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The State of the Union is fractious

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mullah_assassin

Some people are missing the point here about Trump, his role and what he represents.

Trump is a SYMPTOM of a broken system. The deeper problems have always been much more than Trump, and many Team Blue advocates seem to miss that point because they are too partisan, like their Team Red compatriots.

Last year I said that Trump winning the election was only the start of a great unwind, and that it will expose the Oligarchy and mainstream media even more. That has already happened.

He is not the final destination for America. He is the start of a greater movement, and the beginning of the end of the Oligarchy in its present form. The Oligarchy is being exposed. The problem is not a bunch of partisan Dems or Republicans. The problem is the Deep/Shadow government that operates on a rogue basis against the elected government. An entity beholden to parochial interests that stays in power no matter what idiot gets shuffled around every 4 years in the game of charade.

The important thing was that Trump was not their handpick; Clinton was. And despite all their big budgets, mainstream propaganda outlets, powerful connections, they still could not stop Trump and their handpick Clinton lost. Now that was funny because it meant there is a limit to their power.

So what will they do? They are trying to wrap their tentacles over Trump. They will try to impeach him. They will try a soft coup. They will try to rig elections. But the rubicon has been crossed. The Oligarchy is falling apart and infighting. Trump is the first stop in a long journey to clean out America from this catharsis. The internal threat has always been greater than any Russia, China or Iran.

Trump was a guy at the right time and the right place to tap into a mood and a movement that cannot be put back into the bottle. He is clumsy and silly. He is not a politician. Until the rogue US Deep State is reigned in, hell bent on empire, pillaging, fraud and racketeering instead of governing, the movement will not end.

The Team Red vs Team Blue kabuki is exactly that. The 2 party duopoly has served its purpose. Independent parties are needed, the existing parties need to be completely re-vamped. All the senile old timers from the bygone era need to go as well. Their time is up, - they are outdated dinosaurs not up to the task anymore. Younger people need to step up and take over and inject new fresh values and policies instead of the bankrupt cold war practices of their elders, who play like broken records nowadays.

mullah_assassin

State of the Union is like a motivational speech given by a Roman emperor to the serf underclass.

Trade wars are stoopid. But if that is to be had compared to hot wars for Zionist Neocon war-mongers, then we can say humanity is slowly evolving. But don't hold your breath. You can't make America productive by edict or tariffs. You do that by making better stuff at a competitive price. But "competition" in the US empire is a funny thing, the ruling classes can't seem to grasp the concept very well.

mullah_assassin in reply to milpitasguy

Its Western corporations that are running away from employing Western workers. Blaming foreigners for "stealing jobs" is misguided. The ones who ultimately take the decisions to do so are employers in the West, not workers in the East.

It's the same retarded nonsense about blaming Muslims and immigrants. Who let them in? Who is attacking their countries? Again, Western governments are responsible.

Globalism was always first and foremost a project for the corporatocracy. The added benefits - free movement of people, came much later after free movement of goods, services and money were ensured first for the barons.

The most troubling aspect is how unchecked the greed can go. With all the productivity gains thanks to technology, it still isn't good enough for the greedy barons. Workers are more stressed and work longer hours than ever before, have very little job security, all the workers rights and unions have been smashed deliberately to shift disproportionate power into employers, while all the onus of responsibility in every business model that I see and encounter, from customer "service" to retail, is thrown on the consumer/customer. Corporations are pushing accountability away from themselves, while entrenching themselves in "too-big-to-fail" ways, leeching off the State and cutting costs and squeezing the last penny with no end in sight.

Remember, these people call workers "human resources", in another one of their lifeless euphemisms.

Even when robots and full automation comes out, they will still try to justify cutting costs, because greed is never enough. What will people do then? Work for robots of course! And they'll tell you how free and happy you are supposed to be.

You would think that with all the productivity gains thanks to technology, this has allowed people to have more leisure time. Not at all. With the twisted "values" this society is espousing like endless consumerism and instant gratification, no wonder why so many people are so stressed out trying to chase rainbows, and that goes for corporations and consumers alike.

Society needs to make some fundamental re-adjustments before it burns out.

