Trump Trump Trump. It’s always fucking Trump. it’s been, what, two months? Can we please move on to something else? Because honestly, I’m getting fucking tired of it and it turns my blog into a venting series of shitposts, when I would love to write about something else, but for fucks sake, I’m still spending most of my time talking about Trump because people insist on pushing the boundaries of the death-pack between their head and their ass.
So, what’s got me in a rant today? The Failing New York Times came out with an article by Rodger Cohen entitled: Trump’s Many Shades of Contempt
Which I suspect is the only time where in Fifty Shades of Grey will actually have a better story.
This is a column about contempt. Let’s start with the utter contempt that President Trump has shown for the State Department since taking office six weeks ago. Some 70,000 American patriots across the globe, dedicated to the American idea as a force for good in the world, have been cast adrift.
I’m going to guess that these 70,000 State Department employees were appointed by Obama and have absolutely refused to follow the orders of their new boss. Because, that’s an actual thing that is happening in Washington. People Obama hired during his 8 years as president are now forming “the resistance” and are refusing to do what their boss tells them to do. Now, every man is free to do as he pleases so long as it is lawful, but…you’re hired for a Job and the new boss is well within his rights to fire you if you do not do as you’re told.
Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, is a near phantom. He has no deputy, having seen his first choice nixed by Trump. No State Department press briefing, once a daily occurrence, has been held since Trump took office. The president has proposed a 37 percent cut in the State Department budget. An exodus of senior staff members continues. The State Department has taken on a ghostly air.
Looking up the State Department and it’s duties online, along with how many nations there are in the world, frankly I’m pretty sure that the State Department could actually do its job with half of that 70,000 employment number and do just fine. And I’ve been wanting a smaller government for years, so I fail to see how this is a bad thing. I mean, their annual budget is $47.7 billion dollars.
Which, frankly, seems a tad ridiculous.
The message is clear. America has no foreign policy so nobody is needed to articulate it. All we have are the feverish zigzags of the president, a man who thinks NATO is obsolete one day and glorious the next. There is no governing idea, only transactional hollowness. One midlevel officer told Julia Ioffe of The Atlantic: “It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”
Well, given that the State Department under Clinton actually destroyed Libya and had a hand in the destabilization that has left the Middle East in flames…I actually think this might be an improvement. Clearly, in the last several years the State Department has vastly overreached what it was supposed to be doing.
That being said, the message is not that America doesn’t have a foreign policy. Frankly, there is a policy: America First. And connected to that is the fact that all previous policies need to be reviewed, because too many of those policies were the kind that got us screwed over in trade, or had our military running around blowing up shit it had not business blowing up, or destabilizing countries because someone paid off the Secretary of State!
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has become the foreign service of the United States of America.
So you’re saying I can have a reasonable expectation that he is not going to be taking bribes from, say, Saudi Arabia and possibly starting WW3 in the name of preventing Russia and Iran form building their own oil pipeline. You know, like Clinton did when she was Sec of State?
Trump does not buy into the American idea. He buys, if anything, into Vladimir Putin’s macho authoritarianism and spheres of influence for the great powers. This amounts to a dramatic break with American policy as superbly articulated last month by one of the departing diplomats, Daniel Fried, who joined the Foreign Service in 1977 and served with great distinction, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.
Yes, because as we all know, macho authoritarians have a habit of shrinking government, cutting federal budgets, deregulating government sanctions, and not throwing their political enemies into prison.
That’s…actually kind of the opposite of macho authoritarianism, isn’t it, Cohen? If anything, a small, limited Government was always the American Ideal, and frankly Trump seems to be the only person, Republican or Democrat, to have actually done anything to shrink the Federal Government in the vast majority of my lifetime! That Fascist! He’s shrinking the Government!!!!
I’m going to skip the quote from Fried, because it’s mostly talking about the end of the Cold War, and wraps up with what mostly just sounds like “we need to keep killing those Dirty Reds and spread Freedom!!!!”
And while I am all for “America, Fuck Yeah!” I’ll be honest. Russia is…not the worst thing out there and frankly I don’t believe it’s Americas place to put our boots on everyone’s necks. Yes, Russia might grow more powerful if we turn our gaze inwards and try to fix our nation rather than police the world. But the simple fact of the matter is that our Nation really, really needs some fixing. And if we continue to ignore these problems as the Government has done for the last thirty odd years…our nation will collapse under its own weight and then there will be nothing to prevent Russia, or China, or who knows who else, from becoming the World police and enforcing their ways with their boots on our necks.
