While I'm trying to take a breather from reading about/thinking about Donald Trump for a bit, I have gone down the rabbit hole of reading more about Steve Bannon, who of course was instrumental in getting Trump elected and will now be the chief strategist to the incoming president. Obviously a smart, cunning guy, with a troubling past, to say the least.
A few points from this profile by Michael Wolff stand out:
"The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver" — by "we" he means the Trump White House — "we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about."
This last part is a shot at the world of tech, of course. And the point is taken. But I think this is actually the dumbest thing he says in the interview. It almost suggests that tech has not, is not, and will not continue to transform the world for everyone. I understand you can't just speak to one industry, but the "employing nine people" quip undercuts his argument by making it seem as if they won't take the industry seriously.
"Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."
Admittedly, this is probably the most fascinating aspect of this forthcoming presidency -- if they actually execute on this plan. Impossible to know if it will work, as there will probably be opposition to all sorts of things from both sides of the aisle. But, if I'm being honest, I do appreciate the idea of trying to do something different in a very big way. I just hope it doesn't involve re-building/re-starting coal power plants and the like. Let's execute this plan for the 21st century, not the 20th.
And let's try not to go bankrupt doing it. A certain incoming president has a history of playing a little too fast and loose with debt -- and now that debt will be our nation's debt... This is terrifying.
"I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."
He does know what ended up happening to Cromwell, right?!Read more...