Steve Bannon’s Therapy: Or, Gaslighting America to its Restoration with the Elixir of White Nostalgia

One of the remarkable subplots in the last year of Donald’s Trumps ascension to the White House has been the concomitant rise of the alt-right through, among others, the influence of Steve Bannon. Bannon is a newcomer to politics, chosen to replace Paul Manafort as Trump’s campaign manager last summer when Manafort was becoming a distraction for his ties as an operative for ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovych. In came Bannon, widely considered to be “Trump’s Brain,” who helped put Trump over the hill in his successful campaign. Now Bannon, a senior adviser to the president, is actually writing Trump’s speeches and executive orders. In a short amount of time Bannon has come out of nowhere to be one of the biggest power players in the world.

 

He’s been called many things – a white nationalist, a monster, a Lucifer, a Lenin, a Svengali, and a Darth Vader. When I looked into Steve Bannon, I found that he is much more of an ideologue, and has a much more substantive agenda, than Donald Trump, who is more of a pragmatist/negotiator/narcissist/corporatist. Bannon, a former naval officer and Goldman Sachs banker and entrepreneur, uses his position not to analyze the corruption of politics by corporate money, but instead turn the entire evolving crisis of global capitalism into a story of moral cleansing, a kind of capitalist therapy to dispel the deepening crisis of confidence. But Bannon’s brand of therapy is based on a flurry of right-wing post-truth whoppers, myths, and outright contradictions that don’t really make sense.

 

Bannon turned to politics hard after the crash of 2008, befriending right wing maverick Andrew Breitbart, and promoting the Tea Party Cause. He spent the next few years producing right wing propaganda films, promoting the political ambition of Sarah Palin, and then managing the Breitbart website after Andrew’s sudden death. In his speeches, Bannon talks about his disappointment in government’s unresponsiveness to the working classes, their bailout of Wall Street and turning a blind eye to Main Street, the influence of K Street lobbyists, of the government’s over-reach in the private lives of citizens, the over-reach of executive power, and imperial adventuring abroad in fruitless wars. He cried that that there are levels of welfare for the poor and for the wealthy, but the beloved middle class has been liquidated. He spoke of there not being much opportunity for millennials. These items don’t sound too bad, his observations have a lot of common sense that a lot of people share on both sides. When he appeared on Bill Maher’s show, there was little indication of how his version of politics would redress these grievances. His films tell a different story.

 

The Nostalgia Trap

A foundational idea for Bannon that he often refers to is a concept called “The Forth Turning,” which comes from a book called The Forth Turning: An American Prophesy by amateur historians and authors Neil Howe and William Strauss. The thesis of the book is that American history goes through periods of time in which the society reenacts social moods of upheaval and paradigmatic shifts (a “High”) then creating a new order which lasts some time (“Awakening”), the eventual corruption and “Unraveling” of that order, requiring another upheaval and “Crisis” period. They conceive of these periods as seasons along a cyclical timeline that are roughly eighty years in length (or, if you are into historical astrology, every Uranus return). The major events along this timeline in American history are the Revolutionary War, The Civil War, The Great Depression and WWII, and whatever we are entering into now. (3)(4)

 

Bannon sees the signs of a new crisis point, and a moment in which to enact what he believes is the national destiny, which he sees in terms of restoring national vigor and purpose through economic nationalism, saying “we are a nation with an culture and economy, not a county in an open marketplace.” And of course, he believes he is responding to a crisis of confidence in America, a crisis of immigrants, of lawlessness, of immorality, loss of religious faith.

 

 

Although the alt-right has been described in different terms than the Fundamentalist Christian Right, it does smack of a similarly clothed fundamentalist vigor, sees the world as a fallen, sinful place, that can only be redeemed by a return to the moral rectitude of the imagined Golden Age. This connection is most explicit in his latest propaganda film, 2016’s Torchbearer, narrated by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, in which he’s calling for a revival of faith through a Western Judeo-Christian Crusade. Bannon then tells a Vatican conference in 2014 that he believes, “the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis … secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals.” (1)

 

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Bannon with the Duck Dynasty philosopher king.

 

There is a grain of truth in Bannon’s observation. A lot of liberal and democratic social institutions have eroded, much of the country continues to be left behind by the so called economic recovery, and faith in the old ideologies and institutions appear to be “unwinding,” as George Packer called it. But Bannon’s moral prescription is, as we say in the South, barking up the wrong tree. The great turnings of the past lead to more democratic movement – the American Revolution cast of the tyranny of a distant king, the Civil War ended slavery, the Depression and World War Two transformed the country to a post war boom economy that also helped ignite Civil Rights Movements and a new inclusive culture.