Donald Trump, our ahistorical Russophile president, should frame these words and hang them in the Oval Office as his first history lesson.
Honestly, I’m happy that our “ahistorical” president’s first history lesson seems to be “Limited government, the President is not the Emperor, and the States get to decide things for themselves.”
I mean honestly, let’s look at this. When Trump did his travel ban, and it got stuck in the courts, what did he do? Did he do what Obama did, which was fight his way through until he got what he wanted? No. Trump said “Okay,” let it drop, and went back and rewrote the ban into something that met the Courts requirements. Never mind that the Court was in the Wrong and Trump was fully within his authority. Trump still stopped and acted in accordance with the ruling of the court.
Take the Trans-Bathroom thing. Yes, Trump removed the Federal Protections. But, those Federal Protections were technically outside the scope of the Government’s power. Instead, he returned that power to the individual States and let them decide what protections they were going to enforce: Which is what the Law says is the proper way for such things to be done.
Fried noted America’s long-held opposition to spheres of influence, a recipe for war, and made this critical point: “We are not an ethno-state, with identity rooted in shared blood. The option of a White Man’s Republic ended at Appomattox. On the contrary, we are ‘a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ ”…
Honestly, I don’t know if Fried is being jumble quoted here or if he really doesn’t have “the plot” because frankly, I don’t see who “spheres of influnece” and “ethno-state” have much to do with anything. And honestly…I have no idea where this “white man’s republic” business is coming from either. Unless it’s that tired shit about Trump being a “racist” and all that business. Because no one except the Left is talking about “ethno-states” and “racist empires.”
…And so, “that rough sense of equality and opportunity, embedded in us, informed the way that we brought our American power to the world, America’s Grand Strategy. We have, imperfectly, and despite detours and retreat along the way, sought to realize a better world for ourselves and for others, for we understood that our prosperity and our values at home depend on that prosperity and those values being secure as far as possible in a sometimes dark world.”
Honestly, it sounds like Fried is saying: “Because America believes that all men are created equal, we’re justified in going out and kicking everyone’s asses until they embrace FREEDOM! And anyone we don’t like is a racist who deserves to get their asses kicked in the name of FREEDOM! and Trump is refusing to go out there and punch everyone’s faces in because he hates FREEEDDDOOOOMMMM!!!!
Which, frankly, is absolute shit.
America and it’s freedoms have never been conditional on those things being violently enforced by America on other places in the world. History proves this. Hel, from the founding of America until WW2, America was an isolationist nation that said: “Leave us alone, and we’ll leave you alone,” and it worked great. No one fucked with us, our freedoms were never imperiled, and the world went about its business.
There could be no finer rebuke to Trump’s dangerous contempt.
Yeah, Cohen, there was no rebuke there. Nothing in Fried’s words actually works as a rebuke against Trump.
Trump was elected because he promised to Put America First, to deal with our internal problems which has left millions and millions of people without work, without hope, and without voice. He was elected because he promised to end all the constant, pointless wars we’ve been in, to stabilized our country and do what he can to contain the problems taking over the middle east. If the most expedient form of that is to work WITH Russia rather than against it, and allow the two powers to share the burden rather than be divided over it, so that in turn he can help the people Back Home rather than send them off to war with Russia.
And if Fried’s words are a rebuke to that idea…then fuck Fried’s rebuke. At this point, Fried sounds like Kirk from the original Star Trek movies, so pissed off at the Klingons that the idea of Peace is abhorrent to him, and he would rather watch an entire race die out than set aside old grudges.
Which, I will note with a bit of humor, was set as the USSR collapsed. The Undiscovered Country was a movie all about coming to peace with long time enemies and seeing them as potential allies, rather than eternal foes who needed to be murdered in their beds.
But there is a deeper contempt, even more treacherous. It is for the Constitution…
…Trump has attacked the freedom of the press enshrined in the First Amendment, and the independence of the judiciary. His reckless travel ban raised issues of due process and religious discrimination. Serious questions exist as to whether “aid or comfort” was given by the Trump entourage to an American enemy — in this case Russia — during the presidential campaign and after his victory on Nov. 8.