Duckdodger

The chasm between what is said by Trump and the GOP and what gets done grows ever wider and deeper demonstrating more and more clearly the difference between the promised outcomes and the actual consequences of their actions and, as importantly, inactions.

tgmoog

Although a very well written article and says what I see, I have trouble with "Hobbesian" comparisons because I think Thomas Hobbes was a deep thinker trying to make sense of the civil strife in England at the time during the English Civil War whether he was in London or Paris ... President Trump is certainly not a thinker and neither is his so-called base but a cheesy salesman turned celebrity host who use whatever they know of base emotions to make a sale or gain popularity ... President Trump and his base are not trying to understand anything but to justify their selfish desires in blaming others for their perceived "jumping the queue" ... I do not think it is so surprising that a salesman can read a script well as from my brief experience in selling the mantra to me was to always "assume the app" and keep talking and filling out the sales form in quite a rigid script to get the sale ... This is what President Trump is doing and there is no surprise because he already got the sale since he is president so the day after he can relax and say whatever comes to his mind or feel he has been unjustly criticized ... With all the confusing nonsense going on in North American society there are many things to criticize and fear and this society has the wealth to lock the doors and huddle with our selfish thoughts ...

blue asgard in reply to KillingSpree

If you are referring to the Mueller investigation the latest scam there is to discredit the FBI. The claim is that there is a 'conspiracy within the FBI against Trump'. Really?
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While the Trump administration would 'naturally' (being traitors all) talk this nonsense up it is quite disgusting that the Republican party is giving it time of day. Do they, too, want to be stained by the inevitable accusations of treachery which will follow? Why then are they planning to suppress the Democrats rebuttal? What are they afraid of?
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As Mark Twain said, 'you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but, never all of the people all of the time'. This is all going to unravel just in time for the mid-terms, which means that the now anticipated democratic sweep of both houses is all the more likely. And that in turn will make Mueller's charges against Trump stick when it comes to the anticipated impeachment hearings. Timing is everything, just as it is in showbusiness :-)
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Maybe of course it's the Republican conspiracy against Trump driving all this. They hate him for his attacks on them and for his lack of class generally, so their tactics are to ensure that democratic majority so Trump can get his just deserts without a single Republican hand raised against him. Perish the thought. What it will do for the GOP is another matter, however. Paranoia rules.

Melissia in reply to jouris

And really, as if Democrats are going to hold such a high standard for impeaching Trump after the witch hunt that was the Clinton impeachment. Republicans opened the can of worms, they're just gonna get laughed at when they complain that there's now worms on the table.

I don't think it's a good deal at all, but many if not most Americans seem to have convinced themselves that the rate of legal immigration is too high, and the number of illegal immigrants is damaging to the social fabric. Telling them that they're stupid or deplorable is unlikely to change that. Because elections are more about politics than policy, Democrats would be wise to steer clear of immigration.

Oreg in reply to charizma

To sponsor anyone at all, an immigrant first needs a green card. To sponsor parents and siblings they must be U.S. citizens (5 years of green card, English proficiency etc.). Parents can only sponsor unmarried children under 21.

guest-soamwaj

The most interesting aspect of the speech for me was how underwhelming the whole thing was. It demonstrated that he is capable of sticking to a script when he wants to, sure. But in doing so, and delivering a fairly bland and unremarkable address, he also demonstrated that *not* sticking to a script is where his power and political success really lie. He owes his position to his ability to turn the Presidency into a reality-TV type experience, abounding in feuds, sudden twists, bizarre side characters and endless drama. Take all that away from him and make him act out the same rituals as his predecessors, and he becomes something totally different from his usual self: bland and unremarkable.
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Of course, a bland and unremarkable President who appoints conservative justices, signs off on tax cuts and otherwise just gets out of the way of a Republican-held legislature and causes no trouble is exactly what many conservatives want right now.
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Unfortunately for them, they only get it for a few days a year.

Melissia in reply to jouris

Correct. Actually, this is the lowest approval rating of any president's first SotU speech on record, so it was fairly poorly received, relative to other similar speeches.

soundwave106 in reply to Ludwig Von Mises

I have enjoyed "The Economist" for the past 20 years and have not noticed a huge drift in opinion regarding the magazine. This is the same Economist that declared Silvio Berlusconi (a figure very much like Trump, nationalistic and full of economic populism) unfit to run Italy in 2001. It's not a shock that they don't like Trump. They really don't have a history that I see of caring for strongmen / authoritarian governments, or even authoritarian-wannabes like Trump. (It took you 10 years to recognize that The Economist is opinionated? Well, okay then.)
What instead I have noticed is that much of the American right wing has changed. It has more or less embraced a populist approach, *particularly* in economic policy. Previously, the American right wing (especially its libertarian-ish think-tanks ala Cato) were all about openness to free trade, globalization, and other ways of loosening restrictions between the nations. Reagan laid down the ideas that created NAFTA, which George HW Bush signed in. In the current modern right wing, Trump rails against NAFTA and other free trade agreements, complaining that (numbers be damned) we get a raw deal out of them. There is also a distinct drift towards authoritarianism (at the very least, an embrace of world strongmen that would horrify the 1980s GOP) and racial-tinged nationalism in certain circles now that, while not exactly new, are more prominent than ever.
In other words, from my perspective, you are incorrect. The American right wing has more or less drifted away from The Economist. Not the other way around.

guest-soamwaj in reply to McGenius

That was certainly a livelier moment, but the selective use of guests to make political points is well-established feature of the SotU by now, distasteful as it may be.

