Fuelled by the double black coffee at my elbow and nearly a full bumper pack of Custard Creams, I am trying to get my head around all that has been happening since the Trump regime hit the ground kicking in America.
More particularly my heart is in my mouth as I ponder the role of Steve Bannon in it all.
Trump, that half buffoon, half genius, I am scared of. Bannon, that eminence grizzly of the alt-right, frankly has me terrified. And munching those Custard Creams — the coffee is nearly gone already.
I fear the very democracy America is always crowing about is under attack. Not so much from Isis, or any extremists from without, but from the extremists within. And none more extreme than Steve Bannon.
In plain sight but under the covering fire of Trump’s decrees, travel bans and general narcissistic willy-waving, Bannon and his band of cunning, rich, white supremacists appear to have launched a bloodless coup, as film-maker and insightful commentator Michael Moore has argued, and are well on the way to taking power from the elected government.
Trump’s assistant and chief strategist has joined the Principals Committee of the NSC, where apparently, much of its real work gets done. And the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America’s top military commanders, have also been kicked off the NSC. Just like that.
Trump, as we know, never held any kind of office before being elected to the highest office in the United States, and Bannon’s claim to fame, before becoming Trump’s chief presidential election strategist, was as executive chairman and motor-mouthpiece of the controversial Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion, and commentary website.
He has not been elected to office and yet here he stands, advising the President. Seemingly shaping his policies, shaping the future of this powerful country, and hence shaping the world.
Steve Bannon is now one of the most powerful people in the world. Maybe the most powerful. And nobody elected him to the position. Can the American political system allow this to stand? Can the American judiciary? Can the American people?
According to Evan Perez and Pamela Brown of CNN — the media organisation derided by Bannon and Trump, of course — Bannon personally spearheaded Trump’s immigrant ban — and then overrode objections from the Department of Homeland Security that would have softened it.
Whoops, there goes democracy — and the last of the Custard Creams. The coffee has long been upslurped.
Bannon’s modus operandi is hardly secret. It’s been all over Breibart and his media mutterings for years. He has used his intimate knowledge of how the media works to chilling effect: both in terms of spreading his vile anti-immigrant, anti-minorities propaganda and in ridiculing, distorting and ultimately nullifying legitimate evaluation of that agenda.
You can see his influence in Donald Trump referring to the mainstream media as “the opposition party.”
If you are not for us, you are against us, as the old adage goes.
Trump’s dismissal of media criticism and “fake news” agendas is no joke. There is method and purpose behind his seemingly random outbursts: the real aim seems to be to drain the media swamp of any voices of dissent and clear the way for Steve Bannon’s final alt-white solution.
More coffee, more biscuits: it’s going to be a long one.
— Enda Sheppard