Okay, first off, Trump has not attacked the freedom of the press. The only thing Trump has attacked in regard to the press, is their freedom to lie with impunity. Something, I will note, that that New York Times has attempted to do multiple times. Which, frankly, was never a freedom the press was ever supposed to have.
Secondly, Trumps attacks on the judiciary have been when the Judiciary was outright harming Americans or violating the law for the sake of the political beliefs of the judges. And as I mentioned with the travel ban, even after that, he still respected the Judiciary’s ruling and rewrote the ban. Speaking of the Travel Ban, people who are better at legal research than I am, showed the original Ban was perfectly lawful, inline with Trump’s authority, had been done by Obama multiple times, and there were absolutely no issues with due process or religions discrimination.
And I’m sorry, but since when was Russia an “American Enemy?” Last time I looked, we were not at war with Russia, we had no hostile intentions towards Russia, and Russia has been very open about wanting to work with America. To achieve a peaceful and prosperous future for both our peoples. That hardly sounds like an enemy, unless you’re a fucking racist who can’t imagine peace with “The Klingons.”
This contempt was signaled in his inaugural speech when Trump said, “The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” No, the president’s oath is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is to the law not the “volk.”
Well, it suddenly looks like (((Cohen))) is going to finally be open about his feelings.
I mean, let’s just ignore the fact that the “volk” in this case is All Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sex, etc. Oh no, it’s the “volk” that are the problem, the “volk” which Trump’s loyalty to makes him hold everything in “contempt.”
Barnett Rubin, a political scientist and Afghanistan expert who served at the State Department, recalled to me in an email how he never thought of the oath he took to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” even when confronting the Taliban, but that these days the words have acquired meaning.
Right, so this Rubin guy never thought about the oath he took to defend the Constitution. Not when he was fighting the Taliban. Not when Obama murdered American Citizens without due process. Not when Clinton used the State Department to destroy Libya. Not during the hundreds of violations of the Constitution performed by the Obama government were going on and were even public knowledge.
No, he only thinks about it now that Trump is in office. When Trump is not even pulling a fraction of the shenanigans that Obama did, and hasn’t done anything that Obama didn’t already do. Now is when Rubin suddenly starts thinking about his Oath.
I know what Rubin means. I am a naturalized American, and so I took the oath to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
This column about contempt amounts, in a way, to fulfillment of that oath.
Cohen, I’m not sure you know what the Constitution is, much less what an Oath is. Honestly, after reading this shit, the only things I’m reasonably certain about is that Cohen is a racist when it comes to Russians, and is only complaining because it’s Trump in office rather than Clinton. He talks on and on about how Trump is holding stuff in contempt, but makes no reference to the fact that Obama and Clinton did hold these things in greater contempt than Trump might.
He’s not calling out people for doing the same thing he insists Trump is doing, despite there being greater examples. It’s even more hilarious because just looking at what Trumps doing, shows that he is actually upholding the Constitution better than the last two presidents did. And he’s upholding the ideals of the Constitution!
Yes, Trump has attacked the press, and the judiciary, but that is because both the press and the judiciary are openly violating their sworn duties. The 1st amendment grants freedom of the press…but the Press has the obligation to fucking tell the Truth, not lie blatantly and openly like they have been for decades. Yes, there is a separation of power between he Executive and the Judiciary, but there is a separation of power between the Judiciary and the Legislature, and the Judiciary has been violating that separation for decades as well, legislating from the Bench not in accordance with the law, but by the dictates of political beliefs. Both these groups need to be brought back into line with their lawful confines and back under the control of the American people. Not to be as they have been, which is a weapon against the American People. And while it might not be the authority of the President to do so, unfortunately he is the only one trying to do anything about it.
Lately, Sargon has been talking about the Media as their own “Class” and he’s got a pretty good argument for it. Reading Cohen’s article…it doesn’t read like someone who is trying to uphold his oath, it reads like someone who realizes that his “Class” are under attack, and that if Trump has his way, the media will not only no longer be the gatekeepers of information, but that their ability to lie with impunity will be destroyed and with it, their power will be broken. This reads like a Lord attempting to destroy the peasantry’s revolution, by lying about the revolution’s leader.
