Beyond the Cusp

August 13, 2019

2020 American Elections as Seen from Israel

 

The consensus here, from those we meet and greet daily, is that President Trump will win reelection. There are but two questions on which there is a fair bit of leeway in the opinions. The first is by how much with the range being anything from a squeaker to President Trump moving the bar even higher than President Ronald Reagan has set it. The other is about the cheating which is widely seen as inevitable but still unable to alter the final results. What the main disagreement over the cheating is less about the amount of cheating but more about whether those conducting the campaign to potentially steal the election by fudging the numbers in numerous battleground states will be caught and spend any jail time. Here at BTC we believe that in the areas where the cheating could occur are regions where nobody working for the predominant party would ever be charged with tampering so nobody is going to jail. Some we talk with believe that so much cheating will be attempted in order to sway the elections that it will be beyond the abilities of anyone to ignore and people will be held as responsible and face trial and jail time. Most everyone believes that those at the top, the Obamas and Clintons, will escape without as much as a scratch just as they have always done and will continue into the future unless somebody with iron-tight security decides they need to answer to the American people. So, why even discuss the elections if it appears from here across half the globe that President Trump will be reelected and everything else will be pretty much exactly as it has been in the past? Because there are rumblings which some over here are worried for the America they thought they knew, as what they are reading now depicts some massive changes and many not for the better.

 

The thought of a civil war in the United States, something which a number of editorialists have written, is a definitive possibility or even an inevitability. This type of information does not sit well with the average Israeli’s view of the United States. Partly this is the fault of Israelis who have this idealist view of the United States while others have this 1950’s or 1960’s view where people line their lawns with white picket fences and everyone cooks out on their bar-b-ques every Sunday afternoon in the summer and wave to one another while shoveling snow in the winter. They were not born during these times and grew up listening to their parents rave about the greatness of America and how it almost became the Promised Land. Most Americans know the old tales about the streets are lined in gold and anybody can make it if they just work smart and hard. These old, tall tales are actually believed by some and trying to tell them that things are no longer like that is not an easy row to hoe. It is definitely an uphill struggle to break many Israelis of such beliefs just as it is near impossible to get them to understand that the United States will not be there for Israel in the not too distant future. It is difficult to even prove that the United States aid to Israel did not begin in earnest until the 1970’s and President Nixon was the man who started the aid resupplying Israel over the protestations and advice of many of his advisors. The shocked reaction we receive when we warn that the United States aid to Israel is not going to last forever is as fascinating as it is frustrating. The only thing which Israelis love, respect and expect more from than the United States is their beloved Israel. This may just be what will be necessary to do without United States aid as that will be a day of panic here in Israel despite the reality that Israel should be capable of not only surviving that day and what comes afterwards but will very likely thrive in that future. Currently, Israel is holding up her end of the deal and not producing combat or other aircraft in exchange for the United States taking care of that area. This promise started when Israel shut down her plans for production of the Lavi fighter jet. This deal will end when the United States decides that Israel is just that much of too expensive a friend to continue the relationship. But there is more to the coming break-up, and it has to do with the new additions to the Democrat Party who, along with numerous members of the Black Congressional Caucus and those behind and driving Black Lives Matter, Antifa, CAIR, BDS and numerous other leftist NGO’s and activist organizations. Israelis are having a rough time figuring out where these groups came from unless they are simply in denial that these groups exist.

 

