Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The Fake of the Union II

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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