To be fair, I dislike Trump…mostly for the fact he is dismissive of the very real issue of climate change, his decision to pull away from our trade pacts like the TPP, and his real lack of understanding of foreign policy as a whole.
At the same time, some of what he has done has been good. Reducing the size of government agencies actually will make them more efficient, and I appreciate efficiency. I don’t understand where the claims that he is racist even originated, and the executive order he signed to enhance the quality of historically black colleges and universities makes those claims incredibly suspect.
Also, having managed to watch about five minutes of one of his press releases, he has the presence, maturity, and intellect of a child. I couldn’t bear to listen to him, as I found him personally intolerable – and that’s on me. But I’m allowed to dislike a person, as I’m capable of disliking someone and still finding value in their work.
The problem is, there are too many people – on both the left and the right – who are far too dismissive of the concerns of those on the other side. Because it has become a political war of leftists vs. rightists, what we have are people who refuse to critically engage with anything they *might* *potentially* find offensive.
I don’t consider myself a leftist or a rightist – I consider myself a moderate and am an Independent by political affiliation. I dislike the extreme leftist’s lean towards communism especially because they seem to either be blind to the fact that they are supporting it or enthusiastically behind an ideology that they fail to comprehend was responsible for the mass extermination of millions upon millions of people in multiple countries.
It’s ironic that the extreme left and extreme right both consider one another fascists and seekers of authoritarian types of government…because neither side is entirely wrong about the other. But both are unwilling to search for compromise, and that drives me a little insane.
Reading through your post… it reminded me of just how few Americans have ever even read the constitution of the country, and how much smaller the number of Americans that exist who have read their own state constitutions. I actually heard a leftist say that the constitution was no longer relevant.. which blew my mind.
I don’t comment a lot on your blog anymore (although I do read it) because I dislike a lot of what you have to say about politics, and I’d honestly prefer to read what you have to say about the gods rather than what you have to say about politics. But I actually make myself read what you’re saying *because* I disagree with so much of it, but it makes me think, and it helps keep me grounded in reality.
I appreciate the fact that you have the candor and the courage to express political views that, in some situations, would be social suicide. Because I know you’re putting a voice to the views that a lot of people keep silent because of the fact they are afraid of committing social suicide, and I respect the hell out of you for being willing to be that voice. I hate how oppressive our society has become out of the fear of being seen as oppressive. It’s a vicious cycle of redundancy, and it’s refreshing to see someone refuse to cave into that pressure.
That said, I still disagree with you, but I honestly disagree with the majority of people I know about anything political. That’s to be considered, though, considering I’m pretty much one of like three independents I know. :p
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Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
Fair enough. And thank you for the complements
I’m only going to comment on a few points. Does Trump have the emotional maturity of a child? Meh. He’s a grade A shitposter though, and he’s a 70 year old man. I personally think it’s less he “has the maturity of a child” and more “I’m too old to give a fuck about this shit.” Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
As for the environmental stuff…yeah, he does appear to give less of a shit about it. That being said…the US is by far not the worst offender when it comes to environmental stuff, and the worst offenders (like China) give absolutely no fucks. And there is literally nothing to be done about it. We literally could deindusrialize our entire Nation back to the Amish…and it wouldn’t change shit. At which point all our regulations have really done is unemployed people and put us at the mercy of the offenders. It’s not an ideal situation, but I do somewhat fall on the side of Trump where “perhaps some damage is acceptable to actually save our people now.” It’s like cutting down trees to make a house. Sure, you’re harming nature, but you kinda have to in order to have a place to live. And the other guy is just bulldozing forests to have bonfires.
