Sunday, August 20, 2017


The naked president had one fig leaf, Steve Bannon. He is out, but far from gone, and the administration lost its only supposedly intellectual guru. The reputation of Bannon is largely artificial, in the land of the blind...

His neo-isolationism gave some credence to Trump's primary instincts--America first, trade wars, immigration policy--but his rejection of interventionism and all aspects of globalization collided with long-standing American interests. Besides, his character flaws made him a shady personality given his earlier endeavors in Wall Street, movies, Breitbart and as campaign CEO.  Some considered him a nouveau philosophe, American style.  I will give him the American part but will withhold the philosophical portion.  Nevertheless, he was able to connect with this president and become the mirror of a sick egomaniac. He remains a major influence since most political science commentators keep their distance from the current train-wreck. His muscled message is simple enough not to deter the base and to solidify the opposition. His return to Breitbart's ultra right trenches is a real homecoming . 

There remain some hardcore nationalist leftovers in the White House (Stephen Miller, smart;  Sebastian Gorka, pathetic) but for now the traditionalists have scored a point. Their victory is ambiguous since the war against the elites, conspiracies, the press, the "deep state" is to be continued. Trump is easily bored so he needs to be "entertained", never by culture, always by creating a twister around and about himself. This will be continued until the TV screens get soiled, the smart phones and tablets become congested and the Americans finally log off.

Steve Bannon might end up the way he started, navigating between accusations of domestic violence and video game consoles. He is smart but like his former patron he chooses to wear a suit unfit for his girth.

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