But know this that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puff with pride, lover of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power, and from these turn away. For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.
2 Timothy 3:1-7
BACKSTORY TO STEVE BANNON & HIS POPULIST AGENDA
“Bannon's response to the rise of modernity was to set populist, right-wing nationalism against it. This had a meaningful effect, even before Trump. 'Bannon's a political entrepreneur and a remarkable bloke,' Nigel Farage said. 'Without the supportive voice of Breitbart London, I'm not sure we would have had a Brexit.'”
Ex-Trump strategist Bannon says EU is trying to thwart Brexit
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon delivers a speech at the "Atreju 2018" meeting organised by Fratelli d'Italia party in Rome, Italy September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
OXFORD, England (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist, Steve Bannon, said on Friday that the European Union was trying to thwart Brexit.
Bannon, a former chairman of the right-wing Breitbart.com website and an architect of Trump’s 2016 election win, has set up a movement to elect right-wing nationalist and populist members in European Parliament elections next May.
The EU’s elites, he said, did not want Brexit.
“You see what’s happened. They have no intention of letting you guys leave - none. Zero,” Bannon said at the Oxford Union debating society, though he gave no evidence other than saying the EU had made the divorce negotiation difficult.
“They’ve made it as hard as possible, they will continue to make it as hard as possible,” Bannon said.
The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. In the June 23, 2016 EU referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 52 percent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48 percent, backed staying in the bloc.
EU leaders have repeatedly said they are saddened by the UK’s decision to leave and that they will respect the decision.
British Prime Minister Theresa May struck a divorce deal with the EU this week, though opponents in her divided party are trying to topple her because they think the deal would keep the UK too close to the EU after Brexit.
Bannon faced several hundred protesters in Oxford who accused him of being a racist. Police officers eventually escorted the 64-year-old into the Oxford University society’s historic debating chamber through a back entrance.
Disorderly Brexit Raises Possibility Of Return To Hard Border In Ireland
December 17, 2018
Bullet holes are seen in a sign welcoming people to Northern Ireland on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, near the town of Derrylin, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Peter Morrison/AP)
The Republic of Ireland will remain in the European Union when the United Kingdom leaves the EU early next year. A disorderly Brexit has raised the possibility that a hard border might return between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Irish ambassador to the United States Dan Mulhall (@DanMulhall), who explains why that would cause havoc at the border.
Now it came to be the day when the sons of the true God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them. Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Where do you come from?” At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “From roving about in the earth, and from walking about in it.”
Joshua Green gives insight into Steve Bannon's determination to attack and destroy liberal governments in the West in Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, And The Storming Of The Presidency (2017). It describes Bannon's “rove and walk” about world and the coven of vampires he founded. His raison d'etre is to destroy the liberal governmental system established post-World War II.
Green declares that everywhere Bannon looked in the modern world, he saw signs of collapse and an encroaching globalist order stamping out the last vestiges of the traditional [with a capital T]. He saw it in governmental organizations such as the European Union and political leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted that countries forfeit their sovereignty, and thus their ability to maintain their national character, to distant secular bureaucrats bent on erasing national borders.
He saw it in the Roman Catholic Church, whose elevation of Pope Francis, “a liberal-theology Jesuit” and “pro-immigration globalist,” to replace Pope Benedict XVI [whose edicts helped to increase the spread Aides in Africa] so alarmed him that, in 2013, he established Breitbart Rome and took a Vatican meeting with Cardinal Raymond Burke in an effort to prop up Catholic traditionalists marginalized by the new Pope.
More than anywhere else, Bannon saw evidence of Western collapse in the influx of Muslim refugees and migrants across Europe and the United States—what he pungently termed “civilizational jihad had personified by this migrant crises.” Expounding on this view at a 2014 conference at the Vatican, Bannon knit together race theorist Guenon, Evola, and his own racial -religious panic to cast his beliefs in historical context.
Citing the tens of millions of people killed in twentieth-century wars, he called mankind “children of that barbarity” whose present condition would one day be judged “a new Dark Age.” He added, “We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.”
Bannon's response to the rise of modernity was to set populist right-wing nationalism against it. Wherever he could, he aligned himself with politicians and causes committed to tearing down its globalist edifice: arch-conservative Catholics such as Burke, Nigel Farage and UKIP, Marine Le Pen's National Front, Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom, and Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
(When he got to the White House, he would also leverage U.S. Trade policy to strengthen opponents of the EU.) This had a meaningful effect, even before Trump. “Bannon's a political entrepreneur and a remarkable bloke,” Farage said. “Without the supportive voice of Breitbart London, I'm not sure we would have had a Brexit.”
