By now, most political junkies know that Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, wants to burn everything down. He’s been awfully busy at doing so since getting a taste of real power after Trump took office. Indeed, he’s so determined to leave the system a smoking ruin that when he drafted the bulk of the executive orders that churned out of the White House last week, he couldn’t be bothered to check on such details as whether they were workable or legal. But he didn’t want you to know that, because he wants the media to shut up until it realizes why Trump has been chosen to make America great again.
Well, there’s something else Trump’s chief brownshirt doesn’t want you to know. There’s a clear blueprint of his vision for American and the world which is available for all to see. It’s particularly relevant now that Trump is trying to get him on the National Security Council. He laid out that vision at a 2014 conference on poverty hosted by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, an ultraconservative Catholic think tank.
Bannon, who was then chairman of Breitbart News–which had just celebrated its second anniversary–spoke to the conference from his home in Los Angeles. Watch here.
BuzzFeed originally covered the conference as part of a broader look at Europe’s version of the religious right, but took another look at Bannon after his rise to prominence. What it discovered is absolutely chilling. Bannon sees himself as a soldier in a holy war.
As Bannon saw it, the world–especially the “Judeo-Christian West”–is in a serious crisis. He envisioned Breitbart News as the primary source of information “to let people understand the depths of this crisis.” One problem is the growing secularism in the West, particularly among millennials.
But the larger threat is “Islamic fascism.” Bannon foresaw the beginnings of a global war, foreseeing that Boko Haram would eventually join forces with ISIS. For that reason, he believed that we were at “the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.” Later, he took a swipe at the Obama administration for failing to see this for what it was, warning that every day we fail to do so “will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”
At the close of his remarks, he posed a question to an audience he described as “the movers and drivers and shakers and thought leaders” of the Catholic right–how will history remember you?
“When people 500 years from now are going to think about today, think about the actions you’ve taken — and I believe everyone associated with the church and associated with the Judeo-Christian West that believes in the underpinnings of that and believes in the precepts of that and want to see that bequeathed to other generations down the road as it was bequeathed to us, particularly as you’re in a city like Rome, and in a place like the Vatican, see what’s been bequeathed to us — ask yourself, 500 years from today, what are they going to say about me? What are they going to say about what I did at the beginning stages of this crisis?”
Well, we don’t need to wait 500 years to render the verdict on Bannon. A man who sees himself as a modern-day Crusader, a fighter against the infidels of Islam, now has the ear of the president of the United States.
Maybe that may explain why the religious right didn’t run away from Trump. After all, there’s a good chance that a number of fundies saw this video and knew Bannon was one of their own. If you listen to Bannon with your eyes closed, it’s not hard to think that you’re listening to someone like Franklin Graham, Jim Bakker, or James Dobson.
As if we didn’t need enough reasons to be scared about Bannon’s clout in the White House, here’s another.
(featured image: screenshot via YouTube)