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jerryking : stephen_bannon   12

What the left can learn from Bannon
August 2017 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

I had a chance to chat with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist until he was ousted last week. I met him inside his so-called war room at the White House and, like most visitors, I was struck by the battle plans that lined his den: white posters laying out his goals, listed by priority and ticked off (or not).....But Bannon was different: he had four small TVs covering a range of news, and at the centre was a fifth, single big screen. That was not tuned to Fox but to CNN, a channel Trump has repeatedly criticised and dismissed as showing “fake news”. The reason? Bannon apparently likes to “watch the enemy”; not for him the cosy option of staying inside the rightwing echo chamber......Bannon is one of the most fascinating figures I’ve met....Never mind the fact that he is whip-smart and widely read, what is also striking is that he seems to have a quasi-anthropological understanding of the power of symbols and ways of defining identity, which he manipulates to advance his goals. No, I don’t like his promotion of economic nationalism. And I recoil with horror from the alt-right movement and its racist ideology......But the consistency of his beliefs is undoubtedly powerful, particularly given that most politicians seem to lack principle or passion these days. And I admire the fact that he has a clear sense of strategy and wants to watch and analyse the entire ecosystem, even if parts of it, such as CNN, represent everything he loathes......Nor was I surprised when Bannon told Financial Times reporters that he loves reading the FT (there are numerous photos of him carrying the paper under his arm). .......while much of the mainstream establishment wrings its hands, they should also ask themselves if they can learn some useful lessons from Bannon. I am not for a moment suggesting that the establishment embrace his views. But Bannon’s decision to monitor the entire media ecosystem is striking. As I have written in previous columns, the American media these days tend to be tribal. Some liberal media consumers, for example, were trapped in such an intellectual echo chamber that they barely knew about the impact of the alt-right before they saw footage of the neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.If Bannon’s critics want to fight back, they badly need to get out of their cocoon, and start clicking on to Breitbart News, watching Fox, reading message groups on Reddit and listening to rightwing radio hosts such as Glenn Beck. If that is too hard, they could take a look at the conservative commentaries on mindingthecampus.com, a website that explores the culture wars being waged at universities.....if you don’t like what is happening today, you do at least need to understand it.
Stephen_Bannon  Gillian_Tett  Breitbart  bigotry  Donald_Trump  chauvinism  Fox_News  Fox_TV  economic_nationalism  echo_chambers  alt-right  discomforts  right-wing 
august 2017 by jerryking
What if Steve Bannon Is Right? - The New York Times
Timothy Egan AUG. 25, 2017

It turns out that racial resentment was the strongest predictor of whether a voter would flip from supporting a thoughtful, intelligent Democrat to a boorish, mentally unstable Republican. When you say Black Lives Matter, these white voters hear Kill a Cop. When you say diversity in the workplace, they hear special privileges for minorities at the expense of whites.

So, if you still wonder why Trump would give comfort to racists and Hitlerites, look at the reaction of his base this week. While the civilized world was appalled at his remarks after the hate parade in Charlottesville, Va., a majority of Republicans approved of Trump’s response. Approved.

It’s too easy to write all these people off as racists, for that’s exactly what Bannon is counting on. Yes, there’s a genuine hate-cohort in the Republican Party — neo-Nazis, or “clowns and losers,” in Bannon’s terms — of about 10 percent, which is horrifyingly high....... you can’t bang just one drum. Trump has said demonstrably racist things many a time, from his birther obsession to his taco bowl tweet. He still won, “on a straightforward platform of economic nationalism,” as Bannon noted.

“As long as Democrats fail to understand this, they will continue to lose,” he said.
Donald_Trump  economic_nationalism  Democrats  GOP  grievances  Timothy_Egan  Stephen_Bannon  racial_resentment  identity_politics 
august 2017 by jerryking
Does Steve Bannon Have Something to Offer? - WSJ
By Peggy Noonan
April 13, 2017

Capitalists, he said, now must ask: “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us . . . to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

With both these strands, he says, the middle class loses ground. This has contributed to the “global revolt” of populism and nationalism. That revolt was fueled, too, by the financial crisis of 2008. None of those responsible on Wall Street were called to account: “No bonuses and none of their equity was taken.” The taxes of the middle class were used to bail them out.
Peggy_Noonan  Stephen_Bannon  capitalism 
april 2017 by jerryking
Freeland moves from the Davos bubble to the real world - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017
......the Davos consensus (i.e. open borders, combined with activist government policies to redistribute income and promote social mobility, are the keys to ensuring global growth and stability. Ethnic and religious diversity as linchpins of modernity, not threats to social cohesion).

It is also a vision inimical to the Trump administration and senior Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who is tasked with keeping white working-class voters on board the Trump train. In the Bannon world view, globalism, diversity and the nanny state have eroded everything that once made America great. He admires Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skillful cultivation of ethnic and religious nationalism and wants to revive their domestic counterparts in America.....Rex Tillerson has been criticized for putting Texas-based Exxon’s bottom line ahead of U.S. national security interests. But as CEO, that was his job. If he applies himself as effectively on behalf of his country, U.S. foreign policy is likely to be ruthlessly focused. Realpolitik, not values, will dictate policy. Canada may be an afterthought.

Ms. Freeland will need to direct all of her abundant energy to earn the trust of both Mr. Bannon and Mr. Tillerson. The Trump people have no particular animus toward Canada – but they will not do us any favours either on softwood lumber exports or renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement.
cabinets  in_the_real_world  Davos  WEF  Chrystia_Freeland  Donald_Trump  Rex_Tillerson  Konrad_Yakabuski  Exxon  CEOs  NAFTA  Realpolitik  U.S.foreign_policy  whites  social_cohesion  Stephen_Bannon  working_class  open_borders 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Bombs of Steve Bannon
MARCH 10, 2017 | The New York Times | Timothy Egan.
Stephen_Bannon  Donald_Trump  Thomas_Cromwell  Tudors 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
administrative_state  David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions  worldviews 
march 2017 by jerryking
What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER JAN. 30, 2017

The council is no place for political creatures, many have argued. It is the place where the nation’s deepest intelligence secrets, its fluctuating hierarchy of national interests and its jockeying-for-power cabinet members combine as policy differences are hashed out. It is the forum where decisions about war, from Vietnam to Iraq; drone strikes in Pakistan; and conflicts in cyberspace have unfolded over endless hours of meetings.

Of course, with stakes that large, it has always been about politics — from grand strategy to petty scorekeeping.....The formal instrument is the “principals committee,” made up of the president, the vice president and all those jockeying cabinet members. That is what Mr. Bannon joins, meaning he won the first week’s access-trust-influence sweepstakes. ...The NSC has a staff that numbers several hundred professionals — most borrowed from the State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and other government agencies for two years or so....Much of the day-to-day decision-making is done by the “deputies committee,” where sub-cabinet officers, and their designees, sit in seemingly endless meetings in the Situation Room to debate out differences, create policy and push the hardest issues to the president and his top advisers. Intelligence officials often open those meetings, providing assessments of what is happening around the world. (They are not supposed to delve into policy suggestions, but it has happened.)
NSC  White_House  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  Stephen_Bannon  Henry_Kissinger  Brent_Scowcroft  APNSA  David_Sanger 
january 2017 by jerryking

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