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This story is taken from the ebook Visualizing Politicians' Personalities, 2019 Incumbents and Candidates. Buy it online today at amazon.com!
THE PRECEDING IMAGES OF THE PERSONALITIES OF Donald and Steve show they are very different. Donald is much warmer and more down-to-earth, while Steve is much colder and has more depth. These spiritual portraits show both Donald and Steve are very ambitious, with Steve's image showing a stubbornness similar to Mitch McConnell's.
Together Donald and Steve form a very small yet psychologically diverse team. Donald's warmth is in stark contrast to Steve's coldness, and the depth in Steve's spiritual portrait is largely missing from Donald's otherwise colorful image.
Much of Donald's warmth comes from his desire for people to like him.
He wants this so much that, as Michael Wolff writes in his book
Fire and Fury,
within twenty-four hours of the inauguration, the president had invented a
million or so people who did not exist [p. 47].
Donald's emotions can be positive when he is making a sale — such as when he is giving one of his
rallies — then suddenly go negative when things go sour.
Continuing to describe Donald's inauguration, Michael Wolff writes
To boot, the president blamed [White House Press Secretary Sean] Spicer for not making the million
phantom souls real [p. 47].
Steve, however, saw rationality in Donald's irrationality.
Michael Wolff writes of how Steve the strategist saw Donald the salesman
as a simple machine.
The On switch was full of flattery, the Off switch was full of calumny [p. 35].
The author then continues to sum up this first-warm-then-cold
nature of Trump's particular salesmanship writing,
Bannon felt — perhaps with overconfidence — that
Trump could be easily switched on and off [p. 35].
As Katie Walsh, who was Donald's first
Deputy Chief of Staff, succinctly put it,
Chaos was Steve's strategy [p. 64].
Fire and Fury
also highlights how differently Donald and Steve prioritize their ideals.
The paradox of the Trump presidency was that it was both the most ideologically driven and the least [p. 177].
These portraits show that Steve is the deep one — the one with ideas — and early
in his book Michael Wolff confirms that
among his basic character notes, Steve Bannon was a plotter [p. 53].
Meanwhile Donald, as the author puts it,
eschewed abstractions [p. 169].
Steve observed that Donald
really hated school, and he was obviously
not going to start liking it now [p. 115].
Given these differences — and given that both Donald and Steve are serious and headstrong — the only way they could work together is if they had a common goal.
DONALD AND STEVE FIRST MET IN 2010.
In his book Bannon: Always the Rebel, Keith Koffler writes of how Donald
wanted to understand what the Tea Party was all about.
Donald's friend David Bossie introduced him to Steve and, as Keith Koffler writes,
The conversation went on for hours.
Bannon found that he and Trump ... were kindred spirits ideologically [p. 147].
Coming to American politics from different backgrounds, Donald and Steve found they
had both arrived at the same place — both of them are nationalists and populists.
Summed up by the phrase
Keith Koppler quotes Steve as saying about Donald that,
On trade, on China, on the military — basically, he already had pretty well-formed
his mind [p. 147].
Bannon: Always the Rebel,
Keith Koffler describes Steve work with Donald's speech writer Stephen Miller when he
took over Donald's presidential campaign.
to craft speeches relentlessly hammering home a populist, nationalist message and imprint
on voters that Hillary Clinton was the establishment and Trump was the agent of change [p. 153].
In his book
Joshua Green quotes Marine Le Pen, of the
National Front in France,
to explain Donald's and Steve's shared political views, writing
the dividing line is [no longer] between left and right but globalists and patriots [pp. 222-223].
This explains why, when Donald announced his candidacy for president, he
proceeded to unload a mind-bending, mostly improvised, fourty-five-minute rant during which
he casually referred to Mexican immigrants as 'rapists' and criminals [p. 161].
Joshua Green writes of how
Republican Party leaders
thought Donald's speech announcing his candidacy was
a horror show, the very antithesis of the message they yearned to project [p. 161].
Despite the many complaints from the media, Donald persisted on voicing his and Steve's
shared nationalist-populist ideas to anyone who would listen.
As it turned out, tens of thousands of people were willing to listen to Donald's proselytizing.
the author quotes Donald as telling attendees of one of his rallies,
There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship.
From now on, it's going to be 'America first' [p. 223].
Much to the surprise and dismay of many who thought they understood America's political zeitgeist,
Donald's and Steve's nationalism was very popular.
These were people who — after absorbing the effects of the Great Recession and
having Obamacare forced upon them — felt ignored by both parties.
Famously referred to by Hillary Clinton as
they were eager to listen to — and vote for — someone who told them what they wanted to hear.
UNLIKE OTHER CANDIDATES, DONALD CONNECTED WITH VOTERS personally and directly. In the face of increasingly negative publicity, he skirted both the media and the mainstream Republican party, and used his rallies, twitter and phone calls to deliver his message to the disaffected and dissatisfied.
Early in his book
Fire and Fury,
Michael Wolff describes how Donald made personal connections, writing the
campaign had built its central strategy around great rallies regularly attracting tens of thousands.
The author calls this an
unmediated connection and asserts it took both of the main parties by surprise.
For some it
while for others
it was clownishness [p. 46].
Multiple authors use the term
fabulist to describe Donald.
Michael Wolff expands on the term when he writes
the problem was that it [Donald's making direct connections]
often — in fact regularly — produced assertions that were not remotely true [p. 46].