For all his paranoid alarm, Bannon believes that the rise of nationalist movements across the world from Europe to Japan to the United States, heralds a return to tradition. “You have to control three things,” he explained, “borders, currency, and military and national identity. People are finally coming to realize that, and politicians will have to follow.” The clearest example of Traditionalism political influence to day is in Russia. Vladimir Putin's chief ideologist, Alexander Dugin who developed a Russian-nationalist variant of Traditionalism known as Eurasianism.
Published: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at 8:39am
Updated: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at 8:39am
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walks in before a listening session with cybersecurity experts in the Roosevelt Room the White House on Tuesday. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post
In November 2015, Stephen Bannon – then the executive chairman of Breitbart News – was hosting a satellite radio show. His guest was Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., who opposed President Barack Obama’s plan to resettle some Syrian refugees in the United States.
“We need to put a stop on refugees until we can vet,” Zinke said.
Bannon cut him off.
“Why even let ’em in?” he asked.
Bannon said that vetting refugees from Muslim-majority countries would cost money and time. “Can’t that money be used in the United States?” he said. “Should we just take a pause and a hiatus for a number of years on any influx from that area of the world?”
In the years before Bannon grabbed the world’s attention as President Donald Trump’s chief White House strategist, he was developing and articulating a fiery populist vision for remaking the United States and its role in the world.
Bannon’s past statements, aired primarily on Breitbart and other conservative platforms, serve as a road map for the controversial agenda that has roiled Washington and shaken the global order during Trump’s first two weeks in office.
Now, at the center of power in the White House, Bannon is moving quickly to turn his ideas into policy, helping direct the biggest decisions of Trump’s administration. The withdrawal from a major trade pact. A ban on all visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries. And – in an echo of that conversation with Zinke, who is now Trump’s nominee for interior secretary – there was a temporary ban on all new refugees.
The result has been intense fury from Democrats, discomfort among many Republicans, and a growing sense of unease in the world that Trump intends to undermine an America-centered world that has lasted 70 years. This sense of turmoil, welcomed by many Trump supporters as proof that the new president is following through on his vow to jolt Washington, reflects the sort of transformation that Bannon has long called for.
That worldview, which Bannon laid out in interviews and speeches over the past several years, hinges largely on Bannon’s belief in American “sovereignty.” Bannon said that countries should protect their citizens and their essence by reducing immigration, legal and illegal, and pulling back from multinational agreements.
At the same time, Bannon was concerned that the United States and the “Judeo-Christian West” were in a war against an expansionist Islamic ideology – but they were losing the war by not recognizing what it was. Bannon said this fight was so important, it was worth overlooking differences and rivalries with countries like Russia.
It is not yet clear how far Bannon will be able to go to enact his agenda. His early policy moves have been marred by administrative chaos. But his worldview calls for bigger changes than those already made.
In the past, Bannon had wondered aloud whether the country was ready to follow his lead. Now, he will find out.
“Is that grit still there, that tenacity, that we’ve seen on the battlefields . . . fighting for something greater than themselves?” Bannon said in another radio interview last May, before he joined the Trump campaign.
That, said Bannon, is “one of the biggest open questions in this country.”
Bannon, 62, is a former Navy officer and Goldman Sachs banker who made a fortune after he acquired a share of the royalties from a fledgling TV show called “Seinfeld.” In the past 15 years, he shifted into entertainment and conservative media, making films about Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin and then taking a lead role at Breitbart News.
At Breitbart, Bannon cemented his role as a champion of the alt-right, the anti-globalism movement that has attracted support from white supremacists and found a home on the far-right website.
Bannon also forged a rapport with Trump, interviewing the businessman-candidate on his show and then, in August 2016, joining the campaign as chief executive.
Now, Bannon has become one of the most powerful men in America. And he’s not afraid to say so.
In interviews with reporters since Trump’s election, Bannon has eschewed the traditional it’s-all-about-the-boss humility of presidential staffers.
“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in November, embracing the comparisons of him to those figures.
In the same interview, Bannon compared himself to a powerful aide to England’s Henry VIII – an aide who helped engineer a world-shaking move of his era, the split of the Church of England from the Catholic Church.
“I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors,” Bannon told the Hollywood Reporter.
To explore Bannon’s worldview, The Washington Post reviewed hours of radio interviews that Bannon conducted while hosting a Breitbart radio talk show, as well as speeches and interviews he has given since 2014.
Bannon did not respond to a request for comment made on Tuesday afternoon.
In his public statements, Bannon espoused a basic idea that Trump would later seize as the centerpiece of his campaign.
