Understanding National Populism, Deconstruction, and Economic Nationalism
Steve Bannon eluded to a “National Populist” “Deconstruction” agenda in a recent speech. We take a look at the historic meaning of those terms. We also consider another term Bannon used, “Economic Nationalism”.
We’ll explore what terms like “National Populism” (or its synonym “Populist Nationalism” meaning simply Nationalist and not Elite) and “Deconstruction” could mean in practice based on what we know about figures like Bannon, American history, and the current right-wing populist movements pervading the globe and waging war against liberalism and progressivism.
In other words, we’ll use Bannon as an example (an emblem that could just as well be replaced with Le Pen, Geert Wilders, or any other ENF fascist despot who wears a spray tan like a Communist wears a Marxian beard), but we aren’t picking on Bannon, instead we are generally looking at fascist symbolism and right-wing conformist protectionist anti-elitism to understand what it means and why it matters in context.
Here we must note that Nationalism is natural, normal, and good in moderation (just like internationalism), and that Hitler and Mussolini drew large crowds in part due to the way that nationalism offers hope to a people downtrodden by the ill effects of social, economic, and political inequality in the liberal state.
With that we must also note, we should not fool ourselves into thinking “just because Hitler called himself a National Socialist” that the liberals can’t be fascist. That would be a misreading of the history of right-wing populism or what National Socialism really meant.
Liberals can be fascist and socialist, if you don’t get that, then you don’t get what is happening in 2017, simple as that. Likewise, Nationalism isn’t just about xenophobia anymore than communism is about state control or liberalism about oligarchical inequality, all those are advents of unrestrained and untempered systems ignoring the warnings of Plato’s Republic.
Consider learning about Hitler and Mussolini’s Populist Nationalist response to liberalism and Marxism to better understand how right-wing populist ideologies arise in response to social, political, and economic inequality found in modern western global liberalism and socialism (AKA neoliberalism and progressivism). This is no different from the origin of liberalism or socialism, in fact the story of each is the story of the other.
Once you get that conservatism is about authority, tradition, hierarchy, and order, liberalism is about liberty, socialism about equality, and fascism about nationalism.
You’ll understand that it is not the underlying virtues, but the extreme pitfalls of each ideology and the tyrants who wield one ideology to crush the others, that is at the core of our problems. A liberal socialist nationalist like Teddy Roosevelt knew this, but I wonder if it is known today seeing the parties in their current form and reading the quote below.
“You know, I’ve said that there’s a new political order that’s being formed out of this. And it’s still being formed. But if you look at the wide degree of opinions in this room — whether you’re a populist; whether you’re a limited government conservative; whether you’re libertarian; whether you’re an economic nationalist — we have wide and sometimes divergent opinions…. what I refer to as economic nationalism and that is Wilbur Ross at Commerce, Steven Mnuchin at Treasury, Lighthizer at — at Trade, Peter Navarro, Stephen Miller, these people that are rethinking how we’re gonna reconstruct the — our trade arrangements around the world.” – Steve Bannon Describing the “Big Tent” Conservative Coalition which includes what we call “Tea Party” and describing the “deconstruction of the [neoliberal] administrative state [the globalist and welfare ‘progressive’ state]“.
NOTE: The points we make on this page are based on many things, but direct evidence includes the CPAC speech of Bannon and Priebus (a transcript of can be read here). See the citations for more background on Bannon and his ideology.
An Introduction to the Republican Party and its History of Nationalism and Even Populist Nationalism (with the Know-Nothings)
The first thing to note is that the American Republican Party, whether we are talking about Hamilton, or Lincoln, or Hoover, or Trump, despite all its changes and changing factions, has always been Nationalist, strict on immigration, and protectionist (and the Socially Conservative Democrats of old more Deconstruction-y, but put that aside for a moment as that faction is today Republican).
Specifically, the establishment conservative wing has always been this way (even when a Henry A. Wallace hasn’t).