My point is not that I found the speech particularly boring, just that I found it no more or less boring than those of Obama or Bush. It's one of the few occasions where even the man himself apparently accepts that it's not a good idea to Let Trump Be Trump, and I find the contrast telling.

CA-Oxonian

The problem for the USA isn't Trump. He's merely an infantile halfwit whose accidental presidency is marked by incompetence, chaos, and lack of direction. The problem for the USA is that Trump demonstrated the fact that there is a huge bloc of voters who are even more simple-minded and gullible than even the most cynical Republican campaign strategist had hitherto dared to imagine.

Thus Trump, in himself nothing more than a blustering innumerate buffoon, presages a time soon to come when a far more intelligent and self-disciplined individual ascends to the presidency on the back of those who currently support the orange halfwit. This individual will take the USA from farce democracy to barely-disguised tyranny. And the simple-minded will cheer him on, hailing his "patriotism" and his desire to "help people like us."

When we look back on Hitler and Stalin and their ilk we do so through the comforting rear-view mirror of history, in which everyone has been assigned their place. Contemporary events are far more difficult to judge properly, shrouded as they always are in bogus appeals to nationalist/protectionist sentiments that are swallowed whole by the ignorant and cognitively limited. We imagine that "one person, one vote" is a recipe suitable for a complex world in which there are no simplistic solutions; in reality it is the mechanism through which collapse and destruction is inexorably ushered in.

ashbird in reply to jvictor1789

Thanks for the correction. I did say "something like that".
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The other thing is few people who are critical of Keynes ever read any Keynes. We know that. And this is not just Keynes, needless to say. All significant thinkers through the ages. The problem is everybody claims (so it seems, rather frequently, in TE community forums) to have more intelligence than they actually possess (one guy proclaimed the only person in the world since the beginning of time and till the end of it who is smarter than he is his wife and she died) :)
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Sure, what has helped our species is the existence of language. Not only oral, but written. With the written form, oral history became recordable.
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However distorted <<-- as you pointed out. The "distortion" is the most interesting part. Needless to say, that is what Comparative Study in history (and many things else) is about. From the different "versions" of "the truth", if you will, we glean something about what lies behind each "claimed truth", AND, in so doing, we learn about Human Nature. In the end, one thing is quite constant, across the board, and that is Human Nature. Once, I think, we get a hang of the predictability of Human Nature, we'll have a good many things figured out.
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The problem or challenge lies with the Gaussian Curve. It is a fact indisputable that most people are not Einsteins, or Booles, or Jesus, or Confucius, or Socrates, or Freud ( he is about 300 years before his time, but of course, precisely because of that, the brunt of ridicule by the stupid and ignoramuses), etc.etc.etc.etc. There is the left-hand side of the curve. So what do you do? You live with that reality, and count your blessings you are on the right-hand side.
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One thing for certain, nothing, no human intervention can collapse the curve. Period. For better or for worse.
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Listen, I am just talking on top of my head. I have loads of work to do, but commenting on TE is rather like a bad habit. :)
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YES, I'd like a long run forward too, regardless how long. Regression is a word that exists only in statistical analysis for me. :)
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But there are signs the Apes are taking over. I am going to have some Haagen Dazs.
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Always nice to chat with you, jvic. I feel, for some reason, more free , "free" as in neither my brain nor my feet are obliged to be "bound".
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All best. Till next time. PS: Ignore typos if there are any (there will be). I have no time to proof-read.

ashbird in reply to jvictor1789

Jvic, Thank you for your reflections on the piece by Jane Chong. Those are fair points you raised. I read each one carefully. In so doing, I also learned more about a subject I have found continually elusive. That is to say, the subject of politics.
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I am exceedingly happy to hear you call me a "common friend" to you and jouris. That is what I am. Divergence in political views shouldn't make people bitter enemies. A civilized discourse of substance and on subtance and is a joy to bear witness to. Indeed that is the best part of democracy.
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I have little of worth to offer except to note if, appearance-wise, the only choices are Bush Jr. and Trump, I will opt to deport myself. :)