Beyond the Cusp

October 29, 2017

America at the Tipping Point


The citizens of the United States are separated by a division approaching that of the period before the Civil War. There are still a good number of people who have not raced to the far extremes of the political battle but they are being shut from the conversation. Those at the fringe edges have gained in numbers during the campaigns with Bernie Sanders at one end and Donald Trump pictured as the other extreme and Hillary Clinton actually less extreme though with other difficulties she was unable to overcome. The election of Donald Trump as President simply sent more people heading for the exits from rational, polite discourse into frenzied and often irrational vindictive and vicious name-calling with nobody permitted to be in the center. The political climate became take no prisoners, you are with us or you are the enemy of all that is sacred. Discourse became poisonous with assaults thrown from both sides and reason tossed in the trash. Even the news became polarized with many of the stories making nearly unbelievable accusations and claims proved to be exactly that, unbelievable accusations and claims which were proven with time to be false, the fake news with both sides being guilty of such falsehoods and unproven claims. All of this simply served to further push the sides apart until almost none permitted to remain neutral. The only path for remaining neutral, or at least not at the fringes of reason, was to stay silent and wait for the storm to pass. And the reasonable people remained silent and waited and are waiting and the heated rhetoric simply has become more vindictive, extreme and unreasonable. The storm is not passing.


There is some good news hidden within this heated storm. Both political parties are falling victim to their most extreme elements pulling them further and further from the center. Many Republicans have taken up the position that President Trump is being unfairly accused of being a monster without feelings and a novice who will soon force World War III or at least a nuclear war with North Korea or anybody else he can insult and thus will defend even his most indefensible actions. On the other side, there are those who would believe anything reported or rumored act of the most insane acts with the flimsiest of evidence. If there were a report on Facebook that President Trump had murdered a Gold Star Mom for talking back to him, they would repeat it till the cows come home and refuse to believe reporting that such never occurred as a cover-up. When everything settles from such exchanges, it is only because the adversaries fell asleep at their keyboards. But that would be fine as others around the globe would pick-up the argument and keep it nice and warm for when they awaken and start right where they left off. These arguments continue day and night and even when one claim for either side is finally beaten to death and disproved, that is fine as there will be another one coming along any moment. At any given time there must be at least ten, fifty, hundred, thousand, who can count the number of news stories being touted at any given moment as the new cycles, fake and real, just continues to feed the flame wars online.


The radicalizing of the conversation, and thus the political populace, is drawing the parties to the extremes. There has been discussion of a litmus test for Democrats that they support Senator Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for all single-payer health care. On the other side, the Republicans are divided between Trump supporters and those who are trying to be identified as the core of the traditional party with Senator McCain as their leading spokesperson. The moderates in both parties are being left out of the political discourse and this could be the opportunity for a centrist party representing those who have been left behind, the political center. Come the next Presidential elections in 2020, the Republicans will in all probability be running President Trump for re-election. Whom the Democrats run may define the party for the ensuing four to eight years. Their choice will be between the Senator Sanders wing of the party, the Clinton wing of the party, the Obama wing of the party or the some other group unheard from at this time. In the meantime there will be the 2018 elections which could decide the Senate and, as usual, the House of Representatives. With the extremes of the current discourse, it should be a wild and wooly ride. Imagine an election on top of the current atmosphere with campaigns exaggerating the already diverging differences and you can see how everything is going to get really absurd.


Trump vs the World

Trump vs the World


Taking measure of the political playing field, the noise from the opposing end zones is grabbing all the attention such that the quiet and calm suggestions emanating from the middle of the field is completely inaudible. Things are almost comical which might make a circus a far more applicable comparison. As a three-ring circus, the spotlights would be on the far two rings while the center ring would be completely dark and not part of the show. We are fast approaching the one-year anniversary of Election Day and that should prove to be interesting to say the least. There have been rumors of nation-wide protests to be launched across the United States with some calling for ever increasing protests in an effort to force President Trump from office. The people calling for these protests are from “The Resistance” and other groups even more radical who are making this sound like President Trump vs. the World. They play their hand as if they really were the true force of the world and their position was the one which was pure, holy and true. They act just as if they were on a mission from the Almighty and their charmed belief was sufficient to carry the day. To say their grip on reality might be a tad less firm than they believe would be an understatement. The problem is the Trump all the way come heck or high water group is any more centered would be just as insane. The difference is those supporting President Trump will not be demonstrating come the anniversary of Election Day, they will be home cheering on the police and, if things escalate, the National Guard troops. Does anybody honestly believe that between now and a week from now that the discourse will have subsided? Where that would be desirable, it is highly unlikely and, if the past is any indicator, things will start peaking and heating up even further this week and next. If there are national protests on November 8, we can hope against hope that they will be non-violent. Unfortunately, some of the more radical groups are not calling for peaceful protests, they want rioting and as much disruption as possible as that is how they expect to bring about change. Such change usually proves to be far less desirable than what is envisioned, as that which brings about change, their change is often for the worse, and it demands that the authorities must resort to tactics which are never desirable. We can only hope that these coming days pass with as few incidents as possible and that they bring a normalcy back to the political debate. We can only hope.