The difference is that the Republican Party was almost never Populist traditionally (outside of a few movements like the Know-Nothings, which are related and we will discuss).
The pre 1920’s era and earlier Republicans favored aristocratic (and sometimes oligarchical) “New Nationalist” platforms with many socially liberal planks (this is still sometimes true, but has become less-and-less true over time).
When the old Republicans went to Panama, they went (Monroe Doctrine in hand) to help ensure the Panamanians became free-trading Americans. They did not go to purge Panama of our southern brethren based on religion or race.
It isn’t that the Populist Know-Nothings didn’t beat up a few immigrants at the polls, or that America first didn’t tend to side with Hitler over Stalin, it is that at the end of the day even Ford pushed his workers to be American rather than pushed his workers out of America.
Is our history’s foreign policy a spotless tale of sainthood? Maybe not (not for either party to say the least). But traditionally, mainstream (non-Know nothing) Republicans were more eager to Americanize “others” than to demonize them… this was even true for a little known group called Confederates.
As the above eludes, there is a subtle difference between the old ways and new ways, but it is the very real difference between the “Globalist McCain”(AKA traditional Establishment Republican) and “Nativist Nationalist Bannon” (A new type of Populist Nationalist Republican).
The general idea we are discussing here is that this new form of Nationalism seems a bit more focused on an Aggressive Nativist message in the spirit of The Camp of the Saints, and less on an evolution of Tory-like protectionism (the opposite of Free Trade and the opposite of neoliberalism).
This is an American microcosm of a global problem born from our modern era of globalization and political, economic, and social inequality.
The problem with a radical socially conservative or socially liberal response is, like, you know, the problem with WWII Fascists and Communists (AKA alienation of 1/2 of the country by the 1/3rd).
Also, if we make “progressivism” and “neoliberalism” the enemy, and if we can tell our enemy by their religion or skin color, and if we make exclusive Nationalism the doctrine, it sort of indirectly paints the Democratic Party as the enemy. Which in a two party system is a little troublesome.
If one has a nativist, nationalist, state against political, cultural, and economic globalization, that is ruled by one party… they hardly have a true Democratic Republic.
One can always appreciate that Hitler and Stalin formed Workers’ parties, it is just everything else in practice that we look back on less fondly, namely their exclusive authoritarian ideologies and militaristic agenda.
TIP: This isn’t “about Bannon”, he just happens to be articulating the ideology of the Le Pen, Brexit, global Nativist Nationalist right-wing movement better than others, and he is in power. This makes him a great example. I would suggest comparing Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, McCain, and Bannon to get a sense of how all are or aren’t traditional Republicans. If you study those Republicans, past right-wing movements like Know-Nothings and America First, and the European fascists then there won’t be many connections I can make for you that you can’t make yourself.
TIP: See also the history of party switching in the U.S. (as it helps to explain how the Conservative coalition took control of the Republican Party with their Sixth Party Strategy and how their Populist Socially Conservative Wing came to power). See also Why Populism Is Replacing Conservatism, and Why It’s Winning from Breitbart.com. The citations below have links to more Nationalist Populist movements. In all cases the term denotes policy based in right-wing “X country first” protectionism, nativism, nationalism, and xenophobia against globalization, socialization, and neoliberalism. In other words, it is essentially a synonym for right-wing populism (a sub-movement of right-wing conservatism). AKA, putting this politely as possible, at an extreme what one might call fascism.
NOTE: Historically socially right-wing movements have been charged with being “fascist”, libertarian movements with being “anarchistic or oligarchical”, and socially left-wing movements with being “Communist” or “Socialist”. For example, the Affordable Care Act was often accused of being socialist, and Obama of implementing a neoliberal globalist agenda. From that perspective we are just pointing out the equal and opposite here. Saying “Nationalism” doesn’t denote incorrectness, nor does “Populism”, yet giving a nod and dog whistle to something like “National Populism” arguably begins to cross that invisible line. This page is really about “why crossing that invisible line” has troubling connotations. Here the line is toward the right, but if say Bernie had been elected and we were talking about Kieth Ellison’s National Socialist strategy we would be talking about an equal and opposite line toward the left. This is to say, if we assume the political left and right are naturally occurring, then here we aren’t calling out “good guys” and “bad guys”, but rather are talking about the slippery slopes of extremes. This is to say, the charge of the page might seem a little radical, but the idea is to examine that from the American Democratic and Republican center, not from the perspective of “left against right”.
