Sometimes the The Atlantic Monthly has articles like this, It’s Putin’s World, that just change your basic understanding of the world.
In this case, Putin has inverted the Cold War narrative. Back in Soviet times, the West was the enemy of godlessness. Today, it’s the Russian leader who seeks to snuff out that supposed threat.
Putin and Bannon both share the view that (quoting Putin):
…many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious, and even sexual …
By succumbing to secularism, the West was trending toward “chaotic darkness” and a “return to a primitive state.”
What’s tough to get your head around is that a significant portion of middle America feels the same way and feels strongly that the Trump administration is the only one listening.
And middle America feels in sync with Putin’s defense of traditional national, cultural and religious identities. By mid 2016 86% of Republicans did not view Putin unfavorably.
Is Trump really sucking up to Russia because they’re ideological buddies? I.e,, not just because of financial leverage or straight blackmail. Wow.
And look how this plays out for the Trump administration. According to Bannon:
“We, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what [Putin’s] talking about as far as traditionalism goes,” Bannon said. He shared Putin’s vision of a world disastrously skidding off the tracks—“a crisis both of our Church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.” The word crisis is used so promiscuously that it can lose meaning, but not in this case. “We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict,” Bannon said, exhorting his audience to “fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.”
Just to be clear, “the new barbarity” here includes liberalism, secularism, acceptance of alternative sexualties, and godless capitalism. And the only way to cure it is with a “brutal and bloody conflict”