Many Israelis reacted with a degree of shock over the statements made by Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when these items became more well known. True, the Tel Aviv region is more worldly and mostly ignore much of what they learn because they are the heart of the Democrat Party support in Israel. These are largely the former supporters of the Labor Party in Israel and who are now the main support for the Blue-White Party of General Ganz and Yair Lapid. But even a number of these left-wing Israelis are appalled at the reports about Rashida Tlaib and even more perturbed over the antics and statements of Ilhan Omar which were widely reported before their recent visit. There was a degree of overreaction to their visit. This was largely due to the simple fact that everyone knew why these two came to the Promised Land, and it was about as far from a goodwill mission as any can get. Further, with the way these three with little other support have all but taken over the Democrat Party which has been evidenced by the statements against Israel made by virtually all of the Democrat Party Presidential hopefuls. This brings us to the Democrat Party Presidential hopefuls and their apparent potential for posing any challenge to President Trump. Well, at least this is the general feeling over here. What is frightening is the potential that serious violence could break out after the elections should President Trump be reelected. Of course, we in Israel, who are seemingly unable to elect a government as the nation is so evenly divided, we have little room to talk, at least the United States has a system which almost rules out such troubles. We just had to take the worst ideas of all the European, mostly western European, parliaments and added our own twist just to make everything dysfunctional.

 

Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

 

Probably the worst, and thus the most challenging, problem which could erupt after a Trump victory would be rioting in the cities led by BLM and Antifa. Of course, any reaction to the election will be blamed on President Trump, doubly should he prove victorious as we predict. What will complicate many of such situations is that the President cannot intervene unless invited by the governor or potentially the mayor of the city. So, we can see the situation where the rioting is in cities where their mayors and their state’s governors are all democrats seeking to blacken President Trump for winning his reelection bid. The President cannot act without either his assistance being requested by the Mayor or Governor or President Trump declares the city a national disaster area which would also blow-up in his face. No matter what President Trump attempts to accomplish, he will be called racist or fascist as we explained here a while back. If he waits for the city or state to make a request, they can stall while the mainstream media attempt to blame President Trump for his obvious inaction and lack of caring for these cities in distress. Should President Trump declare any of the areas a federal disaster zone in order to intervene, he will be cast as uncaring for these cities because they did not support him and they are people of color. He will be in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation where whatever you do is wrong according to the New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the plethora of leftist media. But a civil war will not break out even should President Trump win reelection and especially if he should not prove victorious. Nobody who makes such decisions desires to see a civil war break out as they have far too much to lose and the risk of losing everything would be far too great. The powers that exist on both sides of the isle, Democrat or Republican, Leftist or Conservative, Capitalist or Socialist; any way you slice the pie, any war, especially a civil war, runs a very high risk of destroying the pie or largely diminishes what pie is left to cut.

 

Unrest is a completely different problem. There are two very different kinds of unrest, that which was called for by an organizer and that which just rose literally from grassroots. The first can get beyond the organizer’s ability to control which then transforms the unrest into a warped version of the grassroots unrest. The grassroots unrest is the more difficult to put out as it had different leaders throughout the separate breakouts of unrest. Grassroots unrest lacks a single leader which makes negotiations next to impossible. The only way to restore peace in a city torn apart by social unrest is through superior force deployed either by the police or National Guard if required. The trouble is finding the sufficient but least amount of force required to end the unrest and restore peace to the community. This is likely the aftermath of the coming 2020 elections. But the United States will continue as the world super power and a wealth producing country which a mostly capitalist economy. While, for the time being, in Israel the September election in Israel, our second one this year, where we, if the polls prove correct (they rarely do), the coming elections will once again fail to provide either Likud or Blue-White the capability of forming a governing coalition as the Arab parties refuse to join any government and this makes reaching the necessary sixty-one mandates, as with the approximately thirteen Mandates which are not going to join any coalition, impossible. This requires that to make a ruling coalition, one requires reaching sixty-one mandates out of the remaining one-hundred-seven available after subtracting the Mandates of the Arab parties. This makes it necessary to claim instead of just over fifty-percent to needing slightly over fifty-seven-percent, almost ten-percent more than was the original plan when the system was implemented. Then either Israel will have to hold another election and continue doing so until somebody proves victorious and the Knesset forms around one side or the other. Hopefully, Israel will reach and form a government before the United States election results are known in November of 2020. The American election which should worry Israelis is the 2024 elections when the Democrat Party top tier people will vie for the nomination and the Republican Party will no longer have Trump or anybody even remotely similar and much of their base could end up returning to their hibernating position simply working and doing so despite any and everything. Then Israel might find herself on the wrong end of American foreign policy, and even more likely should people like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez still hold any power. One need remember that Ilhan Omar received posting to the Foreign Affairs Committee, a very high and powerful position which is seldom if ever given to an entering Congressperson. Ilhan Omar is being groomed for higher office once the Democrat Party takes the White House. This future is what Israel should rely upon and why Israel must finally break free from dependence on the United States and learn to stand on her own two feet. The two graphs below show that American aid to Israel has remained level at approximately three billion dollars while Israeli GDP has grown from almost nothing back in the early 1969’s when Israel was struggling and when United States aid to Israel started in earnest, Israeli GDP had reached approximately thirty-five-billion dollars, which means that American aid was equal or just under one third of the total Israeli gross domestic product for that year. Currently, Israeli GDP stands at three-hundred-plus-billion-dollars making the current percentage the American aid presents is barely over one percent. That is right, a mere 1.02% of GDP, such an amount by comparison means that Israel will survive just fine without American aid monies and will be cut free from her dependence and subordination to the United States.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

