Friday, August 18, 2017


One after one, the individuals who made up this president's unsavory court disappear like in some Agatha Christie novel. Steve Bannon, Trump's Rasputin, is the latest causality. The principal force behind the deconstruction of the "deep state" elbowed his ego into the turf of too many. He was considered to be the first "guru", but this president is too insecure to tolerate being overshadowed, even by an ally. 

Bannon's agenda has traction and will live on (in Breitbart ?). Trump's base of "disgruntled blue- collar white men" was taken hostage by a fringe of right wing nihilists who came out of the shadows, sensing that Trump's outrage validated their sense of frustration.  Bannon's often questionable past remains murky. His current dark agenda is actually more formidable and ambitious. His concept is an overall rollback from America's foray in military, institutional, free-trade affairs abroad, coupled with a drastic reduction of state interference internally. His instincts have the allure of a weight-watchers program in all directions. Actually he is more of an intellectual anti globalization, nationalist Utopian, while the president is just an arsonist. The former was the formidable manipulator of a gullible later. It is pathetic to hear Trump talking about Kulturkampf while he is himself a cultural ignorant, getting lost in some unhinged diatribe about Western civilization, monuments related to the Civil War or the alt-right versus the "alt- left". He is never good at making neologisms.

The result of all this chaos is hard to foresee. In this White House there was less a battle of ideas than a fight for personal relevance. To a large extent Bannon's exile might even benefit him, if he decides to become the spokesman for the "alternative." The left-overs in the West Wing will continue to vie for their turf without too much regard for a president who is more often than not considered unfit, even in Republican ranks. For the moment, the "coup" of ideas was stopped. The danger is that the free-loaders will cherry pick and hijack the message, under the protection of Trump's umbrella.  At the end of the day, Bannon might be the prophet, the alt-right might become a disruptor and the president will remain clueless. 

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