|Discord to Continue||
6 February 2019
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The president finally got to have his State of the Union speech last night after having it postponed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the partial government shutdown. Although he made calls for unity and bipartisanship, most of his speech was merely the usual verbal amphetamines to rile up his base. He insisted on his Maginot Line to keep out people from the southern nations of the hemisphere, and he demanded an end to investigations into his corruption. And of course, he lied like a rug.
The main rhetorical maneuver was "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation." It was the Vanilla Ice version of the late Johnny Cochrane's "if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit" from the OJ Simpson murder trial in the 1990s. The president's position is clear. If the House (and to a lesser extent the Senate which his party controls) insists on continuing to discharge its constitutional responsibility of supervising the activities of the executive, then he is going to be President Obstruction. It is a gross miscalculation given that most of the Democratic base and most of the new members of Congress would opt for total war against his administration if polled on the subject.
Otherwise, he painted the same dystopian vision of America that he used to frighten his followers in the 2016 campaign and has used as president since his inaugural speech. He claimed people were entering the country in hordes to make life miserable for everyone, when in fact, border crossings have not been as low as they are now since 1971, when $35 to the ounce was the official rate for gold.
His ability to tell the truth has never been one of his strong suits, and there were whoppers galore last night. For instance, "The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime -- one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities." The Sheriff of El Paso Richard Wiles said that was nonsense, that El Paso was safe long before the barrier went up, and that Mr. Trump is creating a false narrative to justify his desire to put up his Maginot Line. And the sheriff has no reason to lie.
After an hour and a half of his blather, it was time for the Democrats, in the person of failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, to talk to America. She covered voter suppression, her family's struggles as she grew up, and immigration. She smiled. She was a happy warrior. And that may be the most important part of her address. This are indeed times that try one's soul, but showing that anger is a turn-off in happy-go-lucky American media-politics. Frothing at the mouth over injustice just doesn't win voters who once picked a president because he was the kind of person with whom one might share a beer. Smiling and offering hope, she stood in stark contrast to Mr. Trump's view of America under siege.
When all is said and done, however, nothing sums up the evening more than a guest of Mr. Trump's. A young man named Joshua Trump, from Delaware and no relation to the president, was invited to watch the speech after his sixth-grade classmates mocked him for his surname. Sitting two seats over from First Lady Melania Trump, who has made anti-bullying her crusade, the young Master Trump fell asleep as the president's harangue unfolded.
© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.