Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address to Congress: Calls for unity gloss over state of civil war and dysfunctional government

Unity, Unity, Unity was the theme of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address delivered to the joint Houses of Congress on the evening of February 4. Trump declared that the state of the union is strong. Even as he said this, he pleaded for the vying factions within the ruling class to rally behind him for the sake of the union. He did so by emphasizing the U.S. military might which comes under his prerogative powers. This was accompanied with chauvinist statements applauded by the large majority in the hall, accompanied by chants of USA! USA!

2017.02.05.buffalo.noban.nowall.018cr2Whatever President Trump says has become the epitome of irrationality. Uppermost on everyone’s mind this year as Trump delivered the State of the Union is government coercion and control taking place at the border, in the prisons, and on the streets against dissent: the dictate which has shut down government, laying off thousands of workers, contract workers, and turning the lives of the most vulnerable in society upside down; as well as threats to invade Venezuela; the announcement that the U.S. is leaving treaties on nuclear weapons; and much more.

Nonetheless, Trump declared: “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”

The government shutdown, factory closings, decimated public schools, huge debts of all kinds imposed on the backs of the people are the reality but nonetheless, there is a “we” that is “born free.”

None of this could hide “the deep dysfunction of government, the brewing civil war and the increasing lack of confidence among the people that those in power are fit to govern,” the newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization, Voice of Revolution, points out.

“Trump refused to even speak to the government shutdown that impacted more than 800,000 government workers, tens of thousands more contractors and millions of people who needed the services [that have been] shut down and are still being impacted. He did not speak to the dysfunction of Congress these shutdowns reflect, even though yet another one is expected, just days away, on February 15. He did not address how U.S. military will solve any problem, when long years of U.S. aggressive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have solved nothing and more wars and crimes against Syria and Yemen have not [either]. The U.S. wars abroad and war economy are only further intensifying the factional fights, as the various forces contend over how to maintain U.S. dictate. They are also serving to destroy the human productive forces of all the countries involved, including the U.S., as the war economy is harmful to all.”

2018.10.21.dcwomen.pentagon.124The reality of civil war was further evidenced in the threat Trump made: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”

Voice of Revolution explains:

“While many consider the reference to war here is to those abroad, which is part of the content, he is also speaking to the civil war at home. Peace is linked to legislation, to governance and war to investigations. The factions Trump represents consider the current investigations as a danger to U.S. power, while those pushing them consider them the way to secure power. None are concerned about the interests of the people and all are concerned that an open bloody civil war could break out among them. So all are simultaneously striving to rally the people using chauvinism and cheerleading, while also attempting to have people line up behind one faction or the other of the rulers. But certainly not to organize to unite the most numerous faction, that of the people, to defend their own interests and fight for their own democracy, a people’s democracy where We Decide!

The Voice of Revolution commentary continues:

“Political power today belongs in the hands of the people themselves. Organizing to achieve it requires looking at the world from our own vantage point, not that of the rulers. It is not a matter of debating this or that fact or exposing lies or better describing the situation. It is a matter of starting from a vantage point that favours the people, that is to our advantage. This cannot be done by starting with the thinking and outlook of the rich. It requires our own thinking, our own outlook, that addresses the various interests of the people – individual, collective and of all society – and finds ways to harmonize them. Laying claim to this outlook is not a matter of the future, but of taking up the work required in the here and now to win change that favours the people.”

(Voice of Revolution, February 8, 2019.)

TML Weekly, February 9, 20019

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