 

 

But there is another bonus which will come when the day arrives that the United States cuts from Israel leaving Israel to fend for herself. Israel could benefit from the end of our mutually beneficial relations and Israel will continue to treat America as an ally and friend until such is made untenable. Further, Israel would then be required to design and produce her own aircraft just as she manufactures her own Merkava tanks. While Israel has to start to design her own aircraft, she should do the same for their infantry rifle and change to a heavier and more powerful round which still has extreme range, designed for desert warfare but equally adaptable to urban warfare. The development, production, assembly and other various necessary jobs will be created and these will be well paying jobs producing taxes which will increase the GDP and the general wealth of the country. Israel might even decide to construct a launching facility for rockets into space. The facility would be largely underground protecting the rocket and launch facility. The possibilities are virtually endless and developing these weapons and aircraft along with the Merkava, and if Israeli aircraft are as well adapted to the needs Israeli missions call for, it would be a desired aircraft on the open arms market. This will be the Israeli future simply because the United States, despite protestations, will break relations with Israel. The writing is on the wall already written there by none other than President Barack Obama and how he treated Israel and especially his drafting and permitting to pass United Nations Security Council Chapter Six Resolution 2334. The next Democrat President is very likely to build on that reputation and attitude against Israel. Even former Vice President Joe Biden was forced to step back from offering ironclad backing at the United Nations and claiming they will need to be fair to both sides, often the code that means Israel is going to be called on to sacrifice for peace and then all promises will be broken and Israel will have gifted something to the Arabs for nothing in return and no longer even have a reliable friend in the United Nations and the Security Council in particular. But very few ever heed our warnings and most believe we are simply overly concerned about things which could never happen. Maybe we should take bets that what we claim will happen by 2033 after the 2032 elections. But first the September Israeli elections and hopefully a government which is at the very least strongly Zionist and then the 2020 American elections which will probably reelect President Trump and then the 2024 elections when everything will be completely up in the air as the Republican Party has no candidate who could and would do as President Trump has done either as a candidate and as President. It will be interesting to see who the Republicans choose for 2024 and beyond as the United States reaches into the future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 19, 2018

The Destruction of Civility

 

Some cynics I know whose idea of civility is simply saying, “Who cares,” claim that civility is overrated and not really required in the world today. Our thought when hearing this is that we have a question we silently pass over in our minds of whether civilization is necessary in these people’s world or is that too overrated and not really required in the world today. We believe that civility is a prerequisite for civilization for without the cooperation and polite exchange of ideas, civilization ends up in tatters and will not function. The United States and much of the world are heading for a collapse of their common civilization which in the end will be traced by those who come along to study the failings of Western Civilization will conclude that first there was a breakdown in civility which was instrumental in the downfall of the civilization. There will likely be many theories on what drove the people to such a point that they no longer could find any common ground and to totally dismiss one another leading to total societal dysfunction and dissolution breaking the civilization down. The common theme will likely include the breakdown in communication where the various divisions in the society would refuse to accept any contrary view demanding that only they have the right path and because they know they are correct, they never need to tolerate the idiots on the other side or who hold contrary opinions.