 

 

These turnings were in many ways progressively democratic in a way that Bannon isn’t conceptualizing or demonstrating. Bannon’s economic nationalism, and his enemies are the administrative state, immigrants and Islam. It’s the wrong tree because it’s based on a misguided and racist interpretation of history and culture. His regressive nationalism refers really less to the 1950s and more to the 1850s – isolationism, manifest destiny, nativism, market worship, and white “Christian-identity”.

 

 

A big problem with this view of history is that it is based on an idyllic, romantic worldview divorced from reality. It is a worldview that is itself post-truth. It is, as Stephanie Coontz cheekily coined, The Way We Never Were, trapped nostalgically in a selective white history.  Bannon’s history book is missing key chapters. He sidesteps Civil Rights movement, or the protest against Vietnam – he actually blames these movements for spoiling the great American heyday. He blames the 2008 market crash not on fraudulent banking practices and lack of oversight, but on … get this … spoiled brat Woodstock types, and Saul Alinsky-influenced liberals. (7)  He claimed in his Citizens United-produced agitprop movie Occupy Unmasked, that the protesters of Occupy Wall Street were Soros-funded agitators and represented the vanguard of the Democratic Party. “After making the Occupy movie, when you finish watching the film, you want to take a hot shower. … You want to go home and shower because you’ve just spent an hour and fifteen minutes with the greasiest, dirtiest people you will ever see.” (2)

 

It also ignores the fact that the postwar economic boom of the 1950s, a time tirelessly romanticized by conservative whites as the zenith of American culture, was in fact windfall from a Keynesian fiscal policy, strong trade unions, and a robust tax policy on the wealthiest Americans. their memory merges this white nostalgia with Reaganomics, and any problems are scapegoated out to the unholy others who would spoil the dream.  There is a lot of blame to go around – Mexicans, the poor, Islam, pc snowflake libtards and intellectual socialist professors – but no blame at all for the mechanisms of capitalism. These parts are not unique to Bannon. On the contrary, they are common talking points among right wing pundits like Palin, Limbaugh and Coulter. His politics have more in common than not with these old familiar right wing talking heads.

 

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Andrew Breitbart with Guy Fawks mask to promote Citizens United film Occupy Unmasked

 

This is the muddy-headed thrust of right wing populism today. They are in what is basically driven by a moral crusade against the public sector. What we see in the Trump administration is really the working of Bannon, not Trump himself.  When Trump said he’s drain the swamp, he did not mean ridding the government of special interests, he meant was ridding special interests of government. Where Trump is a befuddled contradictory blunt instrument who seemingly has no firm ideology or belief save for the virtue of his own economic self-interest, Bannon is very much an ideologue who says it plainly – his mission is to defend the borders from otherness, defend economic nationalism, and to “deconstruct” the administrative state, (as he said at CPAC). When critics say that they have appointed nominees to head departments who are antithetical to those same departments, the official word from the administration is one of disavowal and various platitudes attesting to the quality of their candidate. But Bannon says it simply, yes, yes we are trying to dismantle the state and remake politics.  Bannon is leading, as Thomas Frank called it, The Wrecking Crew, fulfilling the dream to liquidate whatever remains of the liberal public state of the twentieth century.  As Bannon proudly announced, “I’m a Leninist.  Lenin … wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” (11)

 

 

Forty Years

Yet there is another unique feature to Bannon’s political myth/ideology. It is an ideology that goes according to the book. Bannon sees everything according to the book. To my knowledge, he has at least twice referenced the term “the next forty years” which he sees as the rise of the millennial generation to forge his new nationalist America (from the “High” to the “Awakening” period of this historical cycle). As was brought up by Al Franken in the Gorsuch hearing, in a communication with Reince Priebus, Bannon said that it was important to get the reasonably young conservative jurist Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court for the “next forty years.” They also believe that if they can get forty percent of the vote, they can continue to forge the shape of this new historical cycle for the duration. This is Bannon’s plan – to use the Electoral College to maintain the office (with the help of gerrymandering and voter suppression as well, and buttressed by the nationalist messages that traffic in confusion, fear and paranoia). They believe that if they can get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of non-white vote, which they presume to get by restoring the pre-globalist economy, they can rule for forty years.(10)

