituted (and now blocked by federal courts) through the obviously Bannon-drafted Executive Order Trump signed reflect this bigotry. However, as he’s admitted, Bannon has an agenda that is much bigger than one EO. How does this ban further that?
As repulsive as Bannon is, no one accuses him of being stupid. He can’t be unaware of the ramifications of this ban (let alone other EOs). He knows that Muslim majority nations and their citizens would be outraged by this and that ISIS, which has used the meme of America hating Muslims as their primary recruiting tool, would be delighted at the windfall this would deliver to them. And he has to know that intentionally beating a wasp’s nest with a stick will end up enraging them and putting them on the attack.
Don’t we all know what has to come next after the American government launches a hateful, humiliating and insulting attack on all Muslims from Muslim majority countries? By inflating the U.S. as the biggest enemy of Muslims, becoming the ripest target in such a way, isn’t it inevitable that a terrorist attack of some kind against the U.S. is hastened?
Terrorist attacks have happened in the U.S. no matter who the president has been or how friendly or unfriendly he has been to the Muslim community. There are mentally disturbed people in the U.S. already that are vulnerable to being incited to commit horrific acts, especially with ISIS and others urging them on. Not to mention Bannon and Trump.
So when the next terrorist attack happens, which may be spurred on by the very tactics that Trump and Bannon claim are meant to protect the country, why might that be potentially welcomed by them?
As the quote above illustrates, Bannon sees the future as requiring a religious and cultural war against the non-white, non-Christian peoples, in order to arrive at a global White Christian Man’s Nirvana. How to launch such a war when the majority of Americans would oppose it?
The lessons of 9/11 point the way.
When a terrorist attack happens, wouldn’t Trump claim that it validated his Islamophobic acts and justified greater retaliation against Muslims? And might not many in the public, in the wake of a shocking terrorist attack, be so fearful of another attack that they would support whatever extremist actions he took “to keep Americans safe”?
As the saying goes and 9/11 proved, crisis for the many is seen as opportunity for the few. It is hard to imagine that Bannon and Trump haven’t considered how the country became so submissive to The President after 9/11 (even Bush, in his later years in office, pined nostalgically for the days of obsequiousness after time passed and the public’s fearfulness and blind obedience dissipated). With such an unpopular and xenophobic agenda so desperately desired, might not Trump and Bannon see it to their advantage if a terrorist attack occurred and a frightened public fell in line behind whatever they wanted to do? And paved the way for retaliation that became the type of religious war that Trump, Bannon and ironically, ISIS are all looking to wage?
Trump is the stereotypical con man and Bannon is right there with him. When it comes to conning others, there’s the short con and the long con. I think we can see what the short con is for Trump, to deceive the ignorant who support him that he’s keeping all his campaign promises and fixing everything in America as only Cheeto Jesus can. He’s playing the part of “Big Daddy” for them, who’s going to keep them safe, bring back good paying jobs in the horse and buggy industry and make root beer flow from their kitchen faucet (actually that’s polluted water after he’s gutted the EPA).
But the long con is what’s most worrisome and dangerous. What is it that Trump and Bannon hope to gain from keeping the country in constant crisis and damaging and undermining the relationships with the outside world including Mexico, Muslims, Europe, etc.? It’s about nationalism and autocracy. By driving government and society into dysfunction and disarray, isolating it from other countries, The President would be the only one to turn to and could assume greater power.
The fears of Trump taking on a dictator-like presidency are legitimate (the instance this weekend of Customs officials being ordered by Trump officials to refuse to follow federal court orders to release detainees is chilling because it is what happens in dictatorships). Creating a Constitutional crisis in only his first week in office may portend that this may be more the rule than the exception over the next few years. And with our society in constant chaos…if a terrorist attack comes in the midst of it all, there will be opportunity for Trump, Bannon and their cronies to accumulate power in a way that could only have been a nightmare to the nation’s founders.
There is hope though. The popular uprisings around the U.S. and the world will put increasing pressure on Republicans in Congress who don’t stand up to Trump’s and Bannon’s unconstitutional actions. Federal courts are universally siding with the people and ordering stays against the Trump/Bannon Muslim ban and the Acting U.S. Attorney General, Sally Yates stated that she would not defend this EO and has directed the rest of The Justice Department not to defend it. She was fired by Trump later in the day but this was still a big symbolic blow to the Trump/Bannon efforts. Additionally, over 100 U.S. diplomats have signed a Dissent Memo, condemning the Muslim Ban and explaining the danger it represents (to them, to our military and to our ability to work with and get the assistance of Muslims in Iraq and other countries where we’re fighting ISIS and other terrorism).
The good news is that resistance to Trump is widespread. What will be important though is being prepared for that day after the next terrorist attack. Americans will need to fight against the predictable exploitation of fear Trump and Bannon will use to tighten their unilateral grip on power over what used to be a full democracy (after Trump’s inauguration, the Economic Intelligence Unit downgraded the U.S. from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy”).
That day will inevitably come and Trump and Bannon will surely use it to help marshal a war against Muslims inside and outside of the US as well as to further tear apart our government and social programs (Bannon claims to hate centralized/federal government and says that wealth and jobs will come to regular Americans if the federal government is dismantled in favor of states rights and foreigners are kept/kicked out of the country).
