Beyond the Cusp

September 8, 2017

Identity Politics also Morality Politics

 

The new form of politics asks simple questions hoping to illicit simple answers and push votes without much thinking. They ask the obvious as those are the questions which require no deep thought. Do you care for the poor? Do you want to improve education? Do you care about equality? Do you want the country to flourish? Do you support the military? Do you support funds for saving the animals? Do you support the symphony orchestra? Do you support more libraries? Do you support immigrant assistance programs? Do you feel for the children? You know the entire gambit of questions and both sides of the political spectrum have their pet programs and the questions to match. The candidates know which questions to use framing the people by groups and their particular preferences. They tailor their speech for each group with their handlers to keep them on message. Politics has become a game of words and specific realities on which each side preys. Love of country, love thy neighbor, help the poor, support equality and the terms go on and on and we hear them repeated often by the same people every election. The same campaigns keep the same people in office where they build up huge campaign chests making their reelection more likely term after term and the people ask why things seldom change. When challenged about their own representative who has been in office for three, four, five or more terms; the reply is that they are not the problem. So, if each individual Representative and Senator is not the problem but the government is dysfunctional, then somewhere there must be a problem.

 

Politics have slowly been evolving to the point where one can have their lives destroyed if they supported the wrong candidate. Then the questions become charges. Instead of do you care about, it becomes you do not care. Instead of do you support, it becomes you hate and do not care. Then it becomes we do not want your kind in our neighborhood and the people stop speaking to those who are the forbidden, the ones who voted wrongly. You can have voted wrongly even if your candidate won which has become excessively evident on social media. Friends break up over politics, marriages end over politics, people lose their jobs over politics though that is always couched differently as we saw recently at Google. Politics has become almost a team sport and if you belong to the wrong team in an area which is predominantly made up by the other side, you can lose everything for which you worked hard. This is the new reality in some places. One wonders if this is the same for both sides. How many people lost their job, friends, marriage or social standing because they voted for Hillary Clinton? How many people lost their job, friends, marriage or social standing because they voted for Donald Trump? From the postings we have witnessed on Facebook, there does appear to be a predominance of losses on one side compared to the other.

 

This is what identity politics is about. One must choose the correct politician or else they can be subjected to scorn and ridicule. The attacks can happen on social media, at work, in the neighborhood and even at home. Some of the most impossible cases are where husband and wife find themselves on opposite sides of the political field. They soon find they are starting to have different social circles and no friends in common. This can be a great strain on the relations and has caused some broken marriages. Those are some of the saddest results of the new politics where being on the wrong side becomes unforgivable. Some claim the reason for this new political fighting is due to the Internet and everybody retreating to reading only those web sites which represent their side. They enter a near universal echo chamber where everything they read, hear, and otherwise come into contact with represents reinforcement of their identity and moral political views. They thus move slowly but inexorably further to the extremes of their favored political views. Eventually, people end up so deeply entrenched that they cannot see the other side and reach the belief that everything depends upon their views being the predominant view represented in the government or else the government is oppressive. Suddenly the other side is not just a different viewpoint but they are the enemy. Now anything is permissible as it is war, not politics.

 

Politics used to be a discourse but now it is simply accusations and acrimony. Civility has left the building, they are putting up boxing rings, and we hear that next it will be laser tag or perhaps paintball wars or is shooting the next step in political debate? There are those who claim that the other side has taken up political assassination and they point to specific shootings to prove their point. The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords on one side and the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise on the other side are the poster politicians of shooting violence. Never mind what the truth was in either case because these had to be violence committed by the other side. Political violence is a volatile issue, the scars are slow to heal, and the belief that it had to be the other side never goes away. Politics has an initial victim, truth. Lies are what are told on the campaign trail, lies are told on social media, lies are told between people and lies are entrenched as part and parcel of the political atmosphere. The fact that both the shooter of Representative Giffords was Jared Lee Loughner, a sufferer from paranoid schizophrenia and whose reasons for the attempted assassination and murder of six people and the injuring of a dozen more were apolitical as he held little if any political leanings until 2007 when he suffered a personality transformation turning to become left wing, quite liberal and radical according to reports. James Hodgkinson was arrested for the shooting of Representative Scalise, had leftward leanings and asked the players on the field if they were the Republicans before opening fire. But these facts mean little in the political debate.

