Robert Wright writes the following at NonZero.
Steve Bannon and The Struggle for Americaâ€™s Post-Pandemic Soul
When Steve Bannon got his White House pink slip in 2017, there seemed to be at least two lessons for anyone who aspires to stay in Trumpâ€™s inner circle for long. First, avoid being depicted on Time Magazineâ€™s cover as the â€œgreat manipulatorâ€â€”the true power behind Trumpâ€™s throne. Second, avoid being quoted in a bestselling book as calling Ivanka Trump â€œdumb as a brick.â€
But, however grave Bannonâ€™s crimes, to write him off back thenâ€”to assume he would never again be a significant force within Trumpismâ€”would have been to underestimate his resourcefulness and determination. A pandemic is a time of opportunity as well as tragedy, and Bannon is seizing the moment. And the way heâ€™s seizing it drives home what a pivotal moment it isâ€”how much will hinge on the way voters and politicians respond to the coronavirus contagion.
Bannon, like many nationalists, is highly sensitive to threats from abroad, and he was sounding alarms about Covid-19 before most Americans got the picture. In late January his â€œWar Room: Impeachmentâ€ podcast morphed into â€œWar Room: Pandemic.â€ In March it started getting airtime on WABC, New Yorkâ€™s right-wing talk-radio powerhouse, and itâ€™s also featured on various other talk stations across the country. A video version of the show airs nightly on the Newsmax cable TV network.
Broadcasting from â€œFort Defianceâ€ in Washington, Bannon and his crew lay out a vision of how Trump should wage the war against Covid-19 (fiercely), how Trump should talk about the war (clearly and dramatically), and how amenable the post-pandemic landscape can be to the triumph of Trumpism. That triumph, Bannon seems to believe, will be easier if Trump and other prominent Trumpists follow his rhetorical lead. And Bannonâ€™s stream of Trump-friendly guests, from Rudy Giuliani to Nigel Farage, probably increase the chances of that happening.
Read the rest at NonZero