Friday, February 17, 2017

Steve Bannon: Crackpot

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Steve Bannon


...Steve Bannon, on the other hand, is quite something. I’ve read and reread his 2014 speech at the Vatican to see if I can find any coherence in it, and I confess I failed. It’s a hodgepodge of melodrama, hysteria, and a defense of some kind of “enlightened capitalism” along Judeo-Christian lines, in the face of an imminent Islamist takeover of the planet. It’s the 1950s versus jihad, an attempt to convey the gist of the entire Drudge Report every day and turn it into a thesis. 

He argues that we are just “at the very beginning stages of a global conflict” that could eradicate 2,000 years of Western civilization. It reads like the apocalyptic, paranoid fantasies of someone who writes letters to the editor, single-spaced, in all caps.

Now go check out this Vice journalist’s impression of Bannon in 2014. It does not reassure: “He’s buzzing with intensity, with two pens clipped to his shirt collar. Over the next 90 minutes, he barely touched his food and never took off his coat.” He just prattles endlessly and manically on. 

Among the gems that emerge from the conversation: Ebola requires a massive immigration crackdown or we’re all going to die; ISIS is plotting to assassinate the Pope; and then this calm overview: “The world is in a meltdown right now. I mean, the world is on fire. And all of a sudden it’s going to dawn on people, this is not a problem for guys in the Middle East. This is a problem for you in Kansas City.” You begin to realize that he called himself a “Leninist” for a reason.

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