There is an interesting article in The Daily Wire about Steve Bannon “preparing for the possibility of war with Trump.”
“Bannon,” says author Ben Shapiro, “is deeply vengeful, and supremely ambitious. He has already held the most powerful job he will ever have — unless, of course, his new job is to destroy Trump from the outside. And he set the groundwork for that job over the past week … [he aimed to convince] … Trump not to alienate the alt-right — Bannon’s base — and succeeded. Bannon was widely credited in the media with encouraging Trump’s bizarre Tuesday press conference, at which Trump rehabilitated the alt-right and said there were “very fine people” protesting with white supremacists in Charlottesville. Trump could have easily carved off the alt-right and not lost much; Bannon, however, had to keep them in his pocket. Without them, he is merely another former government employee searching for a home. With them, he can threaten Trump with political Armageddon …[and, next] … he gave an insane interview with The American Prospect that isn’t insane at all in retrospect. In that interview, he laid out his own foreign policy and contrasted it with Trump’s — a fully isolationist foreign policy that the Trump administration almost certainly will not pursue, a militant and protectionist foreign policy with regard to trade with China, an “anti-globalist” policy totally at odds with some of Trump’s closest advisors like Gary Cohn.“
“All of this,” Mr Shapiro says, “sets up the lines for battle. First, Trump will be seen as caving by “firing” Bannon — and Trump is completely incapable of just admitting that Bannon resigned … [and] … Bannon’s play for Trump’s populist and alt-right bases will be partially successful. Outside the White House, Bannon can be more powerful than he was inside: if Trump doesn’t do what Bannon likes, Bannon will declare that he was ousted because the globalist insiders have taken over, and Trump has sold out the base. Bannon will attempt to claim the leadership of the movement he believes he built.“
Which begs a question: how important is the “movement” that backed President Trump? Mr Shapiro said that President Trump “could have easily carved off the alt-right and not lost much,” so it, the “alt-right,” proper isn’t worth much in electoral college votes but what about that large body (tens of millions) of (mostly) white men who voted for Donald Trump because they felt that no-one else didn’t understand their problems and/or wasn’t willing to address them? Consider just one pop song: Billy Joel’s 1982 hit “Allentown,” look at the lyrics: “Well we’re living here in Allentown, and they’re closing all the factories down. Out in Bethlehem they’re killing time: Filling out forms, standing in line … Well our fathers fought the Second World War, spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore, met our mothers in the USO, asked them to dance, danced with them slow … Well we’re waiting here in Allentown, for the Pennsylvania we never found, for the promises our teachers gave if we worked hard, if we behaved. So the graduations hang on the wall, but they never really helped us at all. No they never taught us what was real: Iron and coal and chromium steel … And we’re waiting here in Allentown, but they’ve taken all the coal from the ground, and the union people crawled away … Every child had a pretty good shot to get at least as far as their old man got but something happened on the way to that place …” That’s a 35 years old “cri de cœur” for an American (and British and Canadian) working class that could not adapt to the rapidly changing global industrial revolution … millions of Americans lost their good, honest jobs because, quite simply, millions of Germans, Japanese, Filipinos and South Koreans could do and did the same jobs better, and, sometimes, but not always, cheaper … it was the European and Asian working “better,” often “smarter,” that killed “Allentown” and, with it, a large part of the American dream, and the Germans and Asians worked better and smarter in some part because big labour, the unions ~ the ones Billy Joel said “crawled away” ~ opposed technological innovation, which would have created new, better jobs, because it came at a price and they, the big industrial unions of the AFL-CIO and CLC, were unwilling to pay any price at all. . Now, 35 years after Mr Joel’s passionate protest, a new generation watches, hopelessly as it, too, is left behind.
Actually, white, poorly educated America has never had it so good. The welfare state, the nanny state, has been, if anything, overly kind: there is, quite simply, nothing like the Great Depression of the 1930s, which their great-grandparents endured. Billy Joel, speaking, in 1982, for a bunch of 30 somethings ~ baby boomers ~ said, “our fathers fought the Second World War,” and so they did, but only after they had watched their fathers suffer in literal bread lines. The new generation that complains so much never saw great suffering or great wars but they have been befuddled by great and constant changes ~ unable to keep up or catch up. And, so, they look for easy answers and they get behind the comforting lies ~ the ones that people like Steve Bannon and Bernie Sandrers and Elizabeth Warren tell ~ because the real truth is too hard.
But I don’t think that Mr Bannon is positioning himself to run for president in 2020. he is, as Mr Shapiro says, “There’s no interest in him from any of the major conservative think tanks: he’s toxic, he works poorly with others, and he’s utterly self-promoting. He has no real political future in electoral politics: he’s unattractive, deeply disliked across the country, and widely perceived as a class A a**hole. But that doesn’t matter for the people Breitbart has been catering to for more than a year. They see Bannon as their champion, and in leaving now and under these circumstances, Bannon has set himself up admirably as a Trumpian foil.” I expect Mr Bannon to, simply, ignite the right on the basis that Trump failed them and now they need someone even less qualified to “drain the swamp.”
My guess is that the Democrats will unite behind a left wing leader … very possibly Senator Warren. The Republicans, if they have even ¼ of the brains that the gods gave to green peppers will leave the alt-right losers to Mr Bannon and unite behind a responsible leader … maybe even someone like Senator Rand Paul.
Canada needs to avoid the dystopian American model … we need to reaffirm that the moderate middle can, always, muddle through. That means, for 2019, ditching Justin Trudeau’s fumbling, bumbling, green, feminist, sunny ways agenda and restoring some solid, common sensical, Conservative programmes.