For awhile now, Steve Bannon has been talking openly about raising an army and taking over the United States. This is awfully big talk for a guy who’s such a consistent failure and loser, he managed to get ousted from Breitbart and the Trump White House for being too much of an embarrassment. It’s almost impossible to fail that badly. Bannon also got arrested by Post Office officials while on a boat, and less than a year after he was pardoned, he managed to get himself arrested again for contempt.
Steve Bannon isn’t overthrowing anything. Moreover, unless his worsening legal troubles have pushed him into a state of total delusion, he knows he’s not overthrowing anything. But he also knows that whenever he talks like this, the mainstream media sees a ratings opportunity by trying to scare audiences into believing that Bannon really is capable raising an army. And once the media convinces mainstream Americans that Bannon really is an existential threat to their existence, Bannon can then point out to right wingers that he has liberals running scared, at which point right wingers are willing to fund his imaginary army and such.
Nor is Bannon using his arrest for contempt to take down the Department of Justice and the Biden administration. Yes, he’s going to file nonsense requests for information as he gets closer to his criminal trial. No, it’s not going to help him or anyone on his side. Bannon isn’t an evil wizard with a magic wand. He’s a two-bit doofus who, even if he briefly succeeds at something, always then manages to quickly blow it and come out on the losing end of things.
Yet we keep seeing headlines about how Bannon is winning, because these kinds of scary headlines are great for ratings and page views, even when they’re hilariously untrue. It’s really important that we learn to tune out such scare tactics. Bannon’s business model is based on baiting the media into baiting you into cowering to him. If you cower to him, you’re helping him line his pockets.
If you want to be “vigilant” about someone like Steve Bannon, step one is to laugh in his face, so his own supporters can see no one is taking him seriously, and they’ll stop funding whatever grandiose criminal plots he’s vowing to carry out. Bannon’s promise to raise an army and take over the country is nothing short of a laugh out loud belly flop on his part. Your job as an activist is to laugh at him accordingly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report