The Speech

Listened to Trump’s speech. It’s not going to work. It’s not possible to get anybody to see that the porous Southern border is not a huge benefit to humanity. People have convinced themselves that putting any obstacle on the path of human traffickers and cartels is morally wrong.

Trump wasn’t speaking to his supporters. He was speaking to people who have thrown their lot in with fluidity and won’t budge. But like I said in my MLA talk, the fluid elites refuse to see that fluidity isn’t that great for most. Because if they see it, they will have to face the possibility that fluidity might treat them cruelly, too. And that’s too scary.


30 thoughts on “The Speech”

  1. Yeah, both the speech and the Democrats’ response fell flat. Trump didn’t say anything new, nothing at all to convince people who don’t already agree with him —

    And Pelosi and Schumer’s “response” was so generic that it was almost certainly written entirely before Trump even spoke. Neither Democrat addressed anything in Trump’s speech, just repeated that Trump needs to re-open the government before anything can be negotiated.

    The whole event was incredibly anti-climatic.


    1. Both Schumer and Pelosi kept repeating that Mexico should pay for it. It was weird.

      I agree it was a big bowl of nothing. As always, the media were anticipating a state of emergency, a destruction of democracy, and all sorts of horrible things that never transpire. I’m so over their fear-mongering.


  2. If you channel-surfed through the cable news channels after the speech, at least Fox News and CNN had panel discussions with actual politicians debating the issue. MSNBC just had three airheads (Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Nicole Wallace) mindlessly giggling about what an idiot trump is.


  3. “Trump’s speech. It’s not going to work”

    My take (without having heard the speech I could have written this before). It was made to his base (indirectly). He wants to be able to say “I told them and they wouldn’t listen” as a way of not being blamed for not getting the wall built (his own party is just as much against him as the democrats).
    It wasn’t meant to change minds, it was meant to get the democrats on the record as being more against the wall than getting the government up and running again so he can use that in 2020…. the subtext is that democrats hate anyone against open borders (which tends to skew less well off and more rural and a bit more white – though unchecked migration from Mexico has been catastrophic for formerly working class US blacks).


      1. I’ve been writing about it for years, actually. Fluidity and liquid capital are another way to describe deindustrialization. Capital is no longer tied to the industrial base, it doesn’t need sedentary workers any more. This destroys unions and creates a workforce that is constantly on the move, uprooted, not tied to any specific locality. The nation-state is weakened and consequently welfare is undermined.

        It’s not a coincidence that people in the areas most devastated by deindustrialization are the most active Trump supporters. Of course, I’d prefer it if Democrats were the ones to stand up for the nation-state but they are currently running away in the opposite direction.


        1. You’ve got a commenter saying the Mexicans, who have been harvesting US crops for practically ever, took that job from the African-Americans. This is what I am reacting to.

          When has the U.S., a nation-state, supported welfare except for a brief period in the 20th century? I mean, social security started in early 20th C and then more things came in, due to extreme circumstances, but we’ve been dismantling that for the last 40 years or so… ?


          1. “a commenter saying the Mexicans, who have been harvesting US crops for practically ever, took that job from the African-Americans”
            I was referring to the many working class jobs that used to be done by African Americans and are now performed mostly by Mexicans, restaurant help, gardening, cleaning etc which is something that African American politicians used to talk about.
            I’m not entirely ignorant and I do know that the border has always been porous in the SW which was not always regarded as an entirely good thing by US Latinos (like Cesar Chavez)


            1. We just very recently discussed on the blog an article that claimed fisheries in Maryland could find no workers as if there weren’t a large community of African Americans in the area in desperate need of employment.


              1. (paraphrasing) When Black citizens commit a crime THEY GET 3 strikes, when illegal aliens commit crimes they get amnesty & benefits….
                who thinks this is a sustainable situation?


  4. The response I heard from independents is along the lines of Dreidel’s — that both sides were saying nothing new and nothing interesting. The entire thing was a waste — as apparently Trump thought it would be. The coverage talks about him being goaded into it by his advisors.

    There is a different way to look at this. As the saying goes, reality is gray, not black and white. Trump took or allowed himself to be cornered into an absolute position: build a wall and keep everyone out. Absolutes come with liabilities — there are always the exceptions, like children or legitimate political refugees, or people who have served in the US military or aided the CIA. Trump built his own opposition by denying those with legitimate claims.

    Now, many/most of Trump’s base hasn’t graduated from college. They might not be receptive to a message that includes gray areas. They want perhaps a return to a simpler world where America can do no wrong and the cops are always just and fair — their historical fantasy land-that-never-was.

    For that matter, a lot of the Left would like to see the world in simpler terms than it deserves or is.

    The sides can’t talk to each other because they have chosen to live in mutually exclusive imaginary worlds.

    Where’s a translator when you need one?


      1. I wouldn’t assume that. Not only has the system to date worked badly (deporting legal citizens with Hispanic surnames who didn’t happen to be carrying passports or birth certificates — deport first, ask questions later), there are also the current version of the 1800s “Know Nothings” who would like all immigrants to disappear regardless of legal status.


        1. There are over 20 million people living in illegality, on the margins of society, permanently exploited and marginalized. How can this be a good or moral thing? How can anybody support the efforts to make this underclass even larger?


  5. Well, more people are needed than are allowed to come in as documented people, and more people actually deserve refugee-type status than are given it. The refusal to allow more people is insistence on keeping the status quo, which is really good if your objective is maintenance of some kind of desperation.

    And I’m from the borderlands and there’s been movement across those lands from time immemorial — when they were Indian, when they were Spanish, when they were Mexican, and so on. It’s the nature of the place. When I was a child the Spanish speakers on this side were more scared and more oppressed than now and it was not as pleasant as now. I don’t want to go back to those days.


    1. Yes, I’m sure that if the cartels and the traffickers are denied freedom of movement that will create a lot of desperation.

      As for time immemorial, everybody sat in the dark or by candlelight from time immemorial and then somebody invented electricity and things got better. So it’s not like we are doomed to the situation where people are dragged around because it’s convenient for somebody.


          1. Maybe a little, but having a stronger border security (not only at the Mexican-US terrestrial border), deporting more illegal immigrants (instead of giving them right to work and having sanctuary cities), and having more legal immigration will solve more problems.

            Except for symbolism and hampering Trump’s re-election, of course.


              1. And of course Trump’s reelection hinges on him being able to fulfill his #1 campaign promise. That’s exactly the way it should be. Only Democrats keep voting for politicians who egregiously betray all of their campaign promises.


        1. Once again, the GOP never wanted it done. The official, long-standing position of Republicans on immigration is identical to the Democratic. Trump is defying Republicans just as much as Democrats with this.


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