Shortly before Steve Bannon was booted from the White House, we caught a glimpse of his contradictory nature. In an interview with left-wing labor journalist Robert Kuttner, Bannon insists he is a class warrior who wants nothing more than to forge a pan-ethnic coalition of working-class economic nationalists that can defeat the smug globalists of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. In conversations with his friends in the White House, meanwhile, he describes Donald Trump's equivocating response to white-supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville as a shrewd way to fire up the president's base. Ben Smith of Buzzfeed has drawn out the contradictions between these two Bannonisms in a recent column, making the point that there's no rational way to reconcile them. He's right.
But what would happen if we teased apart the seemingly disparate approaches championed by Trump's erstwhile chief strategist? The answer is that we'd get two entirely different visions for the Republican future.