When Steve Bannon left the Trump White House in August 2017, he declared, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.” And within a few weeks, after the initial rush to parley with one of 2016’s most charismatic king makers, he faded from national news coverage.
But in a recent interview with Seth Doane on CBS’ Face the Nation, Bannon, appearing a tad disheveled with longish, unkempt hair, signaled he is back in the game and ready to rumble.
The powerful and outspoken political strategist took a brief respite from dashing around Europe, laying the foundations for his Brussels-based organization, The Movement, to return home to warn his America that 2019 will surely be a “meat grinder” as the nation barrels headlong into the 2020 elections.
And folks are hanging on his every word, hoping for a glimpse into the near future.
Make Europe Great Again
After he aided in securing a Trump win and spending several months babysitting the West Wing minions, including favorite family members Jared and Ivanka, Bannon turned his gaze east across the Atlantic, sensing an uprising akin to America’s revolt in 2016 against the establishment elite.
He was urgently needed.
It was clear to the grandmaster that The Movement was ripe to take root, and the proper groundwork could spark Europe’s own version of Make America Great Again. Bannon’s unerring creation of The Movement to defeat George Soros’ Open Society Foundations — which has run unchecked over citizens for decades — is now flourishing and aims to put conservative, populist candidates in power
And there is a populist wave rising across the Atlantic, where fed-up rural, blue-collar, and no-collar Britons are anxious about open-borders immigration and socialist-leaning E.U. bureaucrats destroying their country. Sound familiar? Such sentiments echo the America first agenda, the strong belief in a Judeo-Christian identity, and the evils of corrupt and out-of-control government.
Whether or not his critics applaud his messianic march to save ordinary folk, Bannon has made an impact in Europe and continues to scare the bejeezus out of the liberal elites.
As he told reporters in December 2018:
“There’s populist movements everywhere, whether it’s with Brazil and (President Jair Messias) Bolsonaro … in India (with Prime Minister Narendra Modi) or throughout Europe. I go all over the world to give talks. And if I wanted to, I could stay outside the United States for a whole year doing just that. This populist movement is all over the world. People are looking for assistance. They are looking for guidance. They keep coming to me and saying hey, ‘Tell me we’re not alone, tell me this is all interconnected.'”
It appears Bannon needs a cause. But will he be successful? The first major test will be this coming May in the European Parliament vote.
Never Underestimate a Warrior Heart
Some have counted Bannon out — but his battle cry is the same as when Americans rose up to elect Trump president. And Trump still holds a relatively high popularity rating, although elite media types refuse to report those positive numbers.
Bannon is back for a reason – even if he is not ready to admit what that reason is. But in a few short minutes on a sleepy Sunday news program, Americans got the gist of his intentions. Without mincing his words, Bannon laid down of the gauntlet for Republicans, Democrats, and Never Trumpers.
When asked if Trump would survive a challenge from Republicans in a primary, Bannon scoffed, calling the process “symbolic” and not “serious.” He also warned the president about getting ahead in a tough year, with Mueller’s imminent report.
“I think that 2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since before the Civil War. And I include Vietnam in that. I think we’re in, I think we’re in for a very nasty 2019.”
He may be right. And some Americans are locked, loaded, and bracing for the first volley to fly.