The bit of information from Steve Bannon’s recent interview with the Times that most interested me has received little attention. Bannon was one of the few advisers who “urged on Mr. Spicer’s confrontational, emotional statement to a shocked West Wing briefing room on Saturday.” That report suggests to me that the controversies about crowd size and voter fraud were manufactured in a calculated manner, not the result of Trump’s impulses.
Trump and Bannon,Trump’s chief strategist, operate on the same white nationalist, authoritarian wavelength. Like Lenin, whom he admires, Bannon takes the long view. He doesn’t care that they only have 33% approval now. That’s more than enough “vanguard.” So he focuses on solidifying the loyalty of those true believers by getting them to trust their “alternative facts,” as I discussed in “Trump Constructs Reality?”
As they see it, when the chaos they foment with trade wars, undermining the new world order, and provoking violent demonstrations which will result in more repression, they and their vanguard will be well positioned to build on their 33% and take charge.
Their ad hominem attacks and their scapegoating “enemies” contributes to that devolution.
If we respond in kind, we’re taking their bait and adding hate to the heat. Rather than psychoanalyzing Trump, applying psychiatric labels to him, and otherwise demonizing him, we’d spend our time more fruitfully being proactive, focusing on the issues, and organizing compassionate communities.