What National Populism, Economic Populism, and Deconstruction Could Mean
Bannon is pretty clear in his outward public message, so lets consider that first.
First and foremost, in Bannon’s own words (see below), this is about economic globalization and deconstructing the neoliberal state.
To what degree it is about pushing back against cultural and political globalization (AKA the social issues) is at least secondary, although it is often implied by the tone of the Republican Party, the Bannon Wing, Breitbart, and such implication is notably not “exactly the same” as policy on-paper or in-action.
The basics of neoliberal globalization vs. Nativist Protectionism aside, the specific language being used hints at a few darker things from our past (our American past and our global western past). In this sense, to what degree it would be appropriate to see nods to Communism as a red flag in America, it is rational to see nods to further right movements in this same light.
With the above said, looking at this from a skeptical and historic lens, the first thought that pops into one’s mind, if they know their American history, is that Bannon could be indirectly referring to undoing Reconstruction and to implementing a liberal version of “America First” National Socialism (where Socialism is replaced by Economic Nationalism and Economic Populism, because the last thing a social conservative populist is is a progressive liberal populist socialist favoring some form of ideal Utopian Communism).
Maybe I’m hearing a dog whistle that only few are hearing (although the other few seem to be on the far-right, which was for me the author one of the warning signs beyond my initial reaction to words)?
Maybe I’m seeing symbolic shade in innocent symbolism (although I doubt this)?
Maybe I’m hearing negative conations and Bannon hearing positive conations (this is the most likely case; perhaps it is as simple as the left and right’s difference in hearing things like “Canadian healthcare”; one hears “Godless Socialism” one hears “Sweet Universal Healthcare System”)?
I get the different stances, but even with all that in mind it seems odd to not react or say something when one hears echoes of the past like: “America First”, “Economic Nationalism”, “Deconstruction”, and “Nationalism” and “Populism” uttered in the same breath?
I’m willing and eager to be wrong or overreacting here, “emotional socially left American thinking they are being centered comically uses the first to react with over sensitivity to harmless Nationalist terms” (seems reasonable), but given the history of the country and what I know about Bannon and his politics (that he is very smart and right-wing and less establishment and more populist) I’d assume that I am on the right track (even if I am only overreacting to the perception of a dog whistle).
That track being “yes, he meant vanilla economic nationalism on one hand, but was also implying America First National Populism and Deconstruction” as a nod to the far-right, via a “dog whistle”.
Knowing what I know about the Street Smart American South and dog whistle politics, I’d assume that I’m not reading into this as much as just picking up on the code being put down (the point of dog whistling is that it is supposed to be plausibly deniable, so one can only muse).
Assuming that I am on the right track, and that the dog whistle wasn’t totally just a consistent mistake, I’ll quickly explain National Populism and Deconstruction as I understand them from a Historical Perspective.
Let us just be clear, 1. I am saying “what do I know?” and “I could be wrong”, but “liberalism and the First says I get to make my point”, and 2. Keep in mind, in some alternative universe where Bernie Sanders won and Kieth Ellison was talking about “leading the Proletariat in a Socialist Revolution, Comrade”, I might just as easily be calling out that equal and opposite dog whistle acting as a siren’s call toward extremes (AKA the point is about the dangers of extremes, dog whistle politics, and values that aren’t purely American values leaking in the sides; the point isn’t “to Demonize Bannon” or his ideology; just as it wouldn’t be to demonize the theoretical social liberal if the positions were reversed).
Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus Interview at CPAC 2017 | ABC News. To be clear I’m commenting on Bannon’s own words, I’ve listened to him before. He is smart, he is also a socially conservative anti-establishment right-winger.
