The moment Donald Trump hired alt-right icon Steve Bannon to work for his campaign (and eventually his administration) is when the “clock began ticking” on Bannon’s eventual departure. While I understood why Trump brought him on, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that this was a partnership that was never going to end well.
Sure, Bannon played a vital role in helping Trump “win” last year’s election. So looking at it from that perspective, bringing Bannon on seems like a huge success, except — not really.
When Trump embraced Bannon, he brought into his inner circle a fairly intelligent individual with some political savvy and clout over the more fringe aspects of the conservative media — who just also happens to be highly unethical, morally-bankrupt, and extremely arrogant.
In other words, Bannon’s a lot like Trump.
If Trump were an intelligent person (he’s not), the question he should have asked himself was: If things go south, would I trust someone like myself, if I were to part ways with them, most likely on poor terms, to not use sensitive, inside information to extract revenge against a person who I feel betrayed me?
Obviously the answer would have been an emphatic “no.”
I detest Bannon, but I don’t think he’s an idiot. If you ask me, he went into this thinking (foolishly) that he was smart enough to play Trump like a puppet. He knows the current “president” is a buffoon who has no idea what he’s doing. He knows he’s an unhinged, mentally incompetent imbecile who’s gotten where he has in life largely based upon the fact he was born into a wealthy family and has had other people do most of his work for him. I don’t doubt for a moment that Bannon knows Trump’s a fraud, con artist, and someone who has no business being “president.”
The mistake Bannon made is tied to his own arrogance in that he believed he could control Trump.
As we’ve all seen, nobody controls Trump. Heck, he can’t even control himself.
So the moment Trump brought Bannon on, I knew that it wasn’t a matter of if he’d eventually be fired/let go/forced out, but rather when it would happen.
Well, that day was Friday (as many had predicted all last week), when it was announced that Bannon had been fired — though they’re claiming his departure was “voluntary.”
Sure it was.
Now Bannon’s back at Breitbart, the alt-right publication/propaganda factory that’s gone from a fringe site mostly followed by white nationalists and conspiracy theorists to a more “mainstream” source trusted by millions of conservatives — and white nationalists and conspiracy theorists.
If you’re thinking that’s a terrifying thought, you’re right, because it is.
Unfortunately for Trump, Breitbart is a source trusted by a good chunk of his supporters. Considering both Trump and Breitbart pander to the worst parts of our society, it’s only natural that both would attract the same sorts of people.
Only now Bannon’s back at Breitbart filled with a year’s worth of inside knowledge on Trump, his inner workings, and what’s gone on behind closed doors. A man who’s probably just as corrupt, crooked, petty, and arrogant as Trump — who was just forced out by the administration — is now back in a position to control Trump possibly even more so than he did serving as one of his top advisors.
And by “control,” I mean blackmail and/or try to destroy.
Where Bannon was actually restricted on what he could or couldn’t say while working at the White House, he’s no longer bound by those restrictions. Moreover, now that he’s “freed,” as he called it, he’s back in a top position at one of the most influential conservative websites — a place where a good chunk of Trump’s supporters get their “news.”
Who reading this doesn’t think someone like Bannon would threaten to publish hit pieces on Trump if the “president” didn’t cave into whatever demands he had? Who here really thinks that if Bannon truly does detest Trump, and feels betrayed after essentially being fired, he’s not going to spend a good chunk of his time trying to tear down the “president” he feels he helped create?
We’ve already seen some signs of that, with Breitbart coming out strongly against Trump’s “big Afghanistan speech” Monday night.
When you get right down to it, Trump foolishly trusted someone who’s just as vile a human being as he is — maybe even more so — to be one of his most trusted advisors for a year. Someone who’s now been forced out and back into a position where, if he so chooses, could use a lot of the information he knows as a weapon to break Trump with even some of his most ardent supporters.
How this all turns out is anybody’s guess. However, if I were Donald Trump, the last thing I’d want is to be on Steve Bannon’s bad side with him knowing many of the inner secrets of my campaign and my administration.
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