 

Bannon’s plan entailed a strong course for law and order. Long before Trump won, it was agreed that Alabama senator and Trump surrogate, one Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third (yes, that’s his full name), would act as Attorney General. Bannon and Sessions share, what Emily Bazelon described as a “deep cultural discomfort with the growing population of people who are not white in this country, coming from a kind of traditional white sense of propriety of what America is about. That is what’s motivating Sessions and Bannon.” This was a political ideology they harbored, and by chance, were able to align with Trump’s anti-immigrant economic nationalist candidacy. Bannon referred to Trump as a “blunt instrument” for his own e political agenda. Bannon may be attacking an “aristocracy.” But his methods are as responsible as a Jacobin. Trump is not his idea of a good president of the United States. Trump is his guillotine.” (2)   Only their movement is sort of the French Revolution in reverse – it isn’t meant to destroy the aristocracy, it weeps for Marie Antoinette.

 

Sessions is another blunt instrument, the perfect kind of Attorney General to shepherd the white nationalist agenda, and help Republicans win elections more broadly by promoting voter suppression (which he’s long been accused of since the now famous Coretta Scott King letter), pushing a phony narrative about massive voter fraud, (of course the fraudsters only vote for the opposition), and neglect of statutory provisions from the already gutted Voting Rights Act.

 
Another priority for this administration is the banning of Muslims, the deportation of undocumented workers, and the legal protections of the Christian Right moral agenda – all of which Sessions is eager to pursue along the course of the right’s ideological pursuit.

 
But there is that idea, the forth turning, that is behind an entire program of restoring the nation, to remake it according to the alt-right’s dream. It shares with Christian fundamentalism a thinly secularlized premillenialism. It’s a kind of crypto-fundamentalism, if you will, and sees in history prophesy and providence, a world currently topsy-turvy, in economic, social, environmental and ethnic turmoil – what Trump artlessly characterizes as “American Carnage” in his inauguration speech, while prescribing himself to be its strongman savior to redeem America from its unclean elements (liberals, immigrants, organized labor, foreigners, non-Christians).

 

And like with fundamentalism, Bannon’s crypto-fundamentalism has a drive to, in essence, fulfill what he sees as the prophesy of the Forth Turning, which is his Daniel and Book of Revelation. Bannon’s history is not necessarily dialectical in a Marxist or Hegelian sense, but a story of a world from a reactionary standpoint that is progressively slipping away from its perceived foundations. There is another way of interpreting the forth turning, which I’ll have to get to in a later post, but for Bannon, he can only view it through his own reactionary makeup. Political Scientist Mark Lilla characterizes the reactionary mind as a “Shipwrecked Mind,” he sees the world around him as if it were a sinking vessel, the artifacts of the ruined culture floating away in the waves. He seeks to put it all back in place with a new social and political order, through security, law, and moral authority. It has been something of an American religious tradition – from the Pilgrims to the Pioneers – to return to biblical inerrancy and divine authority whenever confronted with terror and uncertainty.

 

 

The chaos of history here is given then the logic of chapters in a book, the classic Aristotelian plot structure. For the Bible, history is a drama with a tidy beginning middle and end according to five acts: Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Crucifixion/Resurrection and Redemption. The Forth Turning also has these a cyclical understanding of history, each cycle has its beginning, middle and end, which can be plotted along a three act structure.

 

 

This interpretation of history as following the structure of a book is the very essence of logocentrism – the idea that history is somehow a logical, linear progression – as history was written by some omniscient Ghostly Shakespeare in the Sky, a history that, for the sake of appeasing the plot structure, follows the outlines of a book. Howe and Strauss’s logocentric, three-act cyclical view of history has plenty of precedent from a number of philosophers of history. Howe credits Mircea Eliade for an understanding of cyclical history, or a myth of the eternal return, which is evident in ritualistic societies that seek renewal in the culture’s foundational myths in their rites of passage. But Howe and Strauss have a closer tie to the cyclical history of Italian philosopher Giambatissta Vico, who published his philosophy of history in his New Science in 1725. Vico proposed that civilization develops along a course of recurring cycles of three ages: the “Divine” creative inspirational period, the “Heroic” period where the structure of society is forged, and the “Human” when the old ideologies begin to be rationalized and relativized and begin slowly unraveling, leading to a renewal of the cycle.