As for the TPP…that thing was terrible. It was not going to help anyone but the richest of the rich, and was going to open up a shitload of problems. The things it did to copyright laws were a nightmare. A good example of what was going to happen is it opened it up so that businesses in one nation could impose copyright laws/strikes on citizens of another nation, regardless of what that citizen’s national copyright laws were. So for example, Japan has a thriving doujinshi market, where new artists essentially draw fanfics and then sell them. It’s actually how a lot of manga artists and writers get their start, by attracting fans, showing them good stuff, and gathering a following. It’s also a foundation of the manga and anime industry, without which the entire thing would crash and burn. What the TPP would have done, is allow say Disney (who licenses some animes in the US) to go to Japan, crush everyone who was using “their” characters, bankrupt them with lawsuits and prison, and completely destroy an entire industry. Despite the fact that such an industry is perfectly legal in Japan. And that was just the tip of the iceburg. The same thing could be done with video games (crushing the entire online gaming/streaming industry), and even extended to “non-profit” stuff like fanfic and fanart. And that’s just on the entertainment side of things. As far as actual industry goes…it wasn’t much better, may have actually been much the same. Mega corps could literally annihilate competition. Now imagine if that same principle was used for say, labor laws, where a Chinese corporation could open a plant in America, and all the workers would have to abide under Chinese labor laws rather than American ones. Because if that wasn’t part of the original TPP, you could bet it would be added on later. Because that shit would be “good for business.”
And…I honestly don’t know if Trump has a lack of understanding of “foreign policy” or not. The problem for me judging that issue is that Trump’s goals are…well they’re so alien to what the previous goals have been. Previous FP has typically seemed geared towards American Supremacy and Maintaining Global Stability, and everything was framed in that. How can America be the Top Dog politically, and how can we maintain the status quo of our absolute power. Trump…wants none of that. Trump does not want an “American Supremacy” on the global stage. He wants “America First,” yes, but that is an Internal Supremacy. He wants America to be first in America, putting American’s above everyone else in their well being and safety. Which is shaping to be the antithesis of our previous External Supremacy, which was all about America being on top of the stage, even if internally our people had to suffer for it. I mean, previously it was all “Be nice to China so we get good deals on trade good from them, and fuck Russia because they want a tiny amount of power.” Now it’s “Be nice with Russia so we can bring about peace, and fuck China for literally raping us on jobs and trade.” Personally, I think Trump actually does understand FP, it’s just that his FP is incomprehensible to a nation and government (and world) which was built on the ideals of “American Global Supremacy.” It’s like the world’s morality was “black and white” and here suddenly comes Trump with a morality of “blue and orange.”
Not unlike Christians with a morality based on “Sin and righteousness” having a hard time grasping the workings of a bunch of Heathens with a morality of “honor and dishonor.” Or an insectoid race that works in Base6 math having trouble grasping humans that work with Base10. It’s not that one is wrong and doesn’t know what they’re doing, its just that their goals and framework are so radically different.
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I understand being old enough to not give a shit…at the same time, though, I feel like I could make the argument that as the leader of the country, he has a responsibility to all of the people within it to make himself comprehensible. I know it’s actually fairly complicated to construct a message that laymen and intellectuals alike can understand and rally behind, but it is possible, and I would argue that he has an obligation as a leader of a nation to do what he can to make himself understood on as many levels as possible…but I admit that there is a bias there on my own part.
As for the TPP… again, this is a bias, but I think it would have been better to renegotiate the terms to create the trade alliance rather than just tabling it altogether. Then again, I’m not in the hot seat, so I’ll have to trust that the leaders of our country know what its doing when it comes to trade with other nations. I don’t know that has ever actually been the case, to be honest, considering how many unequal treaties America established with China and Japan in the past (in our favor). The fact that NAFTA ended up creating a trade deficit for us when it initially was supposed to be in our favor…maybe a bit of those unequal treaties coming back with a bit of a karmic bite.
Also… the wall. I mean, the proposal to build a wall between the US and Mexico is patently ridiculous. The only historical precedence I can think of is the Great Wall of China which was built by the Ming Dynasty to keep out the Manchus (and it bankrupted them), and the Manchus bribed a Ming official to let them through the wall and ousted the Ming to create the Qing Dynasty. Walls don’t have good historical precedence, so that is one area of his foreign policy that I can say confidently is inherently flawed.
As to the environment… no, the US is not the worst offender, but we also have regulations in place to make that true. Removing environmental regulations from companies is essentially the equivalent of saying “let’s bulldoze a forest for a bonfire” to use your imagery. The enforcement of environmental regulations is badly needed, considering incidents like the one that happened in Flint, Michigan. A large part of the problem is the lack of respect people in all types of organizations have for the regulations and guidelines that are supposed to be in place to keep things like Flint from happening. Cutting corners is a huge issue, and ignoring environmental problems is just another way to cut corners, and I can’t personally condone that type of attitude.