Beyond the Cusp


March 9, 2015

Election Madness


Never in my short little life have I seen, read about or otherwise been knowledgeable of an election which has gathered so many influences from outside its borders as the current election in Israel. The entire brouhaha over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before the United States Congress was simply over the top and over exactly what President Obama claimed it was about, the Israeli elections. There is not now nor ever was any such rule of not meeting or allowing a head of state to address Congress and/or meet with representatives of the White House even the day before an election in their home nation, let alone weeks ahead of the election. The polls are biased towards the “Zionist Camp” so as to provide them cover to claim election fraud if they do not perform at near to or better than the nationalist camps. Even allowing Livni and Hertzog to refer to their alliance as the Zionist Camp would be akin to a Likud-Jewish Home alliance as the Christian Coalition. There could not be more misdirection and untruths allowed in an election as has occurred here and the level of lies and misrepresentations promises to hit even higher levels in the remaining week and a half.


There is another side to the international interference in the Israeli elections and that is money. There has been set-up a nongovernmental campaign fund which is circumventing Israeli election laws and is being permitted to do so as it supports the politically correct side, the leftist internationalists, or in other worlds, the “Zionist Camp” of Livni and Hertzog (Hatnua and Labor). The theme is loosely corralled around a familiar theme, “Change” and it comes without any real Hope. The unspoken name of the group is “anybody but Bibi” Netanyahu but is about so much more. The foreign money and electioneering assistance is being provided all but directly from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. The leader of this advisory effort is the grass roots organizer from the reelection campaign in the form of Jeremy Bird and the V15 group. Newsmax specified the group is made up of five Democrats, under the leadership of Bird. And the Washington Free Beacon, meanwhile, reported that the V15 group was actually working with the U.S. based OneVoice, an activist organization which was funded to the tune of $200,000 from the United States State Department. The relationship between V15, originally called V2015, and OneVoice is solid enough for the V15 community organizing campaign to write IOUs and have them accepted with the full knowledge that a day or two before the election the connection will be announced and the cash will be transferred and all bills thus paid in full, and if not, well, it was all for a good cause, the promotion of the “righteous” people in power in Israel such that President Obama can finally get his peace plan enacted.


That last sentence might cause some to query what peace plan. The problem has been with Mahmoud Abbas, not Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu has refused to force every Jewish resident in the contested territories, living beyond the Green Line in Area C which the original Oslo Accord plans delineated as becoming part of Israel when peace was finalized and only due to a long propaganda campaign from the Arabs and supported by extreme leftist anti-Semites has those lines and concepts been replaced and finalized by President Obama where Israel will surrender all contested land in its entirety. With that as the White House demands there need not be any agreement from Mahmoud Abbas, Israel can be forced to remove all Jews, IDF forces, checkpoints and anything else vacating the areas thus gifting Mahmoud Abbas the entirety of what he has demanded while refusing to agree to make peace once received thus blocking any peace proposals. President Obama has a new plan which requires somebody nice and weak and pliable as Prime Minister of Israel, somebody who believes as he does that the problem making peace impossible is the intransigence of Israel and that if only Israel would vacate all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem would peace come on gilded wings. Such thinking in not only excessively dangerous and potentially ruinous for Israel but will do nothing more than signal the buildup to the next Arab-Israeli War which except for the grace of G0d A1mighty would signal the death of Israel or at the very least horrific loss of civilian life on the Israeli side of such a war as about the only border which would not be backed by Arab armies would be the border with the Sinai Peninsula where instead of Egyptian forces there would be ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas and potentially IRGC forces bringing the final surrounding border under attack.