Trump and Bannon are power-hungry sociopaths, they have no consciences to put the brakes on their strongest desires. They are capable and desirous of causing terrible things to happen to whip up one crisis after another to destabilize our government and society. It’s important to know what the cons are here, the short cons and long cons so despite the scenarios they create, their cons can never succeed.
My opinion of trump is that he is a draft dodging traitor. Some day in the not too distant future he will be brought to justice, I hope.
Terrific article, AdLib! And here’s another bit of evidence from Thom Hartmann and his guests on what these two are up to (a “fast moving coup”?):
A hat tip — again — to SueInCA for this one. (It’s your day, Sue!)
Sniveling cowards or actually something they have always dreamed of doing themselves? Both.
The GOP senators who spoke up against Trump’s ban are all talk
Donald Trump Eyes Nukes to Eradicate Terror
Kalima, I don’t think Trump is as insane as that, to use nukes against Al Qaeda. I hope not and hope that the generals and military will refuse such illegal orders (you can’t nuke Iraq, they are an innocent, sovereign country and Trump woould become the worst war criminal since Hitler).
I do agree with the other article and as we’ve seen on both sides of the aisle, most politicians are cowards. So Repubs may talk tough but they’re afraid of Trump coming after them soo in the end, they’ll back down.
It’s also stunning to me how reticent Dem politicians have been in taking Trump on like the radical tyrant he is despite the millions of people rising up around them. They should be leading or at least riding this massive movement that represents the majority of Americans and instead, many of them keep just dipping their toe in the water to see if it’s too hot.
This is a time for courage, determination and action and millions of people around the world get it. As the saying goes, lead, follow or get out of the way…and that goes double for the Dem establishment.
As for Repubs, the saying that applies best to them is, “You can’t run and you can’t hide,” we’re taking away their power after their cowardice and allegiance to an enemy of our people and democracy.
Mr. Ryan. lifting weights will not beef up your soul. You can’t physically train yourself to be a decent human being.
You apparently missed the lessons that would have trained you to be a decent human being, but someone put in your head, at a young age, that power and money was the key to success.
You were lied to Mr. Ryan. You are still being lied to.
I hope you are happy Mr. Ryan. You have sold your soul.
We, the people, are here to collect.
Well said, FD!
And we won’t forget how Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the Repubs backed the neo-nazi, anti-Semitic, misogynist, racist and plutocratic reign over America.
The bill is already coming due!
Love the article, AdLib!!
I think they already have been planning that terror attack against the majority of Americans, the world, and even against the fools who voted for him by trying to shit on the Consitution, and having zero respect for the law.
Amazing how the orange blob is being led to the slaughter by the man he trusts the most. Bannon is toxic, and no matter how they try to humiliate the free press, this is their chance to do the right thing by telling the truth. All of it. The world needs heroes now. Protest until they cave as they already have on so many issues they thought they could get away with.
Here is an article from a writer I really like. John Cassidy.
Steve Bannon’s War on the Press
Stephen Bannon’s Quiet Power Grab
I thought this was worth sharing too. Solidarity!
UK protests over US travel ban: ‘we felt it was important to make a stand’
Four people give their reasons for getting involved with protests over Donald Trump’s executive order on US immigration
Yes, Bannon’s role models as I referenced above are Lenin, Cheney and Satan. He’s vowed to destroy our government and now he has his hands on the lever of power. It’s insane.
But I do agree that it’s only a matter of time until Bannon and Trump jump way off the cliff hand in hand. In the meantime, they will be poisoning the public and the world against them day after day. There is no way back for them…except a terrorist attack that forces the fearful to rally around them. That’s why I worry about their welcoming such a thing.
It is inspiring though too have the press really stepping up and at least having the British people standing with us…even if their leadership is holding hands with Trump.
I can’t tell you how disappointing it is that so few Dems in Congress, the Senate, have not stood up to trump when they have the chance. If repubs can band together behind trump to destroy America, surely when so many citizens are out in the streets they could stand behind them. If all they can think about is reelection, maybe they really should be worried about losing their seats in the next one.
I don’t like May. Thought she was a lousy Home Secretary who tried to cover up her mistakes or blamed others. She’s bombastic and ruthless. She has also not been elected by the people.
It also is apparent that her hands are bigger than trump’s. There are over 300,000 signatures from people against his visit. Usually 100,000 signatures are enough for a discussion in Parliament. I hope the protesters have stocked up on tomatoes and eggs.
It is slight of hand. These guys are doing crazy things to get our attention away from something worse that they are doing. They are both Bat$hit crazy and that alone is scary!
Nirek, so true! I wrote this article trying to explore what big picture schemes may be of this madmen. They are trying to throw grit in the eyes of the press and public everyday with surprise outrages…but Trump and Bannon know that it gives them cover to do much bigger, horrible things.
We have to watch them very closely.
We know a couple things about Thump, 1. He’s always right. 2. We’re always wrong. Oops one more 3. He probably would do this as Adlib has laid out. Why? Because he cares nothing for American deaths if it furthers his agenda.
gyp46, as we’ve learned this week, he killed an 8 year old girl, dozens of civilians and a Navy SEAL in his first disastrous military raid in Yemen. He couldn’t wait to throw his power around and order a military attack and did so without caring about the loss of innocent life.
Sociopaths don’t care about the lives of others and are capable of terrible things.