By now you have read the comments reportedly made by Steve Bannon that have rocked not only the conservative movement, but Washington itself. After learning of them, I could not help but consider how life imitates art.
Could Bannon be the immortal traitor Brutus, whose role in history has endured owing to Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”?
If these are truly Bannon’s words, were his comments a deliberate act to overthrow the Trump administration? In this sense, we find a once trusted advisor to be much like the historical Brutus who purposely uses his position to subvert his former leader.
Or could Bannon be a more tragic figure in the theatre of politics?
Conversely, Bannon is reminiscent of the enigmatic Colonel Kurtz from Joseph Conrad’s novella “Heart of Darkness,” a character brought to a wider audience by Marlon Brando’s depiction in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.”
In Brando’s portrayal, we see a man who goes so far up river into a world that he is not born into, a world that he does not understand that he ends up lost in the jungle with no way to turn back.
Now, I must reiterate that I don’t know if Bannon ever said these things. Do we know for certain if he said it or did the author make it all up in order to pedal a book? We would assume some veracity to these claims or the publisher would be sued for all they’re worth. But unless they have it on tape, I’m not so sure we can recognize this as truth. Already, even The Washington Post has questioned the validity of portions of this upcoming book. Nonetheless, President Trump among others have responded to these remarks giving us reason to believe someone is stirring up the pot.
Does Steve Bannon now resemble Shakespeare’s Brutus or Joseph Conrad’s Colonel Kurtz? Who do you believe he is?