I also think that ignoring the fact that removing environmental regulations puts American citizens at harm is a big mark against Trump’s America First slogan. Because American citizens are impacted by environmental problems just like every other country – the major flooding that has been happening in coastal areas within the last few years is evidence of that.
I don’t think people have trouble imagining a country where the citizens of America come before the citizens of other countries – I’ve hated how involved America is in other countries for years, and I know plenty of other people who feel the same way. We aren’t supposed to be the world’s police, and yet we willingly took up that mantle and now there’s not anyone to pass it to. Like it or not, we have that responsibility to the rest of the world, and we cannot ignore other countries because of the historical precedence we’ve set over the course of our history. Dealing with internal problems is necessary, but we cannot adopt an isolationist policy in a world that is already globalized, and that is where I see a failure on Trump’s part to understand the impact of America’s role in foreign affairs.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
There was Hadrian’s Wall, which by all accounts worked quite well. My thing with the Wall is…no, it’s not the most brilliant idea. Honestly, if it was me being practical, I would just landmine the entire border to the point where it was literally uncrossable. But despite the fact that plan would be much more feasible (land mines cost about $2 to make), people just have this whole thing against Landmines. The wall though, as impractical as it might be as a solution, however is still…necissary. Not for its physical properties (which will at least help), but for it’s psychological value. The American people have been so…I suppose betrayed is the right word, when it come to illegal immigration, that now only a Yuge gesture can restore their faith. As you point out, the wall is only as good as its enforcement though, and that will be the real test.
As for not giving a shit…what you see as one of his biggest weaknesses is also, ironically, is biggest strength. He literally gives no fucks. And it is this absence of fucks which allowed him to ignore all the “social” attacks that have been slung at him. Everyone who came before him, everyone more reasonable, was taken down because even if they only had a single fuck to give, that fuck was taken and used against them. But the price for this invulnerability is…there are no fucks to give. Perhaps, even when they should be.
Speaking of Flint…wasn’t that the one that the EPA caused? As you say, cutting corners has caused a lot of problems. And while I’m not going to excuse much corner cutting, we do have to be realistic. A lot of those corners are cut because the regulations have gotten so bad that it’s virtually impossible to stay within them and actually do anything.
A perfect example is the power industry in my area. Used to be there were a number of coal based power plants, which employed tons of people. But, over the years, the regulations kept getting tougher, and tougher, and tougher. To the point where just a couple years ago, they got so tough that the cost of modifying all the plants to maintain regulated stats was going to cost as much as scrapping all the plants to the ground and rebuilding them from scratch. Something that was financially impossible, in both regards. And so, everyone who had been employed, which was thousands of people with good paying jobs…were left jobless, with skills useful for an industry now extinct. A person who could make close to 100k now…only able to work for 7.50 at Walmart if they were lucky. Not to mention the economic damage done to all the industries who made much of their money supplying those plants.
It’s hard to believe that the minor environmental effect they were having being eliminated is worth the starvation and hopelessness for all those effected. Especially by those effected. And keep in mind, the US’s stricter and stricter regulations are a direct response to the complete lack of regulation in say China. So we suffer in a desperate attempt to slow environmental damage…when our actions are automatically an impotent failure because of places like China. And our environments get fucked over…but for the benefit of someone else. We’re “harmed” regardless. Why should we not ease our suffering, and in doing so, perhaps manage to stabilize ourselves to the point we could fund research to actually obtain solutions…rather than starve ourselves in the vain hope that others will come to believe their profits are not worth our misery.
Now, where I’m seriously going to disagree with you is the “It’s our responsibility to be world police.” Because, regardless of what was done in the past, this is the present, and we have to look to the future. And the simple fact of the matter is…if we continue to be the World’s police…we will shatter. The burden is too much. There are only two viable options if we wish to continue to exist. 1) we continue to be the “World’s Police” but we conquer and annex absolutely every nation out there and use their resources to fund our actions. 2) we surrender the power, and leave the world to police itself.
We either become the kings of all and hope that is enough to save us…or we step down and allow the other nations of the world the liberty to seek their own destinies. Tyranny or Freedom. But we have tried to be the world’s police and for the last 15+ years…all it has done is bankrupt our nation to the point I don’t know we can ever come back…and turned a hellhole into an even worse hellhole. Regardless of which path we take, people will die. Millions, hundreds of millions. maybe even billions. But that will happen when we self destruct under the burden of making everyone place nice, and the only thing we’ve managed to do is paint a giant target on our back.
