A decade before becoming a top adviser to the president, Steve Bannon warned of the "Islamic States of America" replacing the U.S. government, according to a film treatment obtained by the Washington Post. Bannon used to make political documentaries, and he allegedly pitched one in 2007 that centered on the idea that radical Muslims are on the precipice of taking over America. The document says a lot about Bannon's worldview — as do the many films that he actually ended up making.
This one was to be called Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Facism [sic] In America. According to the outline, the opening sequence would have depicted an American-style flag, but with a star and crescent on it, flying above the U.S. capitol, followed soon by cheers of "Allah Akhbar" emanating from the capitol building.
According to the Post's Madea Gold, the outline doesn't merely condemn overt terrorist actions; it also suggests that local Islamic communities are front groups for revolutionary Muslim organizations, and that various American institutions — the media, the government, and the "Jewish community" — are attempting to aid this so-called Islamic takeover.
Bannon hasn't commented on the document, but his longtime writing partner Julia Jones confirmed its authenticity to the Post, saying that "it was all his words."
It may sound silly, but Bannon's films — nine of which he directed, many more of which he produced — are valuable historical documents, because they offer a glimpse into the mind of one of the most powerful men in the world before he accumulated that power. While the movies address various political topics, just about all of them seem to have a strong undercurrent of doom, pessimism and impending catastrophe.
Though I didn't have it in me to watch all of Bannon's films in their entirety, I did watch the trailers to all of the documentaries he's directed. They all suggest an overwhelmingly dark perspective of the world, one focused primarily on the hardships of white people. This matters, because that perspective now has the ear of the president. Here's what Bannon's films can tell us about the state of mind in the White House right now.
In The Face Of Evil: Reagan's War In Word & Deed (2004)
Subject: U.S.-Soviet foreign relations in the 1980s
Main takeaway: The Soviet Union was evil, and Ronald Reagan destroyed it.
Most revealing trailer quote: "There's only one guaranteed way you can have peace, and you can have it in the next second: Surrender."
Generation Zero (2010)
Subject: The 2007 economic collapse
Main takeaway: The financial meltdown was bad and you should be angry at the people who caused it.
Most revealing trailer quote: "It's a chain of lie, after lie, after lie!"
Fire From The Heartland (2010)
Subject: The role of conservative women in U.S. politics
Main takeaway: Conservatism is good for women and liberalism is bad for women.
Most revealing trailer line: "The culture has tried to take everything that makes women so strong away from them — their femininity, their morality."
Battle For America (2010)
Subject: President Obama's America
Main takeaway: Obama is both incompetent and un-American.
Most revealing trailer quote: "Anything that requires executive action, management, doing his job as president of the United States — he's totally at loss about."
The Undefeated (2011)
Subject: Sarah Palin's governorship in Alaska
Main takeaway: Palin took on special interests and stood up for the little guy.
Most revealing trailer quote: "To hell with the establishment, because the establishment has put us in this position in the first place."
Occupy Unmasked (2012)
Subject: The Occupy protests of 2011-2012
Main takeaway: The Occupy protesters were filthy, violent anarchists intent on overthrowing the U.S. government.
Most revealing trailer quote: "In the name of social justice, in the name of economic equality, all the buzzwords, these people feel morally justified to commit crimes."
The Hope And The Change (2012)
Subject: President Obama's America (again)
Main takeaway: Everyone who voted for Obama in 2008 regrets it.
Most revealing trailer quote: "The deficit is going up." (In actuality, the deficit fell during every year of Obama's presidency.)
District of Corruption (2012)
Subject: Washington, D.C., in general
Main takeaway: Washington politicians, especially Democrats, are corrupt crony capitalists who break the rules.
Most revealing trailer quote: "Too many politicians here in Washington feel the rules don't apply to them."
Subject: Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson
Main takeaway: America has turned away from God and is collapsing as a result.
Most revealing trailer quote: "Violence, decadence, political anarchy, moral decay: Welcome to the city of man."
Whew! That was a lot of gloom and doom for one day. Now, back to the news.