While others saw the world rebounding from the financial crisis of 2008, Bannon just saw it becoming more divided by class.
The elites that had caused the crisis – or, at least, failed to stop it – were now rising higher. Everyone else was being left behind.
“The middle class, the working men and women in the world . . . are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos,” Bannon said in a 2014 speech to a conference at the Vatican in a recording obtained by BuzzFeed. Davos is a Swiss ski resort that hosts an annual conclave of wealthy and powerful people.
Bannon blamed both major political parties for this system and set out to force his ideas on an unwilling Republican leadership.
What he wanted, he said again and again, was “sovereignty.” Both in the United States and in its traditional allies in Western Europe.
On one of the first Breitbart Radio shows, in early November 2015, Bannon praised the growing movement in Britain to exit the European Union. He said that the British had joined the EU merely as a trading federation but that it had grown into a force that had stripped Britons of sovereignty “in every aspect important to their own life.”
Bannon has been supportive of similar movements in other European countries to pull out of the union. Trump has echoed those sentiments in his first few days as president. It is a remarkable shift in U.S. policy: After decades of building multinational alliances as a guarantee of peace, now the White House has indicated it may undermine them.
Bannon, in his 2014 speech to the Vatican, cast this as a return to a better past.
“I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors,” Bannon said. “And that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.”
In the case of the United States, Bannon was skeptical of multinational trade pacts, saying that they ceded control. In a radio interview in November 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., agreed with Bannon.
“We shouldn’t be tying ourselves down like Gulliver in the land of Lilliputians with so many strings a guy can’t move,” said Sessions, who is now Trump’s nominee to become attorney general. He was referring to a scene from the novel “Gulliver’s Travels” in which the hero is tied down by a race of tiny men. “That is where we are heading, and it’s not necessary.”
One solution put forward by Bannon: the United States should pursue bilateral trade agreements – one country at a time – rather than multi-country agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership supported by Obama.
He suggested as much to Trump himself, when the candidate appeared on his show in November 2015.
“Trump brings [a deal] back to the Senate and gets his bilateral trade deal with Taiwan or with Japan approved by two-thirds of the Senate,” Bannon said. “And you have to go argue, ‘Hey this is why it’s a good deal.’ And that’s the way the Founders wanted it.”
On a March 2016 episode, Bannon said that restoring sovereignty meant reducing immigration. In his radio shows, he criticized the federal H-1B visa programs that permit U.S. companies to fill technical positions with workers from overseas.
The “progressive plutocrats in Silicon Valley,” Bannon said, want unlimited ability to go around the world and bring people back to the United States. “Engineering schools,” Bannon said, “are all full of people from South Asia, and East Asia. … They’ve come in here to take these jobs.” Meanwhile, Bannon said, American students “can’t get engineering degrees; they can’t get into these graduate schools because they are all foreign students. When they come out, they can’t get a job.”
“Don’t we have a problem with legal immigration?” asked Bannon repeatedly.
“Twenty percent of this country is immigrants. Is that not the beating heart of this problem?” he said, meaning the problem of native-born Americans being unable to find jobs and rising wages.
In another show, Bannon had complained to Trump that so many Silicon Valley chief executives were South Asian or Asian. This was a rare time when Trump – normally receptive to Bannon’s ideas on-air – pushed back. “I still want people to come in,” Trump said. “But I want them to go through the process.”
So far, Trump has made no changes to the high-skilled visa program. This week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration may reexamine the program.
Even as Bannon was calling for a general retreat from multi-national alliances, however, he was warning of the need for a new alliance – involving only a subset of the world’s countries.
The “Judeo-Christian West” was at war, he said, but didn’t seem to understand it yet.
“There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global,” Bannon said at the Vatican in 2014, at a time when the Islamic State was gaining territory. “Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is – and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it – will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”
Bannon has given few details about the mechanics of the war he thinks the West should fight. But he has been clear that it is urgent enough to take priority over other rivalries and worries.
In his talk at the Vatican, Bannon was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bannon’s answer was two-sided.
“I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand,” he said. But, Bannon said, there were bigger concerns than Russia – and there was something to admire in Putin’s call for more traditional values.
“However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation – I’m not saying we can put [Russia] on a back burner – but I think we have to deal with first things first,” Bannon said.
If Bannon succeeds, Bannon’s own comparison, to England’s Thomas Cromwell, might be apt – to a point.
“The analogy – if it’s going to work – is that Bannon has his own agenda, which he will try to use Trump for, and will try to exploit the power that Trump has given him, without his master always noticing,” said Diarmaid MacCulloch, a professor of history at England’s Oxford University.