At CPAC last month, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon vowed the Trump agenda would be enacted in full. Take him at his word—he has an Army of evangelical Christians behind him.
In a March 15, 2015 New York Times article, onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” David Lane described his efforts to organize evangelicals to support the GOP in the 2016 Elections. He boasted, “An Army. That’s the goal,” would be assembled. Financed by a few unnamed wealthy donors and armed with an email list of 100,000 pastors, Lane with Trump-like energy crisscrossed the nation to mobilize fervent Christians. Trump saw the opportunity and pounced. He heeded the zealots’ call and fully embraced them. Using battlefield tactics, he systematically destroyed a plethora of opponents to become the evangelical’s unquestioned leader. Trump’s demagoguery then shattered trust in media, governments, leaders, immigrants, Muslims, Asians—your neighbors. He declared everything was a mess, in crisis, or a pending disaster and only he could lead us out of the darkness.
Now that America has chosen darkness, the legion who propelled Trump to the Presidency demands absolute victory. They call on their savior to deliver the holy grail of conservatism: a commitment to nationalism, unfettered capitalism, and the indoctrination of Judeo-Christian values into every segment of society.
Trump easily inspired nationalists. Listening to his campaign, one feared a foreign villain occupied every street corner. Agitated over subpar economic growth and a generation of stagnant wages, the white middle-class hailed Trump when he told them they had been cheated by horrible trade deals and government overreach. He promised free-wheeling business within our borders combined with strict trade barriers would make America great again. By Election Day, the first objective had been accomplished; reviving nationalism. Installing arguably the most conservative cabinet in history, the markets booked in advance; Trump’s second goal—unleashing business from government oversight. With a fervent base solidly behind him, Trump is determined to complete the trifecta; reinstating across society Judeo-Christian philosophies mixed with anti-federal libertarianism ideology. If successful, Bannon’s dream of destroying the administrative state is possible. For progressives, the stakes couldn’t be higher. As sides dig in, expect “Peace through strength” to become the rallying cry for both parties—setting the stage for a very dangerous chapter in American history. A chapter Bannon intends to write.
Bannon subscribes to a theory where long-term cycles dramatically influence societies. Each cycle, approximately one lifespan in length contains four distinct periods: high, awakening, unraveling, and crisis. Each has duration of approximately twenty years. The chief strategist maintains we are currently in the midst of America’s fourth crisis (the revolution, civil war, depression/WWII were the first three). The crux of today’s emergency is the baby boom generation failed to pass the torch of conservatism to next generations. Disturbingly, each prior crisis recognized by Bannon involved war in escalating proportions. Bannon trusts it will be no different this time. A history fanatic, he relishes the opportunity to steer America through the crisis stage into the fifth “high” cycle in American history.
Key metrics validate Bannon’s thinking. The prior “unraveling” phase produced negative returns to society: historic income disparity, massive deficits, dramatically shifting demographics, a dysfunctional healthcare system, life expectancy predicated by zip code, a mediocre and unjust education system, decayed infrastructure, unthinkable racial biases, obscene gun violence, taxation that favors capital over labor, foreign policy disasters that have taken over 5,000 American soldiers and cost trillions of dollars—all symptoms of a crisis stage.
These realities give Trump plenty of ammunition to enrage the nation with inflammatory rhetoric: “We don’t win wars anymore; the Chinese are ripping us off; Mexico is sending all their “bad dudes” across the border to peddle drugs, rape our women, and commit murder; the Iran nuclear deal is the worst agreement in history; NATO members are leeches; and previous administrations were stupid and corrupt who negotiated one bad deal after another.” In delivering these messages, the President brashly stamped one giant “Trump” across the globe; warning allies and foes his snaky red line is eager to strike.
Meanwhile, Bannon excitedly studies our long-term cycle. Like Russia two decades ago, he comprehends during the crisis stage, “When yields to society turn negative, creative destruction is sure to follow.”
Expect the deconstruction of the administrative state.
Expect leftist radicals to fight back.
Prepare for an American Spring.
Keith T. Bishop is the author of SLOP – The Wild Boar Nation (2013), The Republican Bond – Returning Negative Yields (2016), Make the Dog Park Great Again (2017) and Dusty the Cat; In Search of Healthcare; A Love Story (2014). To learn more about the author and his stories please visit www.keithbishopbooks.com