 

In the United States, the lack of civility is so obvious that it has caused people to actually unfriend people on Facebook and other social networks banning receiving any posts from these former online friends. Europe has suffered from varying degrees of political poisoned discourse where political differences would lead to uncivil behavior between groups. What is even more worth noting is that some of this behavior can occur between groups whose politics appear to be of the same ilk, either left or right, nationalist or universalist, libertarian or authoritarianism or other definitions of political thought where two parties fall into the same general definition yet go after one another as if they were opposing adversaries having disagreements over near everything, not over slight differences. The levels of incivility in politics has reached levels not seen since probably the 1860’s and the slavery abolition movement. According to Wikipedia, covering political incivility, “Eight out of 10 Americans believe that the lack of civil discourse in the political system is a serious problem. Eighty-two percent of American respondents to a 2011 survey felt that political advertisements were too “nasty” and 72 percent believed that political commercials that attacked the opponent were “inappropriate”.” The levels and amount of political and public incivility have become even more overblown and in some ways appear to be cracking the very fabric of the society. When marriages have broken up over the spouses having voted for opposing candidates in the last Presidential elections, business partners have dissolved their businesses in order to go their separate ways after their disagreements in the last election, and family members have declared other members of their families dead to them over their votes in the last election are all signs of excessive dysfunction and an excessively high level of incivility to points where it could easily become harmful to the society itself. Such fracturing in a society has to be something very dangerous and destructive which could lead to a societal breakdown or a breakdown of the political system.

 

Either societal or political fractures are of such destructive capabilities that either can lead to the destruction of any nation no matter its size or presumed sophistication. The United States is one nation to have survived the ultimate fracturing of their nation which resulted in their Civil War. The recovery from that division and war took a great deal of effort and time but was facilitated by an eventual forgiveness between the two sides and the coming industrial revolution which massively altered the face of the society and the need for slaves to work on the plantation farms. They were replaced by tractors and harvesting machinery which replaced manpower. America had entered the age of machines and she never looked back. Now their society is facing new threats where the two sides in the political front have drifted so far apart that there appears to be no common ground. Politics is dependent upon there existing neutral ground where the two opposing parties can meet when designing and passing legislation and keeping the government functioning. When the two separate sides, be they a ruling coalition and the opposition as in much of Europe or the two main parties as in the United States, there need be some area where the opposing sides can meet finding common ground for the common good of the nation. But when the two sides feel that they must oppose everything from the other side no matter what because their voters refuse to admit there can be any agreements, then the attitude is poisonous enough to cause a complete breakdown of function by the government. All which would be required to bring such a government into collapse or bring a coalition to calling for a new set of election is for a few members of the majority to fall out of line and join the opposing side ending any majority.

 

Civility

Civility

 

This is partially what President Trump has been facing with the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans throwing the Senate completely beyond any ability to accomplish anything meaningful. When one political party is voting as a block against every effort and a sector of the majority party have decided to support the minority party, such a situation easily would lead to what appears to be a virtual coup. But the problems in Washington D.C. are a small part of the problem which could be resolved by the midterm elections, especially if President Trump can gain support in the Senate against historic records. But the political split which is so severe in the United States is also echoed in the public. The split in the United States is easily defined, the people on the coasts and living in the major cities and the more rural citizens and those in smaller cities and towns. The split also is between those who are religious attending church or synagogue and those who are secularists. This might be another reason why the two sides are so far apart and cannot find anything in common. One can only guess whether the split will heal or if one side of the political split will become preeminent and eclipse the other side. We anticipate that the arguments currently invigorating the United States may subside once one side prevails. The one thing we can likely guarantee is this conflict will continue throughout the entire Presidency of Donald Trump and possibly beyond should President Trump be reelected and Vice President Pence follow him into office. We can see the eventuality of the Republican moving even further to the left while their base moves further to the right which will destroy the party. Once such becomes apparent, then the Democrats will begin to win every election as why vote for the Republican if they represent pretend Democrats when you can elect a real Democrat. Eventually the former and now disgruntled Republicans and the remnants who remain truly conservative establish a new party, the Republicans will merge with the Democrats and a new split will appear, but this may be too late to prevent the United States becoming exactly the same as the European nations which will be the end of the Western World as they will no longer have any military to protect them. Without the United States military, the West will collapse and fall to whoever decides to take them over and that will be the death of democratic governance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 31, 2017

