Out of Many, Many, by Porter

Trump won raves for his speech before Congress, with only a few curmudgeons pointing out some of its glaring contradictions and pandering. Porter at kakistocracyblog.com is one of them:

Trump’s address to Congress last night was something close to a rhetorical masterstroke. In terms of how it skillfully wove his themes and objectives into a soaring and sincere narrative it was probably the best made by a president in my lifetime. And that’s not all that was wrong with it.

The speech was also ladled with destructive tropes that I suppose even Trump feels compelled to repeat. There was the pledge to spend toward Andromeda while cutting taxes into the dirt. If I could convince people of one economic reality, it is that they will actually pay for all government spending, whether directly taxed or not. And is $584 billion/year in defense spending really insufficient to protect America from invasion? That’s approximately 36% of the Earth’s military budget. Which leads me to occasionally wonder if the threat of a Peruvian/Malay pincer movement isn’t completely overstated.

Then, of course, there were the deferential mentions of special (black) history and special (jewish) victimization. These being concepts that clash without any political self-consciousness with subsequent notions of “one nation.” So all these different and unique people are simultaneously the same by virtue of having crammed themselves under another guy’s umbrella. The same guy they despise effusively except on April 15. When it comes to finding fellowship with white tax dollars, I suppose we’re all one people after all.

And while much of Trump’s “shared destiny” nonsense could have been quickly disproved by a glance toward the tribal caucus members in his audience, it’s worth remembering that presidential speeches are like fat women on dating sites: most of the mass is concealed.

To continue reading: Out of Many, Many


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