Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon has been fired — or as close to it as anyone in Washington gets. In other words, he will not be employed in the Trump administration anymore. And I’m sure that a lot of people are happy about this — especially liberals like myself. But I don’t much care — largely because it doesn’t much matter.
The truth of the matter is that Steve Bannon didn’t have much power in the White House. But who does? Watching what went on regarding the Charlottesville, Virginia Protest this last week shows this. On Saturday, Trump came out with a statement that cast blame widely. Trump condemned violence “on many sides.” He notably did not call out the neo-Nazis, KKK, and other white supremacists.
His advisers were very concerned about this, so they got him to read a prepared statement on Monday that mollified most people, even though even it was offensive. But Trump can only act like an adult for so long, and on Tuesday, he said things that made his remarks on Saturday look like something Abraham Lincoln said.
Trump Doesn’t Listen to His Advisers
Trump is immune to his advisers. The only thing that seems to affect what Trump thinks is Fox News. In fact, some reporting suggests that his advisers try to get on the racist fear-mongering network just so they can get his attention. So it doesn’t much matter who walks the halls of the White House.
That’s probably more true of Steve Bannon than anyone. Bannon is a vile person. But he had a number of ideas that were good. For example, he wanted Trump to propose a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. And Bannon wanted Trump to raise taxes on the rich. Sure: Bannon only cared about white people. But he did care about them. He wanted to help the white working class. And the truth is that infrastructure spending and taxing the rich would have helped the poor and middle classes of all races.
Steve Bannon Had Some Good Ideas
So Steve Bannon was a nationalist. But he offered both the good and the bad sides of that ideology. Trump, of course, only followed one half of Bannon’s ideology. And that was the bad side of it. So we got all the racism. We got all the belligerent talk. But there was nothing to offset it. The rest of it was the standard Republican platform: take from the poor and give to rich. Pollute on the poor to make the rich richer. Basically: do anything that will further enrich the rich.
What I find remarkable is that Steve Bannon is seen as worse than Trump. The only way you can think that is if you think the rich don’t have it good enough in this country. Steve Bannon actually offers beliefs that compensate for his vile nationalism and bigotry.
Trump Is Worse Than Bannon
It says a lot about our country that the mainstream press take it as a given that economic populism is bad. Note: economic populism is popular. Yet we all put up with a press consisting of upper class reporters pushing an upper class agenda.
I would take a Steve Bannon presidency before a Donald Trump presidency any day. This should be conventional wisdom. But sadly, if Donald Trump were more like Bannon — that is to say: less horrible — he probably wouldn’t have become president.
My fellow Americans: will you ever wake up?