NATIONAL POPULISM & ECONOMIC NATIONALISM: Bannon uses the term “Economic Nationalism” to describe his overarching ideology. This, to be fair, denotes an anti-globalist / neoliberal agenda more than a culturally Nationalist Nativist agenda. It invokes a more traditional Republican stance in terms of immigration and economics, more Alien and Sedition Act or Monroe Doctrine than Know-Nothing or America First far-right populism. Likewise, it invokes Teddy’s New Nationalism, but without the socially liberal and progressive policy and with aggression toward “others” (something that doesn’t exactly scream Hamilton, Lincoln, or Teddy. Any other points I could make aside, the dog whistle usage of these terms along side terms like Populism and Deconstruction sets off the same red flags, and hints towards more worrisome doctrines like Mussolini’s Fascist Republican doctrine. So, the nuance is noted, the history noted, but the charge is generally the same. The charge is “this seems less Teddy’s New Nationalism and more like an uncomfortable alt-right step toward European Fascism in an effort to combat the neoliberals and new left in the spirit of the Conservative Coalition“.
The National Populists and their Deconstruction Agenda
Now that we have the basics down, and we have noted some complexities, lets look closer at what a National Populists and/or Economic Nationalist deconstruction agenda to see if and how it is like past right-wing movements and if and how it goes beyond the normal American position.
By understanding how it is like past right-wing movements we can see pitfalls that even the current purveyors of this Neo-Nationalism might be missing. This can help us to see how and if aspects of this ideology fit with Americanism and how and if some aspects don’t or could be seen as aggressive toward the left and/or center.
What is National Populism?
National Populism AKA Right-Wing Populism is, at a worst, a nod to America First, Fascism, National Socialism, Anti-Globalism, the Alt-Right, and the general socially conservative right-wing machine.
From this perspective, and as far as I can tell from Bannon’s perspective, means: Not Globalist and Not Establishment.
It describes an opposition to an economic agenda on one hand (a nativist protectionist opposition to a neoliberal agenda), but also likely speaks to the cultural and immigration aspects of globalism (an opposition to cultural and political integration between nations).
Simple as that, it is not neoliberal global Clinton or McCain neocon globalist, and if Bernie was in power, we could also say it sure ain’t Socialism either.
It is more a new-populist faction that arose out of the Sixth Party System push-back against against the global left, a movement that as a whole is symbolized by Fox News and Right-Wing radio, but as a sub-movement is symbolized more by “the alt-right” and Breitbart.
If the only choices were Globalist Liberal, Globalist Socialist, and National Populist. Then the Confederates, NAZIs, Mussolini’s Fascist Republicans, Breitbart, Alt-right, Trump, Bannon, Hannity, and all forms of ideologies that want to “Build a Wall” and get the “others out” would be in the National Populist camp.
The more nuance we employ, the less we have to clump Trump, Bannon, and Hannity, and certainly the more distance we can put between Bannon and NAZIism (or Mussolini’s fascism if you want to keep it simple and ignore the socialist aspects of the NAZIs).
This is to speak rather technically more than toss the old “every Republican is a greedy fascist and racist” line out. Literally, historically, the term that describes this “X country first” nationalism is fascism. This is even true for Hitler despite the oddly inaccurate as time went along Socialist Workers’ namesake.
In WWII there were two extreme ideologies, one left and one right, one was fascism and one was communism. Like slavery in the American South, no one wants to be associated with them politically today, but the reality is that in there day people were.
People were Know-Nothings, people did support America First, Ford did publish his Deerborn, Lindbergh really did come out for Germany over Russia in WWII. Generally, there was a very real group of America right-wingers who were sort of pissed about FDR siding with Stalin and were sort of pissed about the New Deal. They are still American, but we treat history like everyone loved FDR and Lincoln, they sure as heck did not! Someone voted against them, right? So today we can assume that “that type” still exists, which is fine, but it is a type that should inform the national conversation more than “gain total control of it”.
