Just like a year ago, now in the second (officially the first) Trump State of the Union address we saw a presidential Trump who read what mostly others had written for him.
The text had nothing to do with his thoughts, his tactics or his policies, nor with the situation of the USA or the world. If it would have been the world championship of fake speeches, he would have deserved a shared first price with fellow megalomaniac champions like Abbas and Putin.
Last years, a great number of female opposition representatives were dressed in white to protest Trump’s sexists pronouncements. This year we missed that gimmick.
The whole event this year was more fake than US politics ever was. Not that that ever was a pristine affair to start with. Trump did not drain the swamp. He enlarged it and made it more gooey.
My question is: how can a political system (in this case: democracy) tolerate such a display of sneaky dishonesty and deep unworkability?
Democracy is not a perfect system. That’s something to work on but cynically, that’s also the reason that the super rich tolerate it and don’t commit a coup. The rule is that the smoothest liars wins.
His talk predictably would address: more cooperation and goodwill between Republicans and Democrats, more unity and love between segments in the population, an eye for all that goes well for the US (economy, employment, taxes, stricter vetting, wall, foreign respect) and those who sacrificed their lives for it (family in attendance), stern language for nations that would choose the US as enemy or money spinner and generous praise for those who cooperate well with her.
Yet, when the fakeness is just all over it, it does become insufferable.
Are there honest politicians? Sure. Bernie Sanders is one, I believe. But then, he’s a salon socialist, who can never gain the working class vote. And he’s so anti-Israel (he doesn’t think so) that he never should win.
Democracy lost once more. It was one big humiliation all over again.
Curiously, I wrote the above all before the presentation. Afterwards, I didn’t have to change a thing. When we want Trump to be more predictable, they don’t mean that they want to hear expected lies.
Epilogue: Did you notice:
It was the to be expected Big Hypocritical Yawn.
The widely applauded “legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise,” the present House Majority Whip is also the most anti-GLBT politician around.
The speech was written such that those present had to applaud what he said, because what he said was great. If you’d stay seated because it was just false sentiment, pretense or a lie, it’d appear as if you’d not value what was said, so there was no place to disagree with the hollow words.
The president let those present clap for lofty ideas, that totally obscured that he was ignoring (and implicitly trashing) ideals like protecting workers and patients safety, nature and ecology, weak countries and fleeing immigrants, ignoring people on death row, Native Americans, all for mere monetary gain and selfish greed by the few.
Stereotyping illegal immigrant youth as murderers, as he did, of course doesn’t make the US safer. Rather, it increases racism. Just as pointing at a Jew who stole doesn’t reduce thievery but rather fortifies anti-Semites. This is the meanest form of racism but all these politicians applauded. Especially the suggestion that if we keep certain immigrants out, children will not be murdered in the USA anymore. Disgusting! Icing on the cake was saying “Americans are dreamers, too,” after betraying the Hispanic Dreamers. Shamelessly. (His conditional acceptance of them now is fake. His educational, work and character norms mean: they must be good students, working and not having even a traffic violation. The rest of his “Four Pillars” are extreme and no compromise at all.) To say that immigration reform will stop drug dealers is malicious too.
There was a deafening silence about Russian interference in US politics, on dishonesty in politics and reporting, his attacks on the critical press, the Kurds being slaughtered by the Turks – after fighting ISIS for all of us, now again abandoned by everyone but Israel.
The constant stream of applause and nationalism was especially sickening. In his words, the nation is of the People, the ordinary people, while actually he gave a giant tax reform to the rich (“to trickle down” – sure.)
The president again was playing good cop – bad cop with himself. The good one in the SotU once a year, the bad one on twitter every day.