Steve Bannon is roaming Europe trying to unite nationalist populist parties, in preparation of the next European Parliament elections coming up in May 2019.
Bannon is a man to watch: alt-right guru, former investment banker, former executive chairman of Breitbart News, former CEO of Trump’s 2016 campaign, former White House strategist (for seven months), he has remained Trump’s close friend. And he is dangerously savvy: As vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, he was able during the 2016 Trump campaign to use its data to target and manipulate voters.
Last month, Bannon announced he would move to Brussels to found a new pan-European populist movement, called “The Movement”. His hope? To get all populist, anti-establishment parties in Europe to join his Movement, which he views as an umbrella “supergroup” to lead them to victory. He could just as well have used the slogan “Europe Haters, Unite!”
It all started a few months before, in March 2018 when Bannon was invited by Marine Le Pen to speak to her party’s annual summit meeting, the National Front congress in Lille. That’s when he realized that he had a goal cut out for himself. Bannon told the LePen crowd:
“What I’ve learned [visiting Europe] is that you’re part of a worldwide movement that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary, bigger than all of it. And history is on our side. The tide of history is with us and will compel us to victory, after victory, after victory!”
The following video of the event is instructive:
Note how Bannon uses typical populist oratorical ploys: “Let them call you racist, let them call you xenophobes, let them call you nativists” he yells, adding meaningfully: “Wear it like a badge of honour.” A badge of honor, really? Yes! Nothing to be ashamed of! And why not?
Here’s his answer: “Because every day we get stronger and they get weaker.”
Notice how this works: He is suggesting to his audience that they are on the “right side of History”.
The last time we heard that argument, it came from the communists and the Soviet Union. They too claimed to be on “the right side of History”.
We know how well that ended. At the Berlin wall.
“Next May is hugely important,” Bannon told the Daily Beast. “This is the real first continent-wide face-off between populism and the party of Davos. This will be an enormously important moment for Europe.”
What he calls disparagingly “the party of Davos” are the political and business leaders who meet to debate world issues at the World Economic Forum, held in Davos in January of every year.
Yes, Bannon is busy trying to destroy the Europe we love. Read the rest on Impakter, click here. Do let me know what you think!