America’s two parties have given up all pretense of pushing any program for the rest of the current president’s term (which still has over 30% of its length to run).
Forget about another round of growth-driving tax cuts, immigration reform, infrastructure, fixing the health care system, a common trade policy. Anything the American people might like to see.
The only objective on one side: impeachment. On the other: simple survival.
In the UK, the political system is similarly paralyzed. The government is seeking to achieve the people’s will on Brexit on reasonable terms — or even any terms at all. But rogue members of the ruling Conservative Party have voted to ensure it can’t leave the European Union without a deal, which means it has lost its negotiating leverage to achieve such a deal. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to appeal to the people through a new election. But party rebels have scotched that path forward as well.
In Israel, neither of two major alliances won enough seats in this month’s election to cobble together a majority, and voices across the political spectrum are calling for a so-called “unity government.” But one side won’t join a coalition that includes Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces indictment on corruption charges. The prime minister’s party won’t form a government without him. A potential kingmaker (who forced the second election in a year) says he won’t sit with the prime minister’s party, either, unless it deep-sixes its Orthodox Jewish coalition partners, which the bloc refuses to do.
In short, the world’s three most important democracies, all rendered ungovernable.
One might ask, along with Gromeko in the film Dr. Zhivago responding to the murder of Czar Nicholas and his family, “What’s it for?”
Zhivago’s explanation: “To show there’s no going back.”
Power, once seized, must be held tightly, at all costs. And every threat must be extinguished, by any means necessary.
Big Brother has for decades been systematically wiping out competing forces in all three countries, hollowing out institutions that previously ordered society — family, religion, cultural cohesiveness.
Everywhere, the family is in crisis. Marriage rates are at record lows in the United States, with only around a quarter of adults under 34 married, as government programs systematically undermine the institution. The same phenomenon is sweeping the UK. And even though Israel maintains some of the highest rates of marriage in the developed world, it is also experiencing more committed singles.
The church is plummeting in power and influence. With government forcing religious faith out of the public square and the educational system radically secularized, “nones” — those with no belief — continue to be the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population at nearly 30 percent.
But that’s nothing compared to the UK and, surprisingly, Israel. More than half of the UK population — and three-quarters of young people — says it has no religion. And in Israel, the largest group of adult Jews — more than 40% — now defines itself as “secular/not religious.”
Even a cohesive society as a countervailing force has been obliterated, in particular by demographic change. Immigration policy has been used, essentially, to swap out electorates for “multicultural” populations increasingly dependent on the government to hand out favors. Single-parent families resulting from the rout of marriage are equally in need of the Nanny State’s assistance. In Israel, an influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union is behind increasing secularization, and Arabs make up the fastest-growing indigenous population.
Culture- and economically-shocked voters in all three countries have responded with revolts against government power — uprisings now being brutally suppressed. President Donald Trump has been on the defensive against misused intelligence and law enforcement assets since before he took office. Every effort he has made to control America’s borders has been slapped down with unprecedented nationwide injunctions by forum-shopped judges — including just last week.
And a single CIA whistleblower has thrown another monkey wrench into the gears of constitutional government, alleging not only misuse of power, but the dreaded “coverup.” Headlines on that charge, ironically, popped up two days after the president released, in an act of unheard-of transparency, the full transcript of the phone call with a foreign leader that occasioned it.
Meanwhile, along with the desertion of anti-Brexit Conservatives, Boris Johnson’s latest setback in his struggles to free the UK from its European overlords stems from a ruling against a government parliamentary maneuver — by a Supreme Court that didn’t even exist a decade ago.
And what of the corruption charges that weakened Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel? They involve allegations of — hang on to your hat — using the power of his office to obtain favorable media coverage. An “unprecedented” insertion of law enforcement into the political process, according to an Israeli law professor, on a “very shaky legal foundation.”
The message from elites in all three countries: there’s no going back. We will not relinquish the reins of power, and will shut down your governments to ensure our control over them — and you.
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