The man behind Donald Trump


Steve Bannon

Donald Trump may not be the person with the most control in the United States. Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist and former Trump campaign executive, has an unprecedented sway over the president and a dangerous worldview that could threaten America as we know it.

Bannon has been a lot of things. He was an officer in the Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After his service, he worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. However, his most high-profile role was as executive chair of the alt-right site Breitbart News.

The alt-right is described by different people as different things. Milo Yiannopoulos, an alt-right political commentator, says that it serves as “a challenge to social norms. Lindy West of The Guardian has a simpler definition: “Neo-Nazis.

Bannon has brought a distrust of the “mainstream media” and an intensive nationalism to the Trump administration. The skepticism of major organizations like the New York Times and CNN is evident in Trump’s daily denouncement of articles that portray him in a negative way. The nationalism is something Trump embraces with wide arms. His promises to “put America first” and critiques of other nations that he believes weaken America are pure Bannon.

Bannon has already had a clear influence on Trump. He helped write the Inaugural Address, secured a seat on the National Security Council and was the main force behind Trump’s travel ban.

In addition, he shares Trump’s affinity for shaking things up. Bannon has spoken of “deconstructing the administrative state,”  and he appears to be putting that plan into action.

Trump certainly hasn’t been acting like a normal president. In late February, the New York Times assessed 20 news events regarding the president. They rated them as abnormal, normal, important, or not important. More than half of the events were rated as abnormal and important.

The events rated as such were the immigration ban, the characterization of media as enemies and the position of Trump’s chief strategist on the National Security Council. All of these events were driven by Bannon.

However, Bannon has been staunchly defended by Trump’s allies. Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, calls Bannon “very wise and smart. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich labels Bannon as “a great strategist. Both of these statements are true. Bannon has a knack for getting his way, and he is an expert manipulator. This does not qualify him in any way.

Breitbart under Bannon created the tag of “black crime, compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust, and claimed birth control made women “unattractive and crazy.

Bannon has a theory of historical cycles, one laid out by two authors in the 1990s. Their argument has a series of 20-year “highs,” “awakenings,” “unravelings” and crises. Bannon has said for years that we’re due for another crisis. In fact, in 2008, Bannon made a documentary describing the 2008 financial collapse with the aforementioned model. The movie concludes with Neil Howe, one of the authors of the cycle, saying, “History is seasonal, and winter is coming.” The next four years promise to be unlike any others. What remains to be seen is whether they strengthen our country or weaken it.