By Jason Taylor
Removing Steve Bannon does not solve the problem of an incompetent President. It simply removes an abettor of his abhorrent behavior. Trump’s true character was again on display on Tuesday, and removing Bannon doesn’t help us “unsee” what we saw. This was a result of the recklessness of the recent interview he gave. He contradicted Trump’s view on North Korea. He talked about infighting in the White House. And the worst possible sin was that he took the limelight away from Trump. He remains the guru for Trump on xenophobia, nationalism in the extreme, sexism, and if you look at Breitbart, sexism, and anti-Semitism as well.
Now Bannon will continue to try to destroy our nation and democracy as we have known it from outside the White House, with his added organs of Breitbart attacking individuals in the White House.
Further, it has been reported that Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica and Bannon have been bankrolled by the Mercer family from before his liaison with Trump. And that within the last two days it has been reported that the Mercer family has met with both Bannon and Trump.
The only potential losers in this attack against our institutions will be the majority of rank and file citizens in our country who disagree with their viewpoints.
It was his influence that legitimized racism during the campaign, but it was Trump that took that on as his own and who is responsible for making the choice of normalizing the alt right neo-nazi racist anti-Semites who marched so proudly unmasked in Charlottesville over the weekend. Bannon will not be present physically in the White House, but there is no reason to believe that his influence will not remain. Trump is an empty vessel to be filled by the likes of Bannon and Putin — yes, Putin who plays him like a yo-yo with flattery -and thrives on being outrageous and what he terms not politically correct which is Trump speak for adhering to basic standards of decency as he so clearly demonstrated earlier this week.
Regardless of whether Bannon occupies a position in this Administration or not, the orientation towards libertarianism and white supremacy remains. Bannon is but one visible proponent among many due to his proximity to Mr. Trump. An enlightened commentator aptly characterized Trump as ‘a clown who brings with him a circus’ and that is what many of us see. By his nature, he is a sideshow and substantively, little more.
The real danger for the majority lies in what cabinet secretaries and Congress are doing to destroy the functioning of government by gutting programs and regulation. The end they covet is one where wealthy individuals are able to reap untold wealth unfettered by the majority of the population. A war is being waged by capitalism against democracy and it is playing out hidden from view by misleading the public.
Trump and his insoluble behavior are a distraction. When people focus their outrage on him, they miss the real danger, not understanding, for instance, why conservatives are obsessed with gutting the ACA. Being unaware, they do not respond to the litany of actions being taken to weaken social and other programs benefitting ordinary people, restrictive regulation of business, finance and commerce, and democratic participation and institutions. Taken together, these actions represent a concerted effort to undermine the middle and lower classes.
Bannon wanted out. That’s why he “leaked” that interview. He’s a savvy operator, and I’m surprised that he wants out after months of staying in the background, biding his time, getting the ear of Trump when it suited him. Then there’s this sudden about-face–Bannon wants to leave the White House quickly–that is highly uncharacteristic of this Machiavellian man.
I get the sinking feeling that Bannon probably got news of huge new revelations with regards to the Russia investigation, and he wants out. But he couldn’t be seen to quit because he wants to also stay on the right side of the alt-right. So the best way to leave–have Trump fire him. Then Bannon can play the victim–that works so well with the alt-right–he gives himself distance from the Russia investigation, and he can use plausible deniability if the feds get back to him.
Now it’s time to remove Gorka and Miller as well. But I despair of having adults in charge. Trump’s whole cabinet has an agenda of extreme kleptocracy, poisoning our hospitable earth, ruining public education, preventing “those people” from voting by any means possible (including private prisons and the school to prison pipeline, extreme sentencing, and replacing judges throughout the land – already mostly done), and executing the extremist of the Koch agenda.
Bannon is only a symbol of the extreme entitlement of hate and destruction over people and continued life on earth. The planet doesn’t care about all this; natural processes are building up famine, death-dealing heat and extreme storms, rising seas, disease migration, and a lot more. We are the earth’s apex predator, and unless we start sharing and working together things are going to go bad in two decades, give or take a bit.
Heed the military: all of these nastinesses are threat multipliers. And the right is already building up arsenals so the minority can rule the majority. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.