 

 

It would be sensible to the romantic reactionary mind, which views society drifting away untethered from its sanctimonious origin point, a dream to return to the foundational national myth would give the flailing culture the salubrious nationalist elixir. For Bannon, this means taking the country back to the moral position of the, as Tom Brokaw termed them, The Greatest Generation. Bannon thinks the millennials are called to resuscitate the nationalist vigor through the new crisis – recession and war against Islam. (I’m working on a whole new essay to follow up on this one on the political use of Orientalism/Islamophobia pillorying of Islam, a topic that deserves its own space.)

 

 

Every writer who sits down to pen a story is familiar with the struggle to somehow take the raw inspirational material of daily life and give it tried and true story structure. It’s difficult to do because real life is chaotic, with lots of strands, sub-plots, whole themes that don’t make sense, characters who only briefly appear and aren’t given enough lines. Real life is rather flat, there are lots of silences, breaks in the action. Not all the dialog is about the main plot. It not full of the condensed action of big melodramatic moments. There are good guys and bad hombres on every side, all with many shades of moral ambiguity. Only our emotional need for a tidy moral universe can think of life as a movie.

 

 
Bannon is the movie maker, and Trump the performer in this tale, what Neil Gabler called a “pseudo-candidate” as the fulfillment of Daniel J. Boorstin’s observation of politics becoming as a media-driven procession of “pseudoevents.” (5)(6)  It’s little wonder considering Trump and Bannon both come out of the world of television production – Trump via prosperity television, and Bannon through paranoiac conservative agitprop.

 

Draining the Swamp

Much has been said about Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp.” Bernie Sanders is fond of reminding people of this promise to “take on special interests,” yet, of course, Trump has done the opposite, stacking his cabinet with millionaires, billionaires and generals – many of whom are really spectacularly unqualified for their jobs (did they get triggered by the word “urban” in Housing and Urban Development and immediately get the first copacetic black guy on board? Hello Dr. Carson!) And hello Mr. Steve “Goldman Sachs” Minuchin! At first, these picks seem very antithetical to Steve Bannon’s idea against Wall Street favors and bailouts.

 

Remember him crying about corporate welfare and “socialism for the rich?” Never mind all that. The proof’s in the pudding. And what we have seen is rather clear – there will be a full on assault, what some have called a billionaire’s coup d’etat, tax breaks for the rich, rollback of Wall Street regulation, massive privatization, an open door for big oil and coal. Yet austerity for the poor, severe cuts to food stamps, meals on wheels, public education, public health, the post office, lands in the public trust. Instead, draining the swamp takes on a new meaning – it isn’t to get special interests out of government, it is to get government out of special interests. It’s really an old idea – neoliberalism on steroids, with borders. Does it work? Only for the very wealthy and only for a short while, if at all.
And again, there is Bannon, who was radicalized after 2008’s financial collapse. He believed that the error of both Bush and Obama was the stimulus. The state, after all, is the bureaucratic beast which he wants to “deconstruct.” So it is for purely ideological reasons that he is against the government taking the in managing the economy. This is beside the fact that the economy functions because of consumerism, and if nothing is being bought because no one has money, the government basically is forced into being the consumer. And when the fed printed all that money – it went where? To his favorite people – Wall Street bankers. (Which he sees as fundamentally sound by policy, just unfortunately polluted by the filthy-minded multiculturalist Democrats.)

Flimsy Fascism

Remember Walter’s line from the The Big Lebowski? – “Nihilists! I mean, say what you like about the tenants of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” Walter’s remark sufficiently leads me to the question I’ve been working toward. Are we now plunged into a present and near future of fascism, or neo-fascism? Has fascism, as Sinclair Lewis, who in It Can’t Happen Here, finally arrived “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross?” Or has it, as George Carlin said on Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, “Germany lost, fascism won, my friend.”

 

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Essayist Mark Dery in “Who Keeps Buying all the Mein Kampfs?” (6) comments that it was really German Nazism that endures in our cultural memory rather than that of Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet and the rest, because of its commitment to stagecraft. The boots, the goose-stepping, the salutes, the logos, the Leni Reifenstahl films, the rallies and book burning. It’s a reason that Nazis are our favorite villains in our cultural mythology. But it also suggests a deep awareness of fascism, and antifascist sentiment in our own culture, and at the same time, reckon with the awareness of America’s shared heritage, Aryan and Anglos-Saxon roots of White America. We have a strange fascination with German fascism, our favorite totalitarianism for our fetish-obsessed minds. Indeed, Nazis comprise some of our favorite war fantasies – the good noble war. More than that, there is a symbolic kinship with the Aryan strongmen in Europe that connects with the ideologies of Anglo-Saxon Manifest Destiny in America. (9)

