Steve Bannon’s Trojan Horse — How Trump Nearly Brought the Nation to its Knees and How Joe Biden Can Bring it Back from the Brink
Steve Bannon caught a wave after the Wall Street bailout in 2008. He recognized a rising populist movement on the Left with Occupy Wall Street and helped to build one on the Right. To him, they’re two sides of the same exploitable coin. Neither extreme trusts the “elites” in Washington. Both were primed to rally around faux-grassroots leaders, who used to fear and division to build their movements. But there was one key difference. Bannon’s side wanted the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” while the Bernie Sanders side wanted exactly the opposite: a massive expansion of government to solve every single problem in society.
It takes a worldwide pandemic to reveal the vulnerabilities in both of these movements in a time of crisis. Deconstructing the administrative state led to abolishing the pandemic response program put in place by the Obama administration. Big government socialism can’t rescue an economy in collapse. Bannon would be happy to see it all burn to the ground. He wants total destruction anyway: all the better to rebuild an isolated “America First” new world order. It’s hard to argue that Bernie Sanders would feel any different. After all, he thinks (and many of his supporters think) that a collapse like the Great Depression will necessitate big social programs like Medicare for All and erasing all student debt.
In fairness, a reasoned response to Bernie Sanders isn’t a hard no. Who knows where this pandemic will take us or where we’ll end up or what we’ll need to see us through. Roosevelt came along at a time when millions of Americans were uprooted and living with no safety nets in a time of extreme poverty. Although most of us have safety nets now, they aren’t enough to keep homeless people off the streets or adequately feeding children in poverty. If in four years we get there, some of the programs Bernie advocates might start to look more appealing.
Bannon has been out there bragging about how he did the impossible: enable a monster like Trump to beat Hillary Clinton with tactics like dragging out Paula Jones and Juanita Broderick to bandage over Trump’s grotesque comments about how being famous gives him the right to “grab women by the pussy.” But as of today, Bannon should be dragged into the public square to eat shit for the deaths his recklessness is causing, and for potentially bringing America to the brink of collapse.
What America needs right now is an SOS. And that is why Joe Biden is the right man for right now.
We need to regain our sanity. We need to be able to sleep peacefully at night.
Most of us endure a nightly ritual of quelling panic, knowing we have a president who is always one dumb tweet away from crashing the world economy, launching nuclear weapons in a fit of pique, or trashing a pandemic response team put in place by his predecessor who had all the essential leadership traits Trump lacks: maturity, foresight, intelligence.
We need to remember who we are and what we’re fighting for. What we’re trying to preserve and protect. What kind of country we want. We need to feel safe. We need a leader who knows what he’s doing.
Virtually all of the GOP leadership is still trying to cover Trump’s inadequacies by pretending he’s done a good job in the current crisis, from crashing the stock market to taking his eye off the ball as the coronavirus spread throughout China at an alarming rate. Trump was wasting hours on Twitter with hundreds and hundreds of tweets obsessed with boosting his own inflated self-image, which needs constant attention and puffing up — he gets chauffeured around a NASCAR track so he could play like a ‘vroom-vroom’ race car driver, he believes they worshipped him like an actual god on his trip to India, he gets portrayed as a real leader on Fox and Friends. His Twitter feed since January 1st is evidence of a childish ruler who is distracted, in a stupor of narcissistic needy attention-seeking — and worst of all, inept and inexperienced at keeping the economy on track and reassuring a freaked out nation of 330 million.
Voters are connecting with Biden’s compassion, empathy, and long career in government. We’re witnessing firsthand what happens when established institutions like the State Department and CDC get gutted and defunded, how we’re left with no experience and no plan. With Biden’s long career spanning decades in Congress and then as Vice President, we now have a reliable man with a reliable plan.
But don’t kid yourself. It isn’t going to be easy. This president doesn’t really care much about anything except winning. He might find he’s in his own episode of Black Mirror where he’s the Celebrity Apprentice contestant tasked with the job of being president and is about to get fired. Trump hates failing. He will do whatever it takes to win — not because he wants to serve the country, but because the thing all pathological narcissists fear most is being exposed as a fool. On top of all that, Trump knows full well that his grip on power is all that prevents his entire shady empire being investigated and prosecuted. Criminals with this much power are not brought down easily. We are going to need an army.
And guess what? We got one. Along with the growing number of Never Trump Republicans, we have an alliance that might finally prove too powerful for Trump and his vile strategists to overcome. Many Republicans are ashamed that they cower in fear of the one Trump tweet that would send their lives and careers into turmoil. We can hope that many of them will feel empowered to speak out and abandon ship if given half the chance. We’ve never seen Democrats this united. They are all coming together for a common cause — Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Hillary Clinton, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg and many more who form a powerful alliance that at once reminds who we are and what we’re fighting for.
Trump’s half-way through his trajectory. Before the virus hit, he was looking like a strong leader who could brag about lowering illegal immigration by 11%, brag about jobs, brag about the economy. But now? None of that matters. In fact, it’s all coming unraveled. Worst case scenarios predict the pandemic could cause unemployment to soar to 20%, the stock market has bled $14 trillion in value in the blink of an eye, and no matter how high the walls are at the border, the country has been overcome by microscopic virus spread by Americans trapped inside the isolationist cage he’s built. Trump may try to exploit the moment to claim that closing the border and building the wall protected us, but our hospitals overflow with proof to contrary, and even if Bernie tries to exploit the moment to justify complete government takeover of healthcare, the inconceivable death toll in Italy proves that even a single payer system can’t withstand an extraordinary health crisis. The truth is that what America wants and needs is as return and reinforcement of ESTABLISHMENT politics.
Right now, Americans are going to want one thing and one thing only — someone who can boost the economy and put the country back on a steady track.
All Democrats have to do to represent the better option in November is not be crazy.
Biden represents the most trustworthy representative for stability, sanity, decency, integrity. He isn’t badgering us to reinvent the wheel. He isn’t saying he’s the longterm future. He calls himself a bridge who will hopefully right the ship, bring America back where she needs to be, and rescue us from the grip of chaos. That is a powerful pitch at a time like this, with so much talk of revolution, so much strife, so much anxiety, so much division and chaos.
We must now band together as American citizens who run a government of the people, for the people, by the people. We have one job in 2020: to remove Donald Trump, a dangerous and chaotic president, from office.
As American citizens and as citizens of the world, we must come together to vanquish the darker forces of Steve Bannon and his desire to boost an extreme right vision for the future of locked-down borders, nationalism, and yes, the virulent racism he pretends isn’t there. In a time of crisis, our world cannot become more closed off, more isolated. We need each other. Bannon would call this globalism and blame that as the destruction of the “real” America. Trump’s four words on a red hat will not look more ironic than they do this morning because now and forever there will always be a question mark at the end.
Make America Great Again?
Joe Biden can unite us. He can surround himself with the best and the brightest. He already knows how, because he’s already done it. His long career in government began in the early ’70s. During that time, he’s sponsored on his own 1,071 pieces of legislation and co-sponsored 3,347. 29 have passed through both chambers in Congress. He has shown he respects American troops, advocated for the Violence Against Women Act, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to tale on the challenge of climate change.
The choice is clear. The solution is obvious and in Joe Biden we have someone who can not only just right the ship, but also give us all hope in a time of despair, unity in a time of division, sanity in a time of chaos, a country with a leader where no leader can be found.
Joe Biden can do more than just defeat Trump. He can make America AMERICA again.