One simp way to understand this is to understand this all is by considering the Conservative Coalition. That coalition describes the “big tent” of social conservative ideologies that forms the modern right-wing. It is a mix of natural right-wing positions. Some positions are born from being like an animal trapped in a coroner by the modernizing global left, and some positions are more innocently born from natural positions one can take over any single voter-issue.
Red team thinks we need more funding for X, Blue team things we need less. One takes either a conservative or progressive position on an issue. There is only one set of facts, but always at least two informed opinions on that set of facts (if not many more).
The problem isn’t in any of this, the problem is in creating identities out of one of the two positions and then committing aggression toward the other position (the lesson of extremes from WWII again).
But I don’t want to get bogged down here, as the above is probably enough to frame the concept. The concept being that: one can take a natural socially conservative position on something, but when that position is transposed into an ideology, and that ideology is based around being an opposition to the other position, it can be a slippery slope toward past unsettling right-wing movements.
Authoritative Ideology vs. Non-Authoritative Ideology
Authoritative ideologies are very different from non-authoritative ones, and this is especially true of fringe ideologies like Communism and Fascism.
Authoritative fascism is not the same as non-authoritative democratic right-wing-ism that pushes toward a slightly fascist ideology.
Likewise, I would say that National Populism has not yet become overly tyrannical or authoritative. There has been no night of the long knives or fire decree, but of course one has to speak before there is, not after, even at the risk of being verbose.
So, to be clear before moving on, I’m not accusing Bannon of overstepping bounds or implementing a fully fascist agenda, I’m only saying that the word we use to describe national populism historically is fascism. So, like when Obama tries to pass the TPP thereby actually, fo’ reals, passing the globalist neoliberal agenda we can be like “well hold on there a second”, we here are too saying “well hold on a second, that sounds like a slippery slope toward an ideology that is aggressive towards of tens of millions, and a chunk of those tens of millions are the left”.
TIP: The main problem here is that I can say “oh this isn’t a big deal” and Trump can say “America first just means I love America”, but when the identitarians hear the dog whistle and I hear the dog whistle, we move beyond this being something that doesn’t need to be said. Around the time someone decided to make the video below was around the time that it became appropriate to write long-winded essays on the dangers of the fringe ideologies of social conservatism and their corrosive effect on a Democratically-minded Republic.
National Populism — An Introduction. The thing I love about identitarians (like identity and aryan) like Richard Spencer is that they quickly pick up on dog whistles and embrace ideologies. Here is another person’s thoughts on national populism, helps to prove that I am right.
TIP: To restate some of the above, just so this isn’t lost on the reader: Some on the right call Bernie and the Global left “Communist”. Is that fully right? No, it isn’t. Some for libertarians, they get called anarchists. Is that fully correct? No, it isn’t. They called Reagan and Bush fascists. Is that right? Probably not in most cases. Those terms are implying some valid symbolism, but they aren’t “fully correct”. However, the more extreme and authoritative an ideology gets, the more those terms make sense. So after [what was perceived by the left as] the Muslim ban, and with the wall construction beginning, it has given weight to using the term fascist to describe some of the right-wing agenda. If Bernie was in power and he started socializing things, we might hear the right call him a Communist and then we could detail how he was and wasn’t being like this. In both cases, calling out the extreme left and right is the American thing to do in defense of the liberal values that all Americans are implicitly sworn to defend under the implicit and explicit American social contract. In other words, we have a toe or two in nationalism here, and a toe or two in populism there, and some waiting in the wings are flirting with Socialism over there. Nothing has (in my opinion) gone too far out of the bounds of a past administration like say Teddy Roosevelt, and if it is going to stay in those bounds then we can have tolerance, not need censorship, and have room for centered discussion… However, we have to watch out for that red line which sends us over the naturally occurring slippery slope. Today we dip one toe in incorrectness, tomorrow we are swimming in incorrectness, drowning in it, up to our neck. We don’t want that.
