TrumpTalk: BannonBanter

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He was introduced as the “Honorable” Steve Bannon. “Honorable” — (used as a title of respect for certain ranking government officials.) He was accompanied by the “Honorable” Reince Priebus.

Mr Bannon is not a very public figure. There isn’t a lot of post-inauguration speaking available. His words looked at here came from a rather brief appearance at the CPAC meeting in February 2017.

“This is the other thing the mainstream media, the opposition party, never caught”

Bannon has been credited with attributing the role of “opposition party” to the media. In European politics, the opposition party is usually the party that did not win general elections and has the function of opposing the winners in order to keep them under some type of control in creating legislation. This idea of accountability is fine to request of the media; however, calling media a “party” politicizes their work and this necessarily sours the concept that the media should not have political bias, should report objectively.

On the other hand, advantage can be taken of being labled “opposition party”. There is no secret that each of the differing media outlets has sympathies towards one political leaning or another. There is historical trend in such media exisiting. Journalists are people and will run their reporting through their own ideological filters, finding evidence to support their points of view and filtering out information that might not. Or they might employ that “false balance journalism” that almost gives leeway to questionable reporting.

“[Trump’s campaign] speeches had a tremendous amount of content in them, right?”

It is not surprising that Mr Bannon would make this statement and ask for confirmation from his audience. Though one predominant criticism of Mr Trump’s campaign speeches was an insistence in repetition of generalizations and an overall lack of detailed discussion of how he meant to act upon those generalizations. Many of Mr Trump’s mouthpieces have repeated this concept that what he says is what we need to know. Even his Joe Plumber supporters acclaim him for “telling it like it is”. This is an obvious case of repeating something of questionable truth until it becomes accepted as a truth without questioning it.

“[Trump’s] maniacally focused on that”

Interesting that Mr Bannon would use the word “maniacally” and that the host actually highlighted the word seconds later. Is that how one expects a President to carry out his work, maniacally?

“The mainstream media better understand one thing, all of those promises are going to be implemented.”

The mainstream media doesn’t have to understand anything that Mr Bannon instructs them to, less with a “had better” before the imperative. If the promises are implemented, their job is to tell us. If they are not, the same job description applies.

Mr Bannon, in considering the media the “opposition party”, mistakenly seems to believe that they are actively trying to keep those promises from being complied with. The media may play a part, through informing the public, the people, who then obstruct with their voices and votes; however, understanding by force is not part of the formula. Then again, Mr Bannon is preaching to the choir, giving a show of force and will that is expected of this administration.

“I kind of break them down as the three verticals, the three buckets: the first is kind of national security and sovereignty, ….the second line of work is what I refer to as economic nationalism, ….reconstruct our trade arrangements around the world, ….the third, broadly, line of work is what is deconstruction of the administrative state.”

The introduction is a confusing, mixed image of something vertical, perhaps a vertical structure, then replaced with a container, which actually fits in better with the remainder of his explanation, as each of these buckets is filled by Mr Bannon with items.

He begins by asserting that one of those buckets is labeled “national security and sovereignty”, the clear base for so-called policies on immigration control and Mr Trump’s stolen “America First” proclamation.

The second bucket in his “State Fair attraction” he calls “economic nationalism” and this bucket includes his only reference to reconstruction. Naturally, if something is in need of reconstruction, one must assume that it is either badly damaged or in ruins. This subtext knits into the dreary picture given of the American situation in Mr Trump’s inaugural speech.

He concludes his three-vertical-bucket plan with a troubling idea, “deconstruction of the administrative state”. As this was spoken, we can only wonder if he meant “State” instead of “state”.

Christopher Dickey, Paris-based world news editor for The Daily Beast, makes an interesting observation on Mr Bannon’s use of the word “deconstruction”: “Deconstruction is a word that he got from Jacques Derrida….who’s known for his criticism of modern philosophy.” It is interesting that part of the concept of “deconstruction” involves the meaninglessness of words without the comparison/contrast with other words in the context.

“The people, the mainstream media don’t get this….”

A slip? Or does he have both the people, and the “enemy of the people” grouped into the same vertical bucket?

“….high-value-added manufacturing jobs….”

value added: “Creation of a competitive advantage by bundling, combining, or packaging features and benefits that result in greater customer acceptance

This is just hyperbole, actually supporting Dickey’s idea that Mr Bannon is a snob, using big words almost to set himself apart both from Mr Trump, notoriously known for his middle-school language (both in vocabulary and attitude) and definitely to set himself above those listening to him. A superior way of saying “jobs” all by itself.

“the rule of law is going to exist when you talk about our sovereignty and when you talk about immigration”

Back to that first bucket. The basis for all policy that Mr Bannon supports and purports is that America is a nation and those who immigrate are not part of that nation and that “rule of law” will be used to establish and protect this concept.

“….if you look at these cabinet appointees, they were selected for a reason, and that is the deconstruction.”

Second time that troublesome word comes up. It is no secret that cabinet members were recognized as being almost the nemesis of the positions they were to hold. Betsy DeVos was chosen to deconstruct Public Education. Scott Pruitt was chosen to deconstruct the EPA. Ben Carson, well his total inexperience and ignorance of the position he holds will be enough for a natural deconstruction to take place.

Other examples exist. Mr Bannon openly tells us that what we complained about, demonstrated against, feared, is exactly why those people were fingered for their positions. It is not denied and was accepted by those congresspeople who did not properly vet the candidates.

“….that’s all going to be deconstructed…..”

(regulations instead of legislation) Mr Bannon is either ignorant of the relationship between vaguely worded legislation and the more specific regulatory process put in place to aid in implementing such legislation. Removing regulation only leaves us with those vague laws which require regulation in order to be effective.

While not all regulation is true to the idea or intent of the original legislation, the job of interpreting the concurrence between the two is in the hands of the judiciary, not the executive branch. Law is enforced thanks to regulation, not despite it.

“….it’s not only not going to get better, it’s going to get worse every day….”

More doom-saying. Though he later relates this comment to the media, it is a through-line in what we have seen since the post-swearing-in on the 20th of January.

“They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to a economic nationalist agenda.”

Mr Bannon likes to label things. In this case, he is labeling, again, the media. One should be concerned with the frequency with which anyone within the Trump circle always seems to come back to the media. This has been discussed, but should never be let slide. It is important.

“I’ve said that there’s a new political order that’s being formed out of this and it’s still being formed.”

New political order” or “new world order”? Troubling concept, we must watch how Mr Bannon chooses his words. Knowing that he is a deconstructionist, “political” will not mean anything without “order” and “order” will necessarily have its meaning adapted by “world”.

“The center core of what we believe that we’re a nation with an economy, not an economy in some global marketplace with open boarders, but we are a nation with a culture and a reason for being and I think that’s what unites us….”

Though it sounds like patriotic cheer-leading, Mr Bannon is making it clear the order of the “new political order” aka “new world order”, which is 
1. Nation; 
2. economy; 
3. culture; 
4. reason for being. 
These are what will “unite us” it this way of thinking. It remains to be seen if Mr Bannon and the remainder of the Trump team manage to convince the more-or-less 50% who currently disagree with this concept.