As the Republican Party Turns

 

Republicans have a unique opportunity if they are willing to take it. This is something which does not come around very often. As a matter of fact, this opportunity is so rare that most people live their entire lifetimes and never get such a present. The Republican Party itself was born out of just such a time as these. It was before the Civil War and the big issue of the day was slavery and whether it was an ethical practice or needed to be ended for humanitarian, social, ethical and moral reasons. The two parties were being torn apart by this very issue though they mostly stood on opposing sides. The complete history of the major parties of the United States throughout its history is chronicled at government and constitution.org and was used as reference for this article. The Democrat-Republican Party between 1825 through 1829 dropped the Republican title and became today’s Democrat Party. The National Republicans in 1832 became the Whig Party. It was not long before the Whig Party had some serious difficulties over the slavery issue and had major subgroups within split to become the Free Soil Party and this brought both parties to difficulty as neither had sufficient unity of followers to defeat the Democrats. In 1854, the remnants of the Whigs and the Free Soil Party rejoined becoming the National Union Party. The National Union Party won the Presidency in 1860 with Abraham Lincoln. Upon Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Jackson was sworn in as President and renamed the party the Republican Party and this was the actual birth of the Republican Party. With each change of name, the leadership of the parties had gone through changes and the citizens who joined had the ability to determine the basic ideology for the party going forward. The Republican Party was born on the slavery issue determined to end slavery while the Democrat Party tried to preserve slavery as the states in the south where the Democrat Party strength resided was dependent upon the slave labor to run their plantations, or at least the moneyed interest who ran the party supported slavery. So, on the initial slavery issue, the Democrats were supportive of the slave owners and the Republicans supported the freeing of the slaves and ending slavery in the United States.

 

Perhaps now we can jump forward a few years to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its passage in the Congress. Common knowledge which is portrayed by the mainstream media and in election material is that they passed on Democrat votes and the Republican Party was in opposition. That is not entirely true and in reality contains shreds of misinformation. So, allow us to portray the actual votes as recorded by Wikipedia. The original House version was passed by a vote of 290 in favor and 130 opposed which is a 69% in support and 31% opposed. There was a filibuster in the Senate requiring a cloture vote in the Senate which succeeded with 71 in favor and 29 opposed needing merely sixty votes to succeed. The Senate then voted on their version with an even more impressive 73 in favor and 27 opposed which was a 73% in favor and 27% opposed. The House then voted on the returned Senate version voting 289 in favor with 126 opposed which yields a 70% to 30% favorable vote. Now for a by party breakdown which is where it gets interesting. The original House version garnered a Democrat Party of 152 in favor with 96 opposed yielding a 61% to 39% favorable margin. The Republican Party also passed the act voting 138 in favor with 34 opposed yielding an 80% to 20% favorable margin. Cloture in the Senate had the Democrat Party vote of 44 in favor and 23 opposed yielding a 66% to 34% favorable vote and the Republican Party vote of 27 in favor and 6 opposed yielding a 82% to 18% favorable vote. The final vote in the Senate on their version was Democrat Party voting 46 in favor and 21 opposed yielding a 69% to 31% favorable vote with the Republican Party voting 27 in favor and 6 opposed yielding an 82% to 18% favorable vote. The House vote on the Senate version was Democrat Party voting 153 in favor to 91 opposed yielding a 63% to 37% favorable vote with the Republican Party voting 136 in favor to 35 opposed yielding 80% to 20% favorable vote. The reality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 vote was that it was an overwhelming passage by both parties. Further investigation is another development. This reveals that the Democrat Party vote passing with respectively 61% and 63% House favorable votes and 66% and 69% Senate favorable votes with the Republican Party 80% and again 80% House favorable votes and 82% and again 82% Senate favorable votes. The reality is that the Republican Party had a higher favorable percentage in every vote compared to the Democrat Party which is slightly different than what is often portrayed. The next year voting on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was as follows. The Senate vote went Democrat Party voted 47 in favor, 16 opposed and 4 did not vote yielding a 75% in favor while the Republican Party voted 30 in favor with 2 opposed yielding a 94% in favor. In the House of Representatives, the Democrat Party voted 221 in favor, 62 opposed and 10 not voting yielding 78% in favor and the Republican Party voted 112 in favor, 23 opposed and 5 not voting yielding 83% in favor. Once again, the bill passed with overwhelming support but once again the Republican Party voted 94% Senate favorable and 83% House favorable while the Democrat voted 75% favorable Senate and 78% House favorable making the Republicans once again voting in higher percentages than the Democrats, the opposite of what the media and common knowledge have evolved to.

