Combatting the New Right - 2019-05-13
Elections for the European Parliament at the end of May should prove a testing ground for Bannon's Movement. Right now, if the polling is accurate and the Euroskeptic, populist, and far-right parties combine their efforts, they could, staggeringly enough, become the largest coalition in that body. True, some prominent right-wing parties, like Poland's Law and Justice, remain unseduced by Bannon. But it's a mistake to underestimate him, just as it was a mistake to dismiss Trump in 2016. Success can be very persuasive, as The Donald proved in his takeover of a Republican Party whose leaders initially and almost universally despised him.
But Europe is only part of Bannon's plan. For someone who has vented so much spleen at "globalists" like financier and philanthropist George Soros, Bannon is quite the internationalist. In Latin America, he's already appointed Jair Bolsonaro's youngest son as his regional representative to help build on the right's electoral successes in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay. Bannon has also partnered with a Chinese billionaire to create a Rule of Law Fund that's meant to be the point of a spear aimed at the regime in Beijing.
In search of a stable of princes, that would-be Machiavelli has also visited Japan at the invitation of the fanatical Happiness Realization Party, a political cult that embraces Japanese militarism. Israel, too, is to be part of Bannon's alt-right archipelago because the self-professed "Christian Zionist" sees Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a key link in a future anti-Islamic front. Also figuring prominently in his thinking is Russia, a vast, mostly white country led by a critic of Western liberalism and "radical Islam," though Bannon acknowledges that the Mueller report has temporarily set back his efforts.