 

Representative Steve Scalise shooter James Hodgkinson at Protest

Representative Steve Scalise shooter James Hodgkinson at Protest

 

When it comes to politics, the truth is more malleable than Silly Putty and almost as fluid as water. Like Silly Putty, the subjects and positions can be twisted and molded to satisfy anyone from the most ardent supporter to the most neutral watcher of the polls and like water, politics will seemingly always flow to the lowest level. Some probably wonder whether politics can become any more dangerous or deceitful. We think that one we can answer and that answer is unfortunately, yes. We predict it will not only become more dangerous and deceitful but also sink to new lows and break apart many if not all the bonds which have held the United States together. There is a distinct danger that the rifts between the two main parties and the separate sides of the argument will simply continue drifting further and further apart until they can no longer see any middle ground upon which to meet and that will be the sign that the Second Civil War is imminent or the nations will break into separate nations as they will no longer share any common bond. Either result will be the end of the great American experiment but then there will be one bright result, the result if they break into separate nations will reestablish the federalized system where each can attempt to solve difficulties in their own style and whichever works best the others will be able to adopt, if their politics will permit such. There it is again, if their politics will permit such, how sad.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 28, 2017

Reasons for NOT Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem

 

This has been the most and greatest coverage we have seen since the Inauguration of President Trump when covering his promises and the possibility that he might falter. Every article has mentioned different choices predicting which promises the President Trump would renege upon. Many claimed he would never build the wall along the Mexican border. Some kind of cheated by claiming that he would merely use a fence or even cameras with computer monitoring for motion detection and alerting the Border Police instead of building a wall along the entire border. Some would claim that the terrain would prevent it being a wall along the entire border but these arguments were disingenuous as the wording of a “wall along the Mexico border” simply meant closing the border through the use of combined deterrents, walls, fences or monitoring through advances of technology in the most difficult terrain or least used crossing locations and simply closing the border using all means necessary and required. Others claimed he would be unable to deport all the illegal immigrants as promised. First off, that was not the promise. He promised to deport illegal immigrants with felony convictions and to work at finding an equitable solution in which deportation may be an integral part of the equation.

 

The one item which made virtually every article’s list was the promise to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Almost, well, honestly every article we read claimed that President Trump would not be capable of moving the embassy as the threats, dangers, political pressures or even that Trump would use moving the embassy to force the Israelis to make the next concession of dividing Jerusalem and returning to the 1949 Armistice Lines with very minor land swaps making a final peace deal. What the problem with the claim is that the Congress passage and the signing into law of the Jerusalem Act “recognized Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.” That makes an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty United States law and thus holds any President to standing either actively for the undivided capital of Israel as being all of Jerusalem or remaining silent, no matter how President Obama attempted to divide Jerusalem as he disregarded numerous laws including the United States Constitution. Even some Israeli media has come up with lists for why President Trump will not, or should not (Haaretz), move the embassy to Jerusalem claiming things so extreme as stated by Haaretz, “Relocating its embassy to Jerusalem would mean the U.S. taking a partisan stance on a central and sensitive issue, a source of controversy between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the international community.” That is a falsehood unless moving the embassy to western Jerusalem would be taking a position that western Jerusalem would remain part of Israel. Is Haaretz indicating that Israel should leave western Jerusalem and if that is the meaning, then what else should Israel surrender or does Haaretz stand with the most extreme position such as that expressed by Helen Thomas who stated on May 27, 2010, when asked whether she had any comments on Israel? “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” she replied. “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland.” When further asked where they should go, she answered, “They should go home.” When asked where’s home, Thomas replied: “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.”

