The other day, I took a look at President Donald Trump at the Value Voters Summit this past weekend. There was another man, who received a hero’s welcome by social conservatives: Steve Bannon. There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to the former Trump campaign chief strategist, so without further ado, here’s Bannon’s message perfectly summed up by Politico during his speech at this past weekend:
“It’s not my war, this is our war and y’all didn’t start it, the establishment started it,” Bannon said. He also said, “Right now, it’s a season of war against a GOP establishment.”
Mr. Bannon has successfully taken the tactics of Saul Alinsky and the left, and applied them to dismantling the conservative movement. Saul Alinsky, former community organizer in Chicago, and writer of the book “Rules for Radicals” had thirteen basic principles he outlined in the book. However, for sake of time, I’d like to focus on only a few of them that Bannon has flawlessly mastered.
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
So when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell loses a political battle that he vowed he would win, he’s automatically labeled as a RINO who has zero backbone, and needs to be voted out. There is something to be said about being able to whip your party to vote pass a piece of legislation, but to assume that with small majorities; where one or two dissensions; can torpedo a bill lies at the feet of one man is ludicrous.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
This tactic is employed constantly. From the left, it’s the constant scream of racism at any and all actions. From Bannon’s and the alt-right’s side of the spectrum, it’s the mythical boogeyman know as the “establishment.” The establishment, a name which means nothing, yet when it’s spoken; you know exactly what’s meant by it. Most times, it’s people who go to Washington, and actually compromise in order to get things done. These politicians, many of them great men and women of value and virtue, need to bend on policy positions in order to get legislation passed. The simple of act of governing, leads to the label of establishment. Think about it, who are the least “establishment” politicians now? Ted Cruz? Perhaps Rand Paul? You’ll find that neither have many significant legislative accomplishments to their name, because they fail to grasp the idea of governing involves the art compromise.
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
There are honestly so many examples of this, I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, let’s look at some of the senators Bannon has on his hit list this coming midterm. Jeff Flake (R-AR) has voted along party lines 97% of the time according to Votesmart.org. Yet, to hear Bannon and the crew at Brietbart talk; you’d think that Sen. Flake was barely to right of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. I kid you not, Mark Levin’s website, ConservativeReview.com gave Flake only a 52% Liberty Score.
Finally, and this is crucial, the lesson that Bannon and almost all of right-wing media has learned well and implemented is the following:
1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
The haves and the have-nots are used by both sides to tear our nation apart. On the left, it’s the rich versus poor dichotomy. Or the white versus non-white dichotomy. On the right, it’s the establishment versus the grassroots. You make the have-nots think they have not, because the haves are intentionally keeping them down for their own selfish gain. Turning American against American is something that’s despicable for anyone to attempt.
So the question becomes, why does Bannon do this? What’s his endgame? Well, first of all, Republicans got conned again! Man we’re really a stupid bunch sometimes, aren’t we? Somehow, Trumpism or Bannonism has come to equal what conservative thought ought to be. The problem is that Bannon is no conservative. According to this article by the Guardian, Bannon has described himself as “a Leninist” and that his goal is to “bring the whole thing crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Those are chilling words.
Steve Bannon’s ultimate goal is to remake the Republican Party and conservative movement in his image, and that image is one that’s very different from what conservativism has always meant I’ll probably write more in depth about that later, but Bannonism has three basic tenets: capitalism, nationalism, and Judeo-Christian values.” It’s why he backed Trump, it’s why he pushed Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the Senate. These two men are the perfect vessels that Bannonism can spread.
Steve Bannon is a cancer to American politics. He’s dangerous to the conservative movement. He’s using the tactics of Saul Alinsky against Republicans, and he needs to be stopped before it’s too late. Or else one day, we’ll look back on the Republican Party and realize that we don’t even recognize it anymore. It’s already started to happen. Bannon must be stopped before it happens any further.