The other day a friend of mine asked, what do you think Donald Trump’s legacy will be? I responded by reminding him that Donald Trump is not even 1/4 of the way through his first term in office and it is too hard to tell at this point, but if I had to say what his legacy has been at this moment in time, it is that Donald Trump is a symbol for how divided the people of our country have become.
While I do not blame Donald Trump specifically for this, there is no denying that in 2017 people are more divided then ever before when it comes to political issues and American society as a whole feels like it is slowly falling apart. It is also a statistical fact that no President in US history has had fewer pieces of legislation passed in their first 8 months than Donald Trump has, another tarnish on Trump’s “legacy” to date. While it is not too late for Trump to recover from this hole, I believe that part of the reason why Trump has been failing as a President is based upon some of the people he has chosen to surround himself with in office, chief among them Steve Bannon. This is also why I would argue that firing Steve Bannon might have been the most significant move that Trump has made as President to date.
Whether you are aware of it or not, Steve Bannon has become the most important ghostwriter in the United States today. I say this because nearly every speech or public announcement you have heard Donald Trump give for the past twelve months has been written for him by Steve Bannon. Not only this, but Bannon has also been the author of several of Donald Trumps Executive Orders, including the controversial “Muslim Travel Ban” earlier this year. I think it is safe to say that without Bannon’s words and guidance, Donald Trump may not have ever won the Republican nomination or Presidency to begin with. This is also why Bannon was rewarded with the title of Chief White House strategist when Trump finally did assume office.
I believe that part of the reason Donald Trump has become the least accomplished President in US history is because of the direction Steve Bannon has pointed him in. Essentially, there is a difference between campaigning and Governing and I do not think Trump has learned the difference, yet. Despite winning the election, Trumps rhetoric continues to be obsessed with Hillary Clinton and the popular vote, Donald Trump has even hosted several rallies throughout the country just like he did on the campaign trail. At times it almost feels like Donald Trump is the last person to come to terms with the fact that he is President of the United States.
Trumps contentious relationship with the press can also be traced directly back to Steve Bannon, whom has had a personal bone to pick with “the main stream media” going back to his days as Breitbart editor. Prior to 2016, Brietbart had a rather minuscule following and found itself struggling to compete with much larger press organizations around the country. This all changed in 2016 however, after Breitbart championed what we now refer to as “click bait journalism;” writing the most controversial, flashy and/or insulting headlines as possible for every article in order to get people riled up, emotional and engaged in the content. Just like Donald Trumps surge in the polls in the later half of 2016, Steve Bannon also made Breitbart the 9th most visited news website on the internet using this same strategy.
However, as Trump is finding out the hard way, while controversy and bold statement-making are good for popularity in terms of getting attention, campaigning and getting elected, they are equally as destructive when it comes to leadership and Governing. The more Donald Trump continues to attack the press and his peers in Government, the more it has backfired against him, once again, resulting in the least accomplished first 8 months of any Presidential administration in US history.
Another reason for Trumps failure in Government is a result of how far-right he has attempted to take the White House and his political policies. Under Bannon’s guidance, Donald Trump has pushed the Republican Party so far right that it has completely isolated some of the more moderate members of the Party, including prominent Republican leaders like John McCain and Rand Paul. This is also why, despite the fact that Republicans own the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, the Party as a whole has not been able to come to a consensus and has failed to pass nearly anything into law.
Lastly, I think it is fairly evident why Bannon’s tenure in the White House came to and end specifically this week. It is no secret that if there was ever a “President” of the “alt-right” political movement, it would be Steve Bannon. Considering that Donald Trump has come under international condemnation for allegedly speaking in defense of the actions of members of the alt-right and other white nationalists after the events in Charlottesville last weekend, and it is Bannon whom writes all of Trump’s public statements for him, and Bannon is a member of the alt-right himself, it is really Bannon’s fault why Donald Trump is finding himself in such hot water this week.
By firing Bannon, Trump may be able to start shaking off some of the controversy that has followed him around to date and in many ways, gives Donald Trump a fresh start headed into the final 3/4 of his first term in office. Whether things begin to improve for him or not remains to be seen, but there are certainly many people from both sides of the political isle that are happy to see Steve Bannon go.