Donald's assertion about the size of the crowd at his inauguration is an early example of his more fabulist side.
Make no mistake, Donald is not always warm, friendly, and telling people tall tales he somehow knows they want to hear. The name of Chapter 16 in Michael Wolff's book is Comey, and in it he describes the events leading up to the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
The author states Donald's firing of Comey
may be the most consequential move ever made by a modern president acting entirely on his own [p. 216].
Sparing no details in relating how Donald irrationally ignored all his advisers in his quest
to unnecessarily hurt James Comey, as much as he possibly could — and apparently simply out of
spite — Michael Wolff reveals
Cruelty was a Trump attribute [p. 218].
Yet Donald tends to favor people — and more than anything else wants others to like him. In one of his more candid and enlightening revelations, Michael Wolff tells of how even Donald's positive emotions could cause confusion among his staff.
In the twelfth chapter of
Fire and Fury,
Repeal and Replace,
the author tells of how
during one discussion with aides
Why can't Medicare simply cover everybody?
The aides, of course,
were careful not to react to this heresy [p. 165].
GIVING STEVE BANNON THE TITLE
CHIEF STRATEGIST IS A BIT of an understatement.
Calling him an
Infamous Nat-Pop Mastermind is more accurate.
Steve was a filmmaker when he first met Donald in 2010.
In Bannon: Always the Rebel,
Keith Koffler writes that Steve
studied the great documentary filmmakers of the past,
such as Leni Reifenstahl [p. 49] and sought to
weaponize film [p. 48].
Keith Koffler also writes that in 2012
Bannon set up the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) with
his longtime collaborator, journalist Peter Schweizer [p. 133].
Peter is the author of
a book that Steve made into a film in 2016 and which documents crimes Bill and Hillary Clinton allegedly committed.
Peter Schweizer's book and Steve's movie are what motivate Donald's supporters to chant
lock her up during his rallies.
funding from Robert and Rebekah Mercer and other conservative philanthropists,
to investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other
governmental corruption or malfeasance [p. 133].
Combining his efforts at GAI with his work at
Breitbart News, Steve was working on multiple
fronts to promote his nationalist-populist ideas years before joining Donald's campaign.
In Devil's Bargain, Joshua Green writes that Steve became
became a kind of Jekyll-and-Hyde figure, using
Breitbart News to
influence the right
and using GAI to
exert a subtler influence over the left [p. 142].
nonpartisan 501(c)(3) research organization [p. 141],
GAI could produce
rigorous, fact-based indictments against major politicians then partner
with mainstream media outlets to disseminate those findings to the broadest possible audience [p. 142].
Thus, before Hillary Clinton was even nominated as the Democratic candidate, Steve had her in the equivalent of a pincer movement, a double envelopment — in a political vice grip, between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones have seen the military version of this in the way Ramsey suckered Jon Snow and his army into charging Ramsey's in the sixth season episode, Battle of the Bastards.
Joshua Green marvels how Steve had created
the very thing Clinton herself was mocked for invoking in 1998:
a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' designed to tear her down [p. 47].
In fact and in deed, Steve Bannon was Donald Trump's Chief Strategist before Donald had even earned his place on the Republican presidential ballot.
Arguably, without someone like Donald to connect with voters on a personal level, Steve's efforts could have fallen short. Likewise, without someone like Steve laying the groundwork for his attacks on the Clintons, all of Donald's campaigning may have been insufficient, lacking the substance needed to appeal to his supporters.
Obviously, by working together on a shared goal, Donald and Steve could combine their contrasting personalities to beat the formidable odds against him — as both a total political outsider and a punching bag for the mainstream media — and win the presidential election.
LIKE SO MANY OTHERS, STEVE'S TIME IN THE WHITE HOUSE was short-lived. Tough on the surface, both Donald and Steve could be sensitive.
In Fire and Fury,
Michael Wolff writes that after several weeks as
Chief Strategist, Steve was
miserable because of Donald Trump, whose cruelties, always great even when they were casual,
were unbearable when he truly turned against you [p. 173].
Michael Wolff also describes how Donald was taking offense at things like the
Saturday Night Live portrayal of 'President Bannon'
and Joshua Green's book
Devil's Bargain, which
claimed, often in Bannon's own words, that Trump could not have done it without him.
Michael Wolff concludes Donald
was again greatly peeved [p. 276] with
Despite feeling increasingly uncomfortable, Steve persisted in his position for several more months.
Michael Wolff describes how Steve eventually
tempted fate, however, and granted an interview to
Robert Kuttner, the editor of the small, public policy magazine American Prospect [p. 297].
During the interview Steve was less than flattering of the president,
and the author sums up the interview by saying Steve was
incapable of sounding like a presidential aide [p. 298].
In the Epilogue, entitled
Bannon and Trump, Michael Wolff quotes now
ex-Chief Strategist Steve as claiming
I am the the leader of the national-populist movement [p. 301, emphasis in original].
Obviously, even though he is no longer in the White House,
Steve remains a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
Both Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are ambitious, formidable fighters with large followings. They are people whom it is good to have on your side if at all possible.
1 A spiritual portrait or Groja — for Graphical Representation of Jungian Archetypes — is an image representing the personality of a person. These images are based on the theories of personality originally described by Carl Jung and incorporate ideas appearing in the writings of the painters Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. Find essential information about these images on the About page at Groja.com.