One might be pressed to ask why any sane individual would desire to put Israel in such peril? The answer is as strange as it is borderline demonic. The reason would be to gain an additional argument to convince the Iranians that they do not need a nuclear weapon in order to destroy Israel. Such inevitability would be set up for conventional forces being used to such an end. One might then point out that Iran also desires the destruction of the United States, of the Great Satan and the destruction of the Little Satan would simply whet their lips for the bringing on of the other. That is the problem with sacrificing Israel on the Iranian altar to Baal, it would just convince Iran that they are that much of an irresistible force in the world that they might then move on to the big target, the Great Satan. Of course there is also the possibility that despite the horrific loss of civilian life from tens of thousands , if not hundreds of thousands of rockets raining down on Israel from within Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Gaza, Sinai Peninsula and even potentially Jordan who would join the fight if for no other reason than self-preservation as Jordan would come under threat from ISIS or either permit them to pass through into Judea and Samaria and aid the Palestinians or face conquest by ISIS and Jordan might see such as an opportunity to sufficiently weaken ISIS by allowing them to fight against the IDF. All of this scenario would be a possible outcome of forcing Israel back to within the 1949 Armistice Lines which are also known as the Green Line or the 67 Lines which President Obama demanded Israel use as the basis for a border with the Arab forces with land swaps which were to be laid to the Arab leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas to approve otherwise the Green Line would become the border. Does anybody honestly believe that Abbas and company would allow any land swaps when instead they could set Israel into one really messy bind having to resettle hundreds of thousands or even more than a million civilians forced from their homes and potentially their jobs as Abbas would receive all this treasures without having to make peace or even the slightest gesture gifted via fiat by President Obama and an overtly compliant Israeli Prime Minister, either Tzipi Livni or Yitzhak Hertzog. One need look no further than their campaigning to see their intentions to restore relations with President Obama and doing what is necessary to obtain a just peace which President Obama need only have them in power in order to fashion a lasting peace.

Equally frightening is that President Reuven Rivlin has just stated that if neither side gains a sizeable or clear majority, then he would call in the two main parties and demand a unity government with some version of power sharing. He further iterated that he would call Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog to a joint meeting and spell out his plans for finding a solution through changing the election system. President Reuven Rivlin’s feelings are that there need be a wholesale overhaul of the elections system to prevent Israel from suffering the fate of other divided nations where elections result every year to year and a half because the coalitions are so fragmented that a stable governance is next to impossible. The last Knesset took the initial steps towards such a solution by upping the threshold a party must attain to be included in the next Knesset. This may have been circumvented this election by the partnering of even opposing parties simply to gain eligibility of their combined lists after which they plan on splitting again into the smaller groups which one, the other or both would not have attained the mandates to be included in the government. The solution need not be a complete overhaul of the government but simply a new manner for choosing the Prime Minister might be in order. Even such a change would be difficult as how would one decide which party leaders would be permitted to attempt to run for the office or Prime Minister? Such criteria would need addressing before any such deal might be even discussed and satisfy all of the main parties. Any set system would need to have sufficient flexibility to permit changes in representation to permit a candidate for attempting to be elected Prime Minister should they feel they had the support over the two otherwise favored party leaders. A new plan should not simply keep Labor and Likud as determined to be the only candidates.


First we must get to the fateful Election Day when everything may prove to be unnecessary and a coalition be obvious and easily assembled though such never seems to be the case. May it be that President Reuven Rivlin will have an easy choice before him and there not be any threats or arm twisting to force a unity government when such is not necessary. May President Reuven Rivlin have the clear and true sight in choosing the Party around which a lasting coalition can be formed. One would probably be right to fear that President Reuven Rivlin may look at the election and even if one camp would easily be able to form a coalition, choose to attempt his unity government in order to enact whatever is his plan to make elections capable of forming stable governance in the future. If Israel was to change the means of voting for a government and its leadership, may it be performed in such a manner as to also derive an actual Constitution which could use the current Basic Laws as its base and add in the rest around that core. Such may also alter how we choose the Knesset and may even form a second representative body and further decide on some manner of stepped electioneering where there are a series of votes where those missing the required percentage they do not move to the next level until one receives a majority. Such a system could do with no more than three elections to get to such an end. Perhaps it will prove best to have such performed by the Knesset itself. First Israel needs to get past the outside influences and choose their next Knesset and choose, as they are told, between Livni and Hertzog or Netanyahu. It may be important to know that between Hertzog and Livni that they have agreed upon allowing Livni be Prime Minister first. More on the election as we approach that fateful day of choice, Election Day.


Beyond the Cusp


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