Lessons learned? We should all be prudent of Steve Bannon’s latest disparagement on democracy
While I put very little energy into comprehending what Bannon is attempting to do, I still make sure I’m conscious. After all, we just dealt with a four-year disorder. So, the same person who attempted to destroy democracy, got fired from the Trump administration in 2017, and then indicted for federal fraud in 2020, has more plans for destroying our country. I usually use the term: “unabashed annihilation” to describe what it is this human being thinks about. Yet people still listen to this guy; and, after what we witnessed the last four years, we should always reserve meticulous caution when dealing with all these outlandish designs.
It was in the news this week that Bannon has a new plan to radicalize the GOP and vitalize the populists, again. His grand plan is to destroy the Republican party, create a civil war, and then get Trump to run for speaker of the house. Why? He wants Trump to replace Nancy Pelosi and then he can impeach President Biden. Haha, right? We all know this is asinine and unattainable, but that’s also what I assumed when Trump was elected.
In a piece by Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, titled, “Steve Bannon’s vile threats show the GOP’s radicalization is getting worse,” he describes the specifics of Bannon’s plan.
Bannon’s second threat is even more comically absurd. He recently told a Boston audience that he hopes to see Trump run for Congress in 2022, then run for speaker of the House (which Bannon presumes Republicans will win), then preside over the impeachment of President Biden.
We totally get rid of Nancy Pelosi, and the first act of President Trump as speaker will be to impeach Joe Biden for his illegitimate activities of stealing the presidency,” Bannon said, leading to applause and hollers from the Boston Republicans.
This is rank crackpottery, but here again, the singular organizing and motivating principle is the idea that Trump’s loss to Biden couldn’t possibly have been legitimate, or that there’s simply zero obligation on the part of the Trump movement to recognize it as such, and that loyalty to Trump requires unwavering fealty to that idea.
What is fundamentally cogent: Republicans support this kind of madness. They have lost control of their party. All they stand for now is the demise of Nancy Pelosi and anybody else in the Democratic party. Their party has become so cynical that instead of work on issues related to COVID relief, immigration, or infrastructure, they unceasingly recruit theories of mendacities and improbabilities — and these theories are infinitely popular among their constituents.
Bannon also supports a civil war in the state of Pennsylvania, where populists are still reeling after their decimation in this past election. Just another superb conception from Bannon, especially after we just had one of the worst atrocities occur on January 6th at the capitol.
As Bannon told Politico: “Any candidate who wants to win in Pennsylvania in 2022 must be full Trump MAGA.”
If you are not “full Trump MAGA,” you will be denied the support of Trump loyalists. What does “full Trump MAGA” mean, exactly? Well, it means absolute devotion to the mythology that Trump should not have been held accountable for his effort to incite the violent disruption of the election that was stolen from him.
The rage of the MAGA forces are pouring down on former congressman Ryan Costello, who is mulling a run for Senate and who suggested it’s a bad idea for county parties to censure Toomey for his vote to convict Trump, as some have already done. Costello says the censures “will hurt Republican candidates.
It’s a little early in the process, but it certainly appears the Republicans have no desire to extricate these populists from their party. A helpful example of this was the acquittal of Trump’s impeachment conviction. Therefore, I think the party has two roads: the first, they allow the populists to completely take over and attempt to instill all of the conspiracy theories and dysfunctional manifesto. The second road: they decry the populists and see if their voters will still support them. If they fail, they fail.
What is it the GOP is so afraid of when it comes to getting rid of these people? Do they really think the traditional Republican voters who abhor supporting welfare, social security, and immigration will of a sudden start voting for Democrats? It makes very little sense to me. As I have discussed in previous posts, don’t these party leaders see they have very little support for their party from young voters? Do they think young people even care about or support these harebrained ideas?
In a Quinnipiac poll conducted from February 11th-14th, it’s clear to see Republicans have no desire to see Trump go away. 75 percent of Republicans support him playing a prominent role in the party. However, among people ages 18–34, 60 percent said no. Furthermore, 60 percent of women and nearly 70 percent of non-whites said they also don’t want to see Trump in the party.
What does this tell us? It seems to me that as our country continues to evolve with more diversity and moves away from the last four years of the agonizing foundation of MAGA, more people will continue to realize what enhances their livelihood. At some point, a reckoning will come; then, we will have a new deliberation: this impractical populism only helps white, privileged people.
At the end of his piece, Sargent has another outstanding detail:
With Democrats launching a commission that will get to the bottom of the insurrection, Republicans are already working overtime to preclude full scrutiny of Trump’s role by pretending this would be unacceptably “partisan.”
In short, Republicans will try to either erase Trump’s role from this full accounting or dramatically downplay it by recasting the whole reckoning process as an examination of security failures at the Capitol or violent extremism on “both sides.”
Those Republicans who want the GOP to fully renounce Trump understand the importance of a full reckoning with the insurrection. Just look at this brutal new ad from the Never Trump Republican Accountability Project, which shows dramatic footage of the violence and calls on Republicans to agree to the following proposition: “This can never happen again.”
Truly grappling with the implications of GOP radicalization requires a total reconstruction of what Trump’s months-long campaign to overthrow U.S. democracy wrought, so we understand what this movement is capable of in the near and far future. Bannon may be a thug and a grifter, but at least he has made this unavoidably clear.
One intricately surreal issue of the Republican party is the inability to just come right out and denounce everything Trump stands for. I firmly believe the sole reason Republicans support Trump is based on the fact he spent countless opportunities attempting to paint the Democrats as “socialistic,” “border-less,” and “lawless.” Instead of comprehending the truth, these voters just assume it’s true.
Thus, what’s the good news? We can find consolation in the fact Democrats have power right now. While Republicans will seek every opportunity to discredit what the party is attempting to accomplish to repair the country, Democrats have a significant opportunity to suppress the “GOP populist cronies” for a substantially long period of time. However, they must keep their focus on policy and their constituents’ demands; and, most of all, they must ignore all Republican mandates for compromise.
Bannon and the others can continue their onslaught on the Republican party, but the more I see Democrats pledging support for the very issues important to Americans, it’s clear these populists are a dying breed. After all, last time I checked, Americans care more about getting by with the right resources from the federal government. But why does this only have to be a Democrat ideal? Whatever happened to being a decent American?
1. Sargent, Greg. “Steve Bannon’s vile threats show the GOP’s radicalization is getting worse.” The Washington Post. February 19, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/19/steve-bannon-toomey-seat-trump/. Accessed February 19, 2021.