 

Republicrats against Democans

Republicrats against Democans

 

Since the Civil War, the Democrats made quite a change and the Republicans remained on the side of equality. It does make one proud that both of the parties are supporting equality these days. Now to the opportunity the Republicans have and the Democrats really could use, the ability to alter the policies of their party remaking it more to their desires. The less fortunate Democrats appear stranded watching their part move leftward to the point of absurdity with a good number signing on to support Senator Sanders Medicare for All plans and desiring that a support abortion on demand as a litmus test for candidates to receive any central party funding. Meanwhile the Republican electorate is facing a wonderfully delicious selection between the Senator McCain branch and the Trump wild party or maybe the Mitt Romney wing as Mitt’s niece Ronna Romney McDaniel serves as the Chair of the Republican National Committee or there is the Bush dynasty who still has Jeb sitting in their bullpen. The thing is that the great choices will come fast as 2018 is approaching and with a number of the squishy left-leaning Republicans announcing their intentions to retire, there are some wide-open seats where fresh blood can be elected. Then there is the Steve Bannon wing of the party which is wide open to anyone who has never held political office and can prove their conservative credentials or at least promise to listen to Mr. Bannon when needing advice and on how to vote, though probably proving to be a true conservative and able to decide for yourself might be a wiser path. What would be a good start in the path to remaking the Republican Party might be to try something not done in a very long time, choose candidates who actually have never held office but make an impression and who the community know and who will stand up for the people and their interests and not the lobbyists or corporate interests. It might also be nice to elect people who will actually do as they campaigned and not talk the talk but find walking the walk just too difficult to actually bother to try. The fact that the Republican candidates campaigned for seven years on repealing Obamacare and voted near countless times to repeal Obamacare while President Obama was there to veto their bills thus protecting them from actually standing for something but apparently were not all that serious as they became incapable of doing it one last time once they had a President who was waiting to sign their repeal of Obamacare. Perhaps that might be their first task after the election and any who fail that test can be replaced in 2020 and then again in 2022 until the people have the Republican Party they desire, or should we say deserve. Some claim they have what they deserve now referring to President Trump, and those who agree that Trump is making an interesting President and actually standing for policies that are truly conservative. That would make a good start. But we will have to see what candidates present themselves in the primary elections. Perhaps some amateurs, real, normal people will step up and risk the trials and tribulations of running for public office and all the examinations, inquiries and other invasions it will take. Be advised that the task is monumental and it is of great assistance to have a reputation at your house of worship and perhaps some community service clubs and other reputable institutions in the community to assist with the efforts and provide a base from which to launch a campaign. Take that as words and suggestions from those of us who have been there.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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