And frankly, if the planet is as fucked as everyone says it is…I’d rather we pull back, build ourselves up, and figure out how to colonize the moon or mars as fast as possible because that is apparently the only way to save our species. At least according to everyone screaming about the environment.
I think you misunderstood what I meant by the world’s police thing – we’re not supposed to be the world’s police, but it was a mantle our government took up and removing ourselves from world affairs isn’t as simple as “all right, peace out,” because us doing that would cause the global economy to shatter. We rely on our trade with other nations to our detriment, and I can see where there are policies that need to be revamped in order to try and fix that. Our largest exports right now are education and information, not exactly tangible goods.
I don’t actually think it’s as simple as blaming stricter regulations or immigrants for the difficulties within our country – the homelessness and widening gap between the rich and poor is a problem with a multiplicity of roots. The coal power plants – coal doesn’t burn clean, and it’s terrible for the environment. Does that mean that thousands of people should have been made homeless due to the regulations? I would say no. I would say, instead, that as the regulations against coal usage got tighter, the power plants could have invested in research&development programs to develop alternative energy methods that would allow everyone to keep their jobs before the funding got so tight it become impossible to do.
Even in a situation like the one you mentioned… things are so much more complicated than they seem on the surface. How many people in leadership positions within the plant were actually trying to make changes, and how many were profiting without even considering the ramifications of the industry long-term? How many of the workers were bringing environmental issues to their managers out of concern? What were the conditions like within the plant itself? There are too many variables at play to be able to say definitively that the root cause of the problem was the tightening of regulations. Nothing in life is as simple as to have a single cause, and it’s far easier to point at something that seems probable and say “that’s it, that’s the reason!” instead of analyze an event for the multiple threads of causes that created the event.
Also, immigration…that’s a difficult issue all around. The majority of immigrants in this country struggle as hard or harder than the working class poor. I’ve been around a lot of immigrants, both legal and illegal, and I have seen and heard things I wish I hadn’t. While there are some immigrants who somehow manage to exploit the system, there are also native-born Americans who do the same (Social Security Fraud is a real problem). But our government profits off immigrants to a ridiculous degree – especially the illegal ones.
I’m aware of an illegal immigrant whose children are American citizens, and she has four children. The government provided her with housing, but her rent is $900 a month whereas a legal American citizen getting housing with the same number of children pay about $400 a month. The government makes more money off immigrants than they do off citizens because they can get away with it because illegal immigrants have no rights in our country.
That being said, immigrants are a vital part of the workplace. It hardly takes much foraging into economic analyses to see how helpful immigrants are to the economy. There is an argument that immigrants are hired more often than Americans, but pay attention to the jobs they are taking – menial, white-collar jobs in restaurants, construction, and hotels. And then they are usually being hired by companies who are desperate enough (or corrupt enough) to hire people without social security numbers because they either really need workers or they don’t care about the law (having spent 10 years in working class America myself, I have rarely ever see it be anything but the former). And, to top that off, many immigrants create jobs. In a community near me, a legal immigrant set up a daycare that was badly needed, and that not only created jobs but also allowed more people to look for work.
To blame immigration for the problems in our country is to ignore the fact that the problems in our country aren’t rooted in a single cause. Yes, it is problematic that there are drug cartels in Mexico who profit off the use of drug mules. It is problematic that we are tasked with caring for people seeking asylum from the corruption in Mexico when our own government is internally corrupt. It is problematic that there is a high threat of terrorists trying to infiltrate with Syrian refugees who may be completely innocent of any crime. That being said, I actually am okay with keeping potential terrorists out of the country because ISIS’s ideology is incredibly dangerous, and it’s impossible to know how long their reach actually is within the Middle East.
I’m not okay with immigrants in general being treated like criminals. When the travel ban went into effect, millions of green card holders who work for large corporations were stranded. The green card holders at my school were terrified that they were going to be deported even after having gone through the process to qualify for permanent resident status – which is, incidentally, an incredibly lengthy and difficult process to go through, and it can often take ten years or longer for a person to receive even a temporary visa after the date they submit their application.
