Bannon’s imagination is not well suited to modern democratic politics. His heart is not in the tiresome business of electioneering, except insofar as it provides a staging ground for assaults on the fortress of liberalism, whose improving language and meliorist assumptions he despises. Nor does he seem to have an interest in the very dull and mechanical work of devising and implementing policy. Nothing could matter less to such a man than the means by which, say, China is destroyed — only that she is, and anyone who would prefer a more sober course of action ruined with her.

His talents are wholly unsuited to the politics of America in the 21st century, or even the 18th. It is easier to imagine him flourishing as a cold but smiling magister officiorum in the golden dance of court under His Imperial Majesty Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or as a leering chief eunuch in the palace of the Manchu Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi at the height of the mystic Boxer Rebellion. He might have superintended the spoliation of the monasteries at the behest of a Henry VIII or whispered secret doom in the ear of some nameless Vandal chief before an ill-considered campaign of plunder. He might even have been good on Game of Thrones.