What is Deconstruction?
Deconstruction, another term used by Bannon, but for our purposes we can relate back to Jeff Sessions (since it is more appropriate here, Sessions is another very impressive and smart person who just happens to ideologically be in the camp we want to discuss) is a nod to shifting power back to the states and the people to move forward with the sort of nationalist agenda that we described above.
So, this can be good and pure States’ Rights federalism, something that most people favor over big central government on many issues… but the wording conjures up some pretty dark images from the past that should be discussed.
Historically the Solid Conservative South was Democrat, in the days of Reconstruction the Northern establishment sent the military to occupy the South and force integration (“Military Reconstruction“).
The south got over it… never, and here we are. (I am not really being to hyperbolic here, that is one key at the center of American politics).
Deconstruction isn’t just about pushing for States’ Rights federalism, instead, looking to our past it is sometimes about less savory things like undoing regulation like voter protections at the state level, while at the same time forcing the prohibition of marijuana at the Federal Level.
Thus, although we can see this purely through a Centered Economic Nationalist lens and say this is just about undoing some bureaucracy. Or we can see it as aggression toward the left by a forced takedown of neoliberalism. We can see this through a social lens as a general nod to the deconstruction social programs passed by FDR and LBJ.
If we consider the main goal of the Sixth Party conservative coalition strategy to be a pushback against Communism and the social policies of figures like FDR and LBJ, then it isn’t unreasonable to see a term like “Deconstruction” as a dog whistle that invokes thoughts of both Reconstruction, the Safety net, and general neoliberal globalism.
How else are we supposed to react to terms like “the Deconstruction of neoliberal administrative state”. If it isn’t meant to be aggressive, feel free to tell us, but better yet, SHOW US. This is to say, nothing will shut a liberal up quicker than great policy. Likewise, nothing will open up the flood gates more than policy that aggressively deconstructions and alienates (if the Bannon wing was created by political frustrations and inequalities, so too would aggressive and authoritative action from that stance cause and equal and opposite reaction… this is how and why the pendulum swings).
TIP: For most of history people like Sessions and people like Bernie Sanders were in the same party, they were a “populist” party of conservatives and liberals we call Democrats. Since the 1960’s people like Jeff Sessions have joined the Republicans and formed a Conservative Coalition to opposed New Deal Democrats. So much changed, but core ideologies didn’t change. Now the Democrats like Bernie want States’ Rights for social justice and Sessions wants to… restrict voting rights and tell people what they can put in their body and what they can’t. You can see why their spiritual ancestors teamed up on states’ rights before and why they would be so diametrically opposed now.
The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Hillary Clinton said something bizarre in the 1990’s, she warned of a “vast right-wing conspiracy“, digging into things, she was only giving a (sort of snarky) name to the coalition of social and business minded conservatives that banded together after FDR and LBJ to push back against progressive policies. Makes sense, right?
Again, although I’m sure i’ve already lost many readers, I’ll point out that “a coalition of conservatives” isn’t a bad thing or good thing. It is just a statement about the political coalition that forms the modern Republican Party, just like there is an equal and opposite coalition of socially liberal and business-minded Democrats.
From this perspective “taking down the neoliberals and safety net” is akin to Bernie being like “we are going to take down the Neocons and Tea Party”. One side sees it as “finally we are safe again” and the other side sees “terror and aggression against everything we stand for”. Less we want 60 million freaked out citizens, we “have to” lead from the center even when America votes in a non-center ideology into power.
The Conservative Coalition has risen before, in the Nixon and Reagan eras, and under the Second Bush, but this time it is a bit different. This time the populist, not establishment wing is leading in some respects.
Although I’m sure many hope they can stick it to the establishment and do some good for the people, the worry with the populists is that we get a sort of Jacobin overreaction that is destabilizing to the state.
The Economic National Populists won a Democratic election on a Deconstruction message and now they are in power, along side many traditional and centered allies, in a BIG TENT of different positions on different social issues. That is fair.
