The Shadow President
March 16, 2017
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Almost as soon as Donald Trump announced his candidacy, he was going to build a wall on the Southern Border for the specific purpose of keeping illegal immigrants out, and deport all of those that are already in the US. While that created controversy and fear when he was elected, it should be even more terrifying that Trump made headlines by selecting Steve Bannon to a new/made up position of Chief Strategist about 5 days after being elected.
Bannon, former editor and founding member of the Alt-Right news site Breitbart, is an incredibly controversial figure to many people due to his extremist ideals. This should be terrifying. Bannon, via his Breitbart articles, has described himself as, “[I am a] Leninist. Lenin wanted to tear down the state, and that’s my goal too.” He has also referred to feminists as “a bunch of dykes,” and has compared himself to people like Darth Vader and Satan in interviews, mostly famously on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Do American citizens want someone who fear-mongers his alt-right base and who likens himself to some of the most classic villain characters in history near the President? Trump has already been oblivious when it comes to Russia, with his scandals with Jeff Sessions and Michael Flynn, imagine someone speaking right into his ear, being the real life man behind the curtain from The Wizard of Oz?. If Trump is smart enough to realize that his presidency has been a disaster so far, he should probably get rid of Bannon because his controversial opinions and executive orders have been the main reason behind his tanking approval ratings.
According to a Poltico article, almost as soon as Bannon was appointed to his post, he sought to use Hitler’s mentality of a blitzkrieg to try to seize momentum from Trump’s landmark victory. He started his supposed “populist” revolution despite still getting checks from big banks and Hollywood. But that’s beside the point. Needless to say, that blitzkrieg strategy failed. He rushed through the Muslim ban, the executive order he spearheaded, consulting almost no one. According to The Independent, all of the legal problems could have been avoided if they had used more caution over the travel ban, and if potential pitfalls had been more carefully examined in his war “against jihadist Islamic fascism.”
Bannon has been fighting against Islam for a long time, spewing out wrong facts to fear-monger America. In a 2010 radio interview on his podcast, Bannon said “Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of submission. Islam means submission.” Bannon is wrong on two fronts here: Islam actually means “to be safe,” and Islam is a religion of peace. Only a small percentage of Muslims are actually extremist terrorists. So, there is clearly a difference between Bannon “facts” and real facts. This has yet again shown itself up in the Muslim Ban, where Bannon has tried to push it through, without any permission of the courts. Despite allegations on if it is constitutional or not, the White House’s shifting viewpoints on the topic have made it virtually impossible for the President to overrule it with a potential higher court ruling, according to Donald F MacGahn II, who is House Counsel to the President. This means that the kickstarter to Bannon’s supposed populist revolution could have just been killed, despite them drafting a new order that drops Iraq out of the list of banned countries.
Bannon has also been famously opposed to all types of immigration, and not just with Muslims. Breitbart under Bannon has been famously opposed to immigration, one of the major stances of the Trump administration. He has been so opposed to any type of immigration that Breitbart’s webpage has an entire column of articles about illegal immigrants committing crimes, and his stories have been known to hype up reports about crime involving immigrants. This type of reporting is similar to one of the executive orders that Bannon drafted, where the White House would be given a list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants weekly. His type of politics, despite being compared to the white power movement of the alt-right, is what he truly believes, and he even seems to welcome the comparison and negative publicity. According to an ex-Breitbart writer, Bannon “doesn’t like it when immigrants are too successful in America,” and with this new string of executive orders Bannon could “turn the lives of 500,000 green card holders upside down.” And despite the controversy surrounding practically every executive order, Bannon is still trying to push them past the courts and the “fake news.”
Also, with this war against the Muslim Ban culminating in courts shutting down the act, Bannon could be potentially setting himself up for failure. Bannon has completely isolated himself when writing the executive orders, consulting almost no one, according to one anonymous white house staffer in an NPR article. Even when writing the Muslim Ban, he overrode any attempt to soften the blowback from the ban. He has also isolated himself and Donald Trump from the more center-minded people in the house, and Bannon has almost full responsibility in writing the President’s speeches; you can see some of Bannon’s ethics in Trump’s speeches, including his hatred of the supposed left-leaning mainstream media.
With how disliked Trump’s first month in office has been, as evidenced by his 44% approval rating, the lowest of any president at this point in time in his presidency, And Trump may be looking for a scapegoat to try to salvage his presidency. With Bannon’s enemies in the White House and controversial policies, the Shadow President might want to watch out for some moderate Republicans and maybe even conservative Democrats that might have Trump’s ear in the Oval Office.
But that is the sunshine and happy thoughts scenario. Picture what is going on right now in the White House. We have a man who is wrong when it comes to his facts on both foreign and domestic policy. He currently has the president’s ear, as his special advisor, as well as having a spot on the now ultra-conservative National Security Council. This should be very scary that he is using his controversial alt-right viewpoint on policies that affect millions, if not billions, of people worldwide. And even the good scenario could take possibly months to get him out of his chair, and all of those months could be used to twist Trump’s ear even more.