What a first two weeks! The old 24-hour news cycle has become a 24-second news cycle as the Trump administration has issued a literal blizzard of executive orders ranging from walling off Mexico to abolishing Obamacare to banning Muslims from entering the country. Keeping his campaign promises is what Trump supporters say. Somehow I don’t think so. A far more frightening plan is being implemented by Steve Bannon, the man behind the curtain in Trumpworld’s version of Oz.
While we get distracted by Trump’s rapid fire executive orders, Bannon is playing the long game with the future of our country. The newly minted chief strategist to the president rocking his alcoholic bullfrog with bad hair look is clearly the power behind the throne.
Who is Steve Bannon? In his prior life he was briefly a naval officer before morphing into a Goldman Sachs executive and then ironically a Hollywood film producer described by Andrew Breitbart as the “Leni Reifenstahl of the Tea Party.” Reifenstahl was famous for, among other things, directing a pro-Nazi propaganda film, “Triumph of the Will.”
Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News after Andrew Breitbart’s death in 2012. Bannon pushed Breitbart’s white nationalist theme calling it the “platform for the alt right” in 2016.
Breitbart became a sounding board for bigotry publishing articles attacking immigrants, African-Americans and women, even labeling well-known conservative Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew.”
When Trump’s presidential campaign went off the rails Bannon and fast talking Kellyanne Conway, were recruited and many credit the odd couple with salvaging the campaign. Others think Trump just got lucky and ran for president when the old Republican Party was falling apart and many Americans were so disgusted with government dysfunction they were willing to vote for anybody who was not a career politician even a pompous racist reality TV star with orange hair.
Regardless Trump won and Bannon got much of the credit, which he has used to make himself perhaps the most powerful man in the country and therefore the world. Once comfortably situated in the Oval Office, Bannon lost no time putting his white nationalist, anti-Muslim stamp on administration policy. According to multiple news sources, Bannon helped author many of Trump’s controversial executive orders without input from other administration officials such as newly confirmed defense Secretary-General Mattis.
Just last week, Trump, in perhaps the most frightening of his many recent stunts, promoted Bannon to the National Security Council. Trump simultaneously removed the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from NSC attendance except when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”
I get it. In Trumpworld, when the curtain opens, the national security expert is revealed as a political hack with “vast expertise” in investment banking, filmmaking and right wing media publishing, not to mention an apparent virulent hatred of Muslims. I know that will help me sleep well at night. How about you?