Skip to main content

[dc]"E[/dc]veryone who normalizes Donald Trump now, or has in the past, will have to answer to future generations for their acquiescence, sophistry, silence--if not downright cowardice." Dan Rather

Trump New Normal

Pundits and opinion writers like Dan Rather are anguishing over how some media outlets are "normalizing" the antics of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. According to them, there's nothing "normal" about a president who hides his taxes from the public he serves, nothing normal about a guy who shows no sympathy for refugee children fleeing Syria, but then fires 59 missiles (at over a million bucks per missile) at a Syrian airfield because he claims to be horrified about atrocities against Syrian children. And it doesn't seem "normal" to have launched so much firepower without doing enough damage to disrupt operations there for even a single day.

According to some "normalizers," Trump started looking truly presidential as soon as he started bombing places like Syria and Afghanistan. In an interview, Trump boasted about the strikes, recalling the "beautiful cake" he was eating with the Chinese Prime Minister, though he thought it was Iraq he'd fired those Tomahawk missiles at, not Syria. Such a lapse of short-term memory about such a significant act is almost "unpresidented," to use the word Trump once tweeted when he meant "unprecedented."

The word "normal" is currently undergoing Orwellian redefinition. We're back to the future, and the year is 1984, when war is peace, freedom is slavery, and there is no such thing as a lie so long as Big Brother can get gullible masses to believe him.

How is it "normal," for instance, when news sources like The New York Times are not to be trusted, but Fox News, The National Enquirer and Breitbart are touted as trustworthy dispensers of reliable information? And how can "news" itself seem "normal" when the source for news from the White House is Sean Spicer, a guy who operates on the Kellyanne Conway concept of "alternative facts," a not-so-bright man who seems clueless and/or casual about the truth.

Is it "normal" for Americans to respect a president who bragged so outrageously about groping women's private parts, who mocked a reporter's disability, who didn't know "health care was so complicated," and who is now making the world more dangerously unstable with every twitch of his fingers on his Twitter account?

What is normal about an environment in which "reality" is whatever one might choose to believe among an array of choices? Is it, for example, now "normal" for Candidate Trump to have said he'd be too busy to find time to play golf, but unremarkable now that President Trump has spent 20% of his time since taking office at Mar a Lago, his Florida home, playing golf, all at taxpayer expense?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Is it now "normal," for Republicans to claim even a smidgen of decency or compassion when they are working to overhaul health care coverage in ways that further favor insurance companies while denying meaningful healthcare to the majority of Americans, including children. Congressman Doug LaMalfa, the Richvale welfare king of rice who has gotten more than $5 million in farm subsidies, was one of those who working to deny maternity coverage for women, and he has also voted against food stamps for the desperately poor kids who live in his district.

Is it "normal" for Americans to respect a president who bragged so outrageously about groping women's private parts, who mocked a reporter's disability, who didn't know "health care was so complicated," and who is now making the world more dangerously unstable with every twitch of his fingers on his Twitter account?

Do we now think it "normal" for the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet to send contradictory signals to the rest of the world on a daily basis, declaring our NATO alliance "obsolete," then declaring it no longer "obsolete" a few months later?

Is it "normal" for a POTUS to install his daughter and his son-in-law in offices in the White House, giving them more power than career diplomats or ambassadors?

And when did it become "normal" for a presidential administration to win office amid so many questions about its tangled and suspiciously nefarious dealings with Russia and Russians, dealings that surely corrupted the democratic process?

When did it become "normal" for Christian evangelicals to embrace a man as ungodly as Trump has shown himself to be, a sinner with such a long history of philandering, infidelity, and ostentatious worship of mammon? And, in what world would people like Alex Jones or other alt. reality mad men seem "normal"? And, since today is Earth Day, is it normal to have a leader who is doing so much to undermine every bit of meaningful environmental protection enacted since Earth Day was established?

Is it normal to have a leader undermine trust in science, in public education, in our news sources, in nearly everything except himself? If that is "normal," it is hard to imagine what abnormal might be.

jaime oneill

Jaime O'Neill