Monday, November 21, 2016

Election 2016 Fallout Part 4: Normalization

(4) On normalizing Trump.

Here is a reminder that the normalization of Trump started during the primaries, continued during the general, and will escalate in the coming days, weeks, and months. Never forget:

We must resist this normalization, always.

That upchuck you taste in your mouth every time you hear the phrase "President-elect Trump"? Never take antacid for that. Your reaction is what it is for a reason and that reason is self-preservation.

Which brings me to the Huffington Post, that stalwart establishment of new media.

During general election season, HuffPo correctly added an editorial note to articles featuring Trump, highlighting his racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. On Nov. 9, 2016, they announced they would stop doing so, suggesting that to call a spade a spade would taint the legitimacy of the Presidency in a way similar to how birtherism tainted Obama's tenure. Yes, seriously, they found it appropriate to make a most deplorable moral equivalence:
"....[T]hroughout the entire administration of Barack Obama, a segment of the Republican coalition, led by Trump, questioned the very legitimacy of his presidency, breaking from a long-held American tradition. 
We’re not going to do the same. Whether we like it or not ― and let’s continue to be honest, we don’t ― he won the election. It was a win that was at once foreseeable ― yet one we failed badly to see.

Where we find fault in how Trump governs, we won’t hesitate to call it out. If he encroaches on the norms of our democracy, if he targets minority groups or other vulnerable elements of the population, we won’t hesitate to say so loudly and clearly. If he follows his worst instincts and caters to the klatch of white supremacists who endorsed him, we won’t flinch from calling him racist. But we have hope that the man we saw on the trail at his worst moments is not the man who will enter the White House.

If Trump can reverse the economic inequality he decried during his campaign, bring back manufacturing jobs, find a way to give people better healthcare for less money, invest in infrastructure to stimulate the economy and otherwise make the country great, we’ll cheer him on. We’ll find out."
Nope to the nope nope nope-ity fucking nope.

Even if Trump does some good while President, that does not negate the harm he has done during the 18 months of his deplorable campaign, the fear he has instilled, and the bigots who have mobilized in his name. He has done nothing to atone for that. He has not owned the pain he has caused. He has not apologized for anything. He is stacking his cabinet with unrepetant racists and xenophobes, just like we knew he would. Trump is a predator dumpster fire of a person who is 70 and will not now magically become a better, classy guy.

And god, the cruelty.

"For all her faults" was Hillary Clinton's middle name for the past 18 months because we could forgive her for nothing. But, for a man - this man- all is instantly forgiven, erased, white-washed so we can "give him a chance." Wouldn't want to ruin a promising young man's career, after all. Can't we all just get along and see what happens?

No. I reject this narrative. I cannot stress enough how profoundly I want to be excluded from this narrative.

(Also, FML if Trump starts rounding up critics. Nice knowing ya'll!)

Lastly, remember that this normalization of Trump will make other Republicans who are no less deplorable, yet who are more subtle in their bigotries, seem normal, decent, and better by comparison.

Remember that they are not.

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