After controversial Trump advisor Steve Bannon was fired from his position as presidential advisor, he made it clear that he would continue to champion his brand of economic nationalism. In fact, he reportedly feels liberated. Returning to his role as head of the conservative website Breitbart.com, Bannon says that he will no longer be constrained by working in the administration. Putting aside the sword of actual power in favor of the pen of the journalist, Bannon says that now he can really have an impact.
In an interview with Peter Boyer in the Weekly Standards, Bannon said,
“I feel jacked up,” he says. “Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”
Indeed, it is easier to talk about governing, as opposed to actually governing. It’s ironic that the big critic of journalists for their portrayal of Trump is so eager to become a journalist himself. But it makes perfect sense: there is where the power lies. With the pen, not the sword.
Bannon was a major spokesman for putting “America first,” both in his economic populism and in his opposition to America’s involvement in other country’s wars. No sooner had Bannon left the White House than President Trump announced the resumption of combat in Afghanistan. And no sooner did the president make that announcement than Bannon’s “weapon” of Breitbart news blasted his decision.Other telling quotes from the interview:
“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”
Bannon says he is still loyal to Trump and will support him, while holding him to his original message of economic nationalism.
Reportedly, Bannon is planning “war” against moderates, the Republican establishment, and the “globalists” and “Democrats” in the administration. These include Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, apparently Bannon’s major nemesis.
But I suspect that he will find that just as the pen is mightier than the sword, blood is thicker than water.
Illustration by Liz West, via Flickr, Creative Commons License