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Bannon and Frum Debate Trump's American Populism--in Canada

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on December 15, 2018 12:29

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Steve Bannon and David Frum's Munk Debate from November 2nd was one of the stranger television shows that I have seen. Contra Frum, Bannon argued President Trump is a transformative figure in "the Fourth Turning" of American history (The Revolution, Civil War and New Deal were the other three). So the Obama Administration's end represented the exhaustion of one cycle, the Trump Administration the beginning of another.

Steve Bannon and David Frum's Munk Debate in Toronto on November 2nd: "Be it resolved, the future of western politics is populist not liberal," is one of the stranger television shows that I have seen on the web, though well-worth watching--especially for exposure of GOP Establishment spokesperson Frum's political cross-dressing.

Claiming to be a GOP Conservative, Bush 43's speechwriter on 9/11 (credited for "Axis of Evil"), Frum strangely defended President Obama's entire record, including Obamacare, foreign policy, economics...and George Soros.

On offense, Frum likewise recited DNC talking points, accusing President Trump of racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism...for criticizing George Soros.

There wasn't much difference between Frum's Obama lovefest/Trump hatefest and posts cribbed from Vox, The Huffington Post, MoveOn.Org, Antifa...or George Soros (who seemed to have planted Bannon protesters in the audience).

Despite Yale, Harvard Law School, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The Atlantic credentials, Frum couldn't engage Bannon on facts or law, rather pounded on the table with smears, lies, insults and outright fantasies--even blaming President Trump for the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue massacre committed by a Trump-hating neo-Nazi who declared the President was a tool of the Jews.

Frum's invective appeared to match that of traditional Leftists--he even said he wanted to conserve Liberalism...rather odd for a putative "conservative Republican."

On the other hand, Frum entirely missed Bannon's point that the political contest today is between Socialist Populism or Nationalist Populism, due to the Establishment's credibility meltdown.

What Bannon called the "Party of Davos" was discredited by failures in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11, the subsequent 2008 financial collapse and Federal Reserve bailout. Asset-bubble inflation likewise failed, which led to the 2016 election of President Trump.

Contra Frum, Bannon argued President Trump is a transformative figure in "the Fourth Turning" of American history (The Revolution, Civil War and New Deal were the other three), a concept from the Strauss-Howe generational theory of American History. So the Obama Administration's end represented the exhaustion of one cycle and the Trump Administration marks the beginning of another.

"That’s why he won," Bannon explained. "That’s why he won the Republican primary; and that’s why he beat Hillary Clinton. Our whole thing was to compare and contrast. You [Trump] are the tribune of the people and she is the guardian of a corrupt and incompetent elite — a permanent political class." 

Cyclical analyses were once popular among historians such as Arthur Schlesinger, whose Cycles of American History was influential in the Kennedy Administration. Bannon himself made a movie called Generation Zero about historical cycles, in which Frum appears. You can watch it online: https://youtu.be/bsqu9gh6xhk.

Bannon explained the end of Globalism leaves two alternatives other than Islamic Fundamentalism: China's Socialist Populism, which requires tyranny...or Trump's Nationalist Populism, which could preserve capitalism and freedom.

That is the choice facing the current generation.

This Munk Debate presents a high-level and intellectually important experience--see for yourself on YouTube:

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Laurence Jarvik

Posted on December 15, 2018 12:29

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Source: WashPost

Populism is just another 'alternative fact' of the Trump administration.

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