Panama 2019 Day 20: SOTU

If we got SOTU here it would have been dubbed into Spanish, which could be quite funny. I recall during the Peace Corps years seeing an episode of I Love Lucy dubbed, and if you think Lucille Ball was funny in English, you should have seen her in Spanish.

I actually have no desire to hear Trump. There’s no point. Whatever he says changes twenty seconds later, when he rage tweets. And so much of what he says is markedly untrue. I get that earlier in his life he was a fabulist, consciously self-aggrandizing because he thought that’s what people wanted to hear. Now his lying seems to me pathological. Lies flow more easily than the truth, in which he seems no longer anchored. He has a few consistent and deeply held beliefs, like his inherent racism and anti-immigration “make America white again” mantra — except of course when he could hire immigrants without legal status to work at his clubs. But other than that, it’s one made up thing after another. Useless.

But I would like to hear Stacey Abrams, who will give the Democratic response. She’s part of the new face of the Democratic Party, and I couldn’t be more excited.

There is some reflection going on in the Democratic Party re how to take on Trump in 2020. We know the election will be vicious. As David Brooks has said, Trump has an almost feral instinct for savaging his opponents. Hillary Clinton tried to make an issue of his character — and of course everything she pointed out has proven true — but that didn’t sway his core and Evangelical supporters. They seem to find merit in having the fallen rise. Or, perhaps he reflects their own inherent desire for a whiter America.

I think the issue for 2020 should be “broken promises”. Other than the huge tax cut, which benefited the wealthy and not the people who stand behind Trump at his rallies sneering and laughing as he savages the press and his opponents, Trump hasn’t done much for the people he promised to help once elected. Health care? Nothing. Infrastructure? Nothing. Climate change? Nothing. Restoring effectiveness to the governing process? Nothing. Hiring the best talent? Nothing. Addressing the huge disruption in employment that is coming from robotics and AI? Nothing. Addressing income inequality? Nothing

Trump is nothing more than a fabulist, and the Dems should go after him for that.

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