 

Many have been asking if the Trump administration qualifies as a form of neo-fascism. It certainly has those elements – trending toward racism, xenophobia, bigotry, corporatism, militarism, authoritarianism, a trove of loyalists, a megalomaniac demagogue rousing the rabble. But perhaps what it lacks seems to be more important – it’s Walter’s argument – I lacks a coherent ethos. It can’t do fascism justice.
The glue that held German National Socialism together, its ethos, was explicitly and nakedly racist. It’s commitment to resuscitating the state with glorious myths – the Übermenchen of the past, the Teutonic knights, the Aryans, the Wagnerian operas, the anti-Semitism – collided to form the famous ethnic cleansing of that totalitarian state.

 

There was a time earlier in American history, a time of slavery and racial genocide against the natives and then the Mexicans, and then to imperial adventuring westward. But this was not in Bannon’s 1950s. It was the 1850s.

 
But America has since gone through a number of changes. It is made up of a patchwork of immigrants, remaking itself through a multiculturalism that is sees as a strength, its bonds not through blood and soil but by civic cause and duty. The influence of white nationalism, much to the chagrin of those purveyors to this day, remains marginal.

 

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“Nobody believes in that cowboy crap no more.” – Midnight Cowboy

America also has no tradition of strongmen totalitarians. Americans take pride in their democracy, and are pretty skeptical about any government in general, delights in free speech and expression. What I propose is that fascism cannot, nor will it ever, look like our impression of Nazisim. I think the comparisons to Weimar Germany are hackneyed and half-baked.

 

Instead, today’s alt-right has a vague nationalism. It is frayed on the edges, and seems to lack cohesion, fractured between “white supremacists,” and “western supremacists” and also between “white nationalists,” and “economic nationalists.” Is it Christian or Judeo-Christian? How racist is it? Some deny all racism, pleading the color blind defense, while others, like the alt-right’s founder Richard Spencer, wish to restore a “good racism.”

 

The alt-right today lacks a firm, coherent vision, and lacks any competent leadership. What vision it does have is racially antiquated and ill suits the vast majority of America. Bannon’s mythical millennials he expects to emerge for his nationalist therapy are illusory. The demographics supporting Trump tend to be the same old angry white guys the 2008 GOP autopsy indicated, as Lindsey Graham said, there were not enough of to support the party going forward. Millennials are not interested in that flimsy fascism.  There are no Trump youth.  They are more interested in the politics of Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who has emerged, according to – gasp! – Fox News as the most popular politician in America. These millennials are also more racially tolerant, and more savvy to political skulduggery and chicanery than Bannon would like to think. They don’t give a damn about Trump’s racist wall and Muslim ban. They don’t want their healthcare diminished. They want fair wages and work and education and opportunity – none of these are being addressed by this administration. So much for your millennial dream, Bannon!

 

There has been the suggestion that Bannon and Trump are really geniuses playing three dimensional chess, keeping us all off balance, heads spinning in suspense. I don’t think so. The truth is more concerning – these guys just don’t really seem to care about reality very much.  They operate entirely within their own grandiose greedy white fantasies.

 

The thing about this administration though is it has a kind of unfettered mania for destruction of the state, radical privatization and financialization of everything.  It’s an open door for Wall Street. This is the opposite of the economic populism they claim, and is contrary to the claims for nationalist moral vigor Bannon calls for. It appears less like the administration is interested in “Making America Great Again” and more interested in lining the pockets of the wealthy once again.

 

So to return to Walter’s point – is this fascism or nihilism? A skeptical attitude would be to call this a flimsy fascism, a state with bullish, militarized aggrandizing, but without a convincing ethos; and is more interested in crude nihilistic self-interest. Now that’s an ideology that sounds real American. There’s plenty of tradition to back that up. They believe in nothing but self-interest, which is really the platform of the whole Republican Party today. Can you name any policy the Republicans are for that does not benefit the 1%? Their plan – and it’s a banal one – to liquidate the public sector and sell it for pennies on the dollar to the billionaire class. We don’t have a coherent national ethos save for the dark nihilistic dog-eat-dog self-interested Randian dystopia of neoliberalism.  This isn’t fascism.  It’s a kleptocracy – a rule by thieves.

