Who can we trust in the complexities of political issues?

Politicians? Commentators?

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None of the above?


For those Americans and Israelis reading these notes, the examples of Donald Trump and Benyamin Netanyahu may be setting new standards at the bottom of whatever can be called trust.

Trump claimed to have reached new understandings with both the North Korean and Russian leader a few minutes into a long scheduled and seemingly well planned meeting.

His claim of success should remind us of Neville Chamberlain bringing peace to his time. And while the unravelling of Chamberlain’s claim was much more deadly and complete than anything that has yet happened to Trump, what followed soon after Trump’s announcements have not been promising.

Bibi gets into this note by virtue of his boast that it was he who persuaded Donald Trump to remove the United States from the deal that Barack Obama has reached with Iran.

Guesses are that this is part of his campaign to firm up his standing, against the closing in of the police and prosecutors, and a hope to rescue himself via another win at the polls.

A Nationality Law, and legislation that closes the option of Israeli surrogacy motherhood for homosexual couples have caused their mid-summer excitements, but the Knesset is closed until after the holidays. The Prime Minister is going on vacation, along with many others.

Beyond these events are numerous indications that Americans, Israelis, and most likely the residents of all other interesting places contend with a host of knotty and insoluble issues. Indications are that many people protect themselves from endless pondering by taking a posture of indifference, or ignore the whole bundle of what’s called “politics” and focus on other things.

Somewhere on the list of the difficult issues are these:

Can anything be done about the freedom of Americans to acquire firearms, and the world record violence associated with it?

What might be done to penetrate the world of drugs, sex, and violence that passes from generation to generation in the American underclass?

Can Israelis find a way to penetrate the enmity between different clusters of Palestinians in order to reach some kind of accord with those provoked to continue the violence.

And what about Israelis certain that God gave it all to us, and being Chosen means something close to being a master race?

These are arguably the most pressing chronic insolubles of each society. And all of the questions bring us quickly to more detailed concerns, where there are numerous ideas, proposals, research findings, and simplistic ideologies that feed disputes with no end about what should be done, and what can be done, and what would be the likely results.

Comedians and commentators in both societies earn their livings by ridiculing or pondering the ideas that politicians express.

Currently making the rounds is a video aping Americans advocating guns as a protection against guns. It purports to show an idea coming out of Israeli security organizations, and the enthusiasm that greets it from American politicians.

Googling “Fake President” produces 622 million hits, including a bumper sticker with Trump’s picture.

Most likely he’s not the only one turning the word onto its popularizer. 

Given the President’s idea of providing guns to teachers, one can wonder if this really is parody or something serious. There are, indeed, lots of American web sites claiming the virtues of early age training in the use of firearms.

Where to go with all this?

Perhaps to the gym, the beach, or to the stadium for those not into exercise or participating in a competitive sport.

Libraries are out of date, but the Internet, Kindle, and Amazon provide ample opportunities for those whose route out of serious politics is via mysteries, science fiction, romance, or pornography.

Indifference is available to us all. Most likely it’s the way even for involved activists in issue A to escape confusion for frustration about issues B through Z.

Politics is not for everyone, and obsession about any political issue is not likely to be helpful or healthy.

Even professional politicians protect themselves by indifference. For many of them—perhaps most or even all but a few—the outcome of a policy dispute is less important than avoiding making themselves look bad.

For all of us, it is at least partly a game. More important, perhaps, than the World Cup or the World Series. Who’s chosen to lead can bring us to stability, marginal improvement, or great disaster. However, many are already convinced that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the major contenders.

What politicians advocate is only one of the factors influencing what governments are likely to do. Also involved are the disputes among experts about what’ll work or what is possible. And most issues are adversarial. That is, Israeli options are affected by what Palestinians demand, and they have never been united.

Conflicts between Fatah and Hamas have been as bloody and without resolution as anything between Israel and any cluster of Palestinians.

Americans can propose what they will for dealing with drugs, guns, or underage sex, but penetrating the social groups most troubled by that trio has eluded generations of advocates with good intentions.

It’s best to relax, if possible.
And find a place of safety if appropriate.
Do what may help to keep the real bastards at bay, whoever they are.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

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