 

Move American Embassy to Jerusalem

 

The American Embassy could easily be moved to even the most western edge of Jerusalem and be as far as possible from any lands under dispute and still there would be whole hosts of people screaming that the United States is persecuting the Palestinian Arabs and determining to cheat them out of their homeland. This might at first glance appear as a ridiculous position to take as it could be so easily repudiated except that the Palestinian Arab claims include all of Jerusalem. The reality is the United States has already made a statement that is determined to cheat the Palestinian Arabs out of their homeland by leaving their embassy in Tel Aviv as the Arab claim is to all of Israel just as the students chant in campuses across the United States, Europe and beyond, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.” The Palestinian Arabs are actually the entire Arab world’s crowbar and will be their implement by which they continue to wage their war to destroy all of Israel. The truth is the existence of a United States Embassy is an affront to the Palestinian Arab claims to their “rightful” country which would be built on the ruins of the Jewish State as anything less would be an aberrance to their stated demands and eventual goals. This is part of why Mahmoud Abbas, and Yasser Arafat before him, refused even offers which granted them with over 90% of Judea and Samaria along with all of Gaza and east Jerusalem as their capital when offered in 1999, 2000 and in 2008.

 

So, why should President Trump move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem according to us here at Beyond the Cusp? Well, we could use our favorite reason when trying to win an argument as kids with our parents when life got between us and a promise to go somewhere fun, “But you promised,” but we know that does not wash when things are on this level. First, it would send a message that there really has been a change in Washington D.C. and that the change will very likely be permanent for all intents and purposes. The world’s train is racing towards oblivion and nobody is manning the breaks. The old steam engine is racing with its speed balls spinning full out threatening to blow off their spinners. Everything about the old globe is screaming, whistles blowing and rivets near popping and the boiler exploding and the Deadman’s switch rig disabled and there is nobody in the cabin. Well, there was nobody in the cabin. This was the picture of the world not long ago and hopefully things will be saved before we hit a sharp curve and it all goes off the tracks. Brexit was step one and President Trump is step two but nobody knows how many steps it will require for sanity to rescue the world. Will the needful steps be taken or will the next cataclysm strike before the world regains sanity. What are the necessary steps that will bring the world back within the bounds, who can tell? The world has been slowly gaining reckless speed slowly slipping out of control and towards untold violence. There are those forces which would welcome the untold violence. They loudly proclaim their love for violence and the death it brings. They claim to worship death and that this allows them power over all who worship life. Their claim is that death conquers life. Those who love life claim that death is the rest one receives after a full, long and hopefully well spent life. These are opposing views which cannot be reconciliated, one must prevail. The good news is that President Trump is aware of the challenge though he has spoken only about it through allegory and indirect references. Moving the United States Embassy would be a strong message when it is announced as a definitive and executable policy decision. Perhaps that is the future for the moving of the United States Embassy, a declaration that the United States and life will declare over death and those who believe it is primacy. Yes, perhaps the moving of the Embassy will be a greater declaration than what the debaters believe it will be. Perhaps there is a grander plan than we are aware, perhaps the plan is greater than men and from beyond our understanding. This may be a greater issue than a mere embassy and the city in which it sits. Jerusalem had been more than a city and perhaps this is more than a simple embassy. Lastly, if the reason not to move the embassy to Jerusalem is because it reportedly will inflame Muslim passions moving them to further animosity and in turn greater acts of violence, then there is no reason not to move the embassy as from all observations of the Middle East, especially Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Libya and both Sudan and South Sudan as well as the levels of terrorism in Europe, more so Western Europe and also in the United States, though there it has been reported as anything but terror, especially Islamic driven terror, the levels could not conceivably be any higher. Violence, thy name is Islam, has become a truism of our times and thus simply move the embassy as there is no possible additional levels other than war, and that will happen whether the embassy is moved or not. If we had our way and the United States had not already purchased the land, then we would call for the embassy not only to be moved to Jerusalem but to the Jewish sector of the Old City as well. After all, did not Trump promise that his Presidency would be a brave and bold rebeginning for America and her relations with her friends? Well then, let’s get it off on the right foot.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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