 

***

These administrations always have really galactic plans. Bannon’s is a forty year arc. A couple of decades ago, the dream of the neocons, enacted through the Bush years, was a “New American Century,” of imperial adventuring. For all their grandiose plans, they seem to ignore any harder realities or contradictions. They don’t even foresee that they themselves will soon not be in power, that they will be deposed by the opposition, that their time will be judged by history and the context of history, and by the facts that will come out. They never foresee this, although it’s right under their noses the whole time.

***

Conclusion

Steve Bannon’s political prophesy and nationalist therapy, it turns out, doesn’t make sense because, really, you have to admit, our political world doesn’t make sense when neoliberalism as an ideology has been heralded as the answer to every aspect of daily life. It’s mania for self-interest has eroded public life and institutions, and benefited the super wealthy. And instead of the public becoming active against this system, they themselves prayed to be successful within its gospel of prosperity and radical individualism. They voted against their own interests while playing into the hands of the corporate managerial class which bought out democracy. The only way this system could last as long as it has is by producing an enormous amount of bullshit.

 

A lot lately has been said about “gaslighting,” which is a symptom of a post-truth age as much as it has to do with a classic movie or a type of domestic violence in which the abuser questions the victim’s perceptions so ardently that the victim begins to question her or his own reality. The consequence of this is that we are ideologically forbidden from addressing the real causes of our misery, the real failings of neoliberal capitalism. We are forbidden from talking about the financialization of the world, forbidden from questioning the injunction to have an insurance-driven for-profit healthcare system, (cause the alternative – that would be totalitarianism!), forbidden from questioning fossil fuel emissions (if you do, you’re under the delusion of a hoax!), forbidden from thinking that education could and should be accessible and affordable (that’s absurd!)

 

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“I’m not robbing you, dear.  It’s all in your head.  Perhaps you should lie down for awhile.”

 

Bannon’s function is, really, like Trump, his weapon, the gaslighter of the alt-right. It’s message: Capitalism isn’t failing you, capitalism doesn’t fail. There is no other viab;e system, but we’re not a totalitarianism. We need “enlightenment capitalism.” The corporations aren’t greedy – it’s the Mexicans that are taking your jobs. Liberals and secularists are ruining your culture. And Muslims are making you unsafe. And so forth. All of this really is a dark cynical world, a nihilistic world of hucksters. The message at this critical moment is this: trust the market …. one …. last … time. And it’s for this reason that Trump, as I will argue in my next post, is not the harbinger of a new alt-right political order for the next forty years, but the last gasp of a dying one.

 

***

NOTES

(1) Wren, Adam. “What I Learned Binge-Watching Steve Bannon’s Documetaries”.  Politico.  Dec 2, 2016.

(2) Bazelon, Emily.  “Department of Justification.” New York Times.  Feb 28, 2017.

(3) Friedersdorf, Conor. “The Radical Anti-Conservatism of Stephen Bannon.” The Atlantic.  Aug 25, 2016.

(3)  Martin, Abby. Abby Martin Exposes Steve Bannon.” The Empire FilesTelesur English.  Mar 14, 2017.

(4) Quartz.  The Films of Steve Bannon. Mar 15, 2017.

(5) Gabler, Neil. “How the Media Enabled Donald Trump by Destroying Politics First.” Bill Moyers & Company. March 4, 2016.

(6) Dery, Mark. “Who’s Buying all the Mein Kamfs?” In I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts. 2012.

(7) Frank, Thomas.  “How Steve Bannon Captured America’s Spirit of Revolt.” The Guardian. Feb 10, 2017.

(8) Green, Joshua. “This Man is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America.”  In Bloomberg  Businessweek. Oct 8, 2015.
(9) Horsman, Reginald. Race and Manifest Destiny. 1980.

(10) “He predicted that if the administration delivered on its election promises, “we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years.”  Flores, Reena.  CBS.  Nov 19, 2016.

(11)  Rodash, Ronald. “Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was ‘A Leninist’ Who Wants To ‘Destroy the State’” In The Daily Beast. Aug 21, 2016.

2 thoughts on “Steve Bannon’s Therapy: Or, Gaslighting America to its Restoration with the Elixir of White Nostalgia

  1. On a side note it is important to note how Yale political scientist Stephen Skowronek’s study of how a presidency works might apply to this. Using that as a basis some think that Trump is reigning over the end of the Reagan regime(disjointive) and current events back up that claim. Like the Fourth Turning this is speculation, but not entirely predictive.

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