It’s incredibly easy to fall into a “let’s blame the other people for all this crap” instead of acknowledging that everyone, in some way, has had some part to play in it. None of us are exempt. Some of it comes from being idle observers instead of getting involved. In a lot of ways, we’ve become a nation that promotes individualism to the detriment of the communities we live in. And it often seems like no one cares about anything but themselves and the people they’ve decided are on their side. We’re a country divided, at war with itself, and I don’t really know if this is something we can emerge from unscathed.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
there are a multiplicity of roots, to be sure…but some roots are bigger than others.
the widening gap between the rich and the poor is largely due to international trade. The rich can spread their countries out, engaging in new markets and finding cheaper labor. I think I’ve done a post about this somewhere. But imagine if everyone had five dollars, and they paid one dollar upwards to someone, who then did the same, etc, etc, and you eventually end up with someone who recieves all those dollars. If that person gets a dollar from 100 people, he get’s $100 dollars. But if he can get a dollar from 1000 people, he gets $1000 dollars, and suddenly the gape between him and the first 100 people is a lot bigger than it was. Feasably, there is no way to “shrink” the gap between the rich and the poor, unless you seal the rich behind a “border” and do not let them do business outside a certain area.
combine that with the fact a lot of the jobs that used to pay very well, and keep that gap closer, went over seas to be done for a fraction of the price. So now, you still have everyone paying up a dollar, but those first 100 people only have $3 instead of $5…which makes the gap even bigger.
As you say, the homeless population is growing. But there could be jobs for those people…except some (or a lot) those jobs are held by illegal immigrants. Suddenly, jobs that would exist for our homeless…do not exist for our homeless to help them. Now, are immigrants the sole reason we have so many homeless? No. But they’re a large root growing through the pipes the homeless could use to try and no longer be homeless.
Sure, immigrants are providing something vital to the economy. But that vitality is something that our own poor and homeless could do just as well. Instead, our own are left poor and homeless and that vital part of the economy is handed over to a different group of people…the illegal segment of which pays no taxes, and sends much of their money out of the country, thus stripping wealth which could be used to uplift the poor (and close the gap between rich and poor) from our economy and giving to a different economy for free.
As for the regulation thing…yeah, that was the primary reason all those places shut down. As for “researching alternatives”…well, that wasn’t really an option. It takes a lot of money to research alternative sources, and a lot of time. My father worked in the hydro/nuclear-power part of the same group that had the coal-power. He often spent 50 hours a week or more…just working to maintain the one plant and trying to get another online (which took several decades). Part of that was how complicated these systems are. The other part of it was that for decades, there had been budget cuts after budget cuts and they were understaffed. It was pretty much the same story through the entire industry. There was enough money to keep the places running with diminished staff, but not enough to hire a full staff, much less toss millions and millions into a multiplicity of failed projects trying to find an alternative until something worked. Hel, even industrial and scientific groups who have spent decades with their sole focus being finding alternative sources, with complete funding, haven’t managed to come up with viable solutions. It seems a bit unrealistic to me that a bunch of folks working in a coal plant that demands their absolute attention 50-60 hours a week are going to be able to do that. And hounding their bosses over “muh environmentalism” wasn’t going to change that.
And sure, coal is bad for the environment, but most of the coal plants in the US had already reached a point where…that was negligible. Or at least, negligible in the face of the alternatives. The US has pretty much reached peak hydro power, there is no more water to tap (and even if there was, hydro-power is pretty environmentally destructive in the local area, at least initially). Nuclear is tricky, what with it being nuclear, the waste being completely toxic, and the regulations on that are getting tighter. Solar isn’t practical, and Wind turbines…well, they’re edging towards being more environmentally destructive than Coal, what with the absolute murder fest that they are, the need for exponentially more land clearance, and lets not even get into the quagmire that is Newtonian Physics and do wind turbines actually alter/diminish the air currents which help regulate earth’s temperature? Add to the fact that the chinese build three unregulated, dirty coal plants for every one of ours we shut down…yeah. to use image more graphic than I might like, at this point complaining about the pollution from American Coal plants is about like complaining over the fact that the man raping you with a 13″ c*ck isn’t wearing a condom. Sure, you have a point and the long term complications are potentially bad, but it might not be the biggest issue right that moment.
At least that’s how I look at it.