What isn’t fair is them using shady policy to “conserve us back to a time when it was great form some but not for others”.
I think anyone who gets it knows where I am going with this, but I’ll spell it out by offering an analogy I think any right-winger frustrated with neoliberal globalization will understand:
If Bernie / or say William Jennings Bryan was President, and they started saying “we are implementing International Leninism” and we are going to Radically Reform of the American South and force integration, and we are going to funnel power away from the states and ensure a global nation, then the right-wing would have some valid worries. Sure, the right-wing may have told itself that this is what Obama and Clinton were doing, or what FDR and LBJ did, and they may not be fully wrong… but look, two wrongs don’t make a right (pun?).
I could keep discussing nuances or relating this back to Bernie, but the bottom line here is that: Fascism and Communism have no place in America, they never did.
We can take progressive and conservative positions, and we can stick it to the establishment when things get out of hand, or simplify things when they get too bureaucratic, but we can’t just undo FDR and LBJ without a ton of aggression toward tens of millions who identify as left. Pushing towards this with terms reminiscent of past fascist ideologies is a strange red flag and not helping.
Fringe far-left and far-right supporters of authoritarian ideologies generally have no place usurping our democratic, republican, and liberal values.
The right-wing seems to see clearly that Communism is wrong, but I feel like they don’t fully get the other lesson of WWII, that Fascism is also wrong.
We all want what we want, and we haven’t agreed on much since 1776, but what we do all agree on is coming together using our reason to ensure just laws in the spirit of American democracy and republicanism.
Factions change and the pendulum swings, and we would all be wise to remember that when one side seems to have unlimited power.
To whatever extent the American South felt oppressed under the Radical Republicans, or to what extent right-wingers felt repressed under FDR or LBJ, or to what extent some felt Obama was pulling America toward a globalist liberal agenda and only Fox News and Talk radio could fight back, let that stand as a symbol of what the left feels when we hear terms like National Populism, Deconstruction, Build a Wall, Ban Muslims, etc.
I don’t expect people to get it fully, but I do expect enough empathy and respect for our country to roll back the rhetoric and focus on the bigger picture.
The sad thing here is that, while I may get slammed for writing this, I think the worst thing that can happen is for the “populist Second American Revolution” that just occurred to have the pendulum swing at it. You are in power, use that power for the forces of good and earn yourself a seat at the table so we can avoid another cycle of repression and rebellion? Does that make sense? History is a really good “what does and doesn’t work” guide here.
All the above said, when politicians in control of the Government say “Law and Order”, “Deconstruction”, and “National Populism” not everyone is going to get it, but here in the internet age enough will to make this a dangerous game of linguistics.
Fox News Has Ruined An Entire Generation with Their Hate and Ignorance. You can see how the propaganda war gets heated, the left and right radicalize, and then Communists and Fascists arise. This is a naturally occurring phenomena that takes conscious effort to prevent. America is for me like Athena, meant to protect against this at all costs. Let us remember, it is only Trump and Obama, we don’t need to go full tilt here, but this language is feeling really slippery… and the thing is, for me, I think Bannon is smart enough to know most of this. Which also means he is smart enough to curb it before it gets more out of hand than it is. If anti-establishment just means anti-liberal, then that is going to be a hard ideological war to win, historically it has never worked out well.
BOTTOMLINE: Extremes corrupt Democracy, not just in 600 BC, or 360 BC, or 30 BC, or 1918, or 1933… but always, as a rule. There is only one set of symbols we need to identify with, see below:
- Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus Interview at CPAC 2017 | ABC News
- Read Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus’ Joint Interview at CPAC – Transcript
- National populism versus democracy
- National populism versus democracy
- The politics of national‐populism: Ideology and policies of the German Republikaner party
- Opinion: The nationalist wave in the U.S. and Europe that liberals still don’t get
- A guide to Steve Bannon, the Trump adviser who spent years mainstreaming white nationalism
- Donald Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ Supports Government Control Of The Economy
- Economic Nationalism