February 10, 2017
“De-Normalization.” That’s the term and battle cry to those for whom Donald J. Trump is Not My President, even though he is. “Don’t Normalize Trump” they say. This “Normalize” is a new term to me. I didn’t know there was a process by which you could become normal. Clearly there is, because stuff that was once abnormal—like Irishmen having respectable jobs or suburban gay couples with children—is now simply so everyday American normal that you wonder what all the fuss was about.
De-Normalization is the other way around. I understand, because I can remember when ashtrays were everywhere. “De-Normalizing” Donald Trump? Heck, when has Donald Trump ever been normal? But De-Normalizing a new Administration? That’s something different. What’s it mean? Seems like “Don’t accept the reality of President Trump.” Don’t talk to him, don’t negotiate or cooperate with him, don’t recognize him as your President, don’t accept the fact that he is America’s lawfully elected President as a fact. Pretend he’s not the real President. Pretend he’s not there. Go have a riot every day. Shut something down that normal people use.
One tactic is the old ‘pretend we’re living in Nazi Germany.’ I remember this one from back in the 1960s, used against—if you can believe it, Lyndon Johnson! All you do is tell people we’re living in a horrible police state where folks like you are persecuted for their beliefs, and bravely stand in your dissidence until you have a book contract, a TV Show and are a regular guest on ELLEN.
Call Trump Hitler. Why not? All Republicans Are Hitler. Nixon, GW Bush, Daddy Bush, Reagan were Hitler. Now Trump. But you got problems. First, call him Hitler, what’s after that? Double Hitler? Triple Hitler? “Extra!” says the TIMES. “President Trump now 5 Hitlers on the Adolf Scale!”
Second, at this point it now means only “something I don’t like.” ‘Darn, I bumped into that Hitler couch again.’ ‘Snowing again, it’s a Hitler day.‘ Thrown around so freely, it becomes meaningless, like “racist.” Which brings you to another problem: by cheapening the words ‘Hitler’ and ‘Nazi,’ you deeply demean the suffering of people who were tortured and nearly annihilated by the real Hitler.
So “De-Normalizing” President Trump? You can oppose him every step of the way through the electoral and legislative process—but that’s what you’re supposed to do anyhow. This is how the system works, folks. Democrats oppose the Republicans and vice versa. This is… normal. Yeah, the New York Times clutches its mortgaged pearls. Yawn. CNN calls the GOP evil? That’s normal.
Besides, who’s going to pin the De-Normal bell on Donald the Cat? Nobody normal, that’s for sure. At least I haven’t seen one yet. What’s especially hilarious is the De-Normalize Trump campaign is fought by people who wouldn’t recognize normal if it came up to their door selling Girl Scout cookies.
In fact, the whole “resistance” seems to be made up of people who’ve told us for years there was no such thing as “normal” anyway, and that the very word was an evil construct designed by white males to oppress humanity. There is no truth, there are no facts, only narratives that we make up.
There’s no such thing as normal, and if there is, we’re against it!” I understand perfectly; I was once 14 myself. But having made careers rejecting “Normal,” it’s hard to go and convince normal people that you’re the arbiter of what it is. Even if you’re a brilliant actress who plays eccentrics or an aging entertainer in iron underwear.
“De-Normalize Trump,” say women dressing up as vaginas, violent black-clad thugs burning cars, chanters who block normal people from going to work or catching flights, strange men who want to use the women’s room, famous artists yelling F-bomb rants that would get you kicked out of any Denny’s. Senators. Did I say Michael Moore? And cracked actors who play normal people in movies and on TV.
One thing normal people don’t like is craziness and disorder. Elections are won in the middle, where the independents, moderate Dems and reluctant Repubs all live. They broke for Trump, and the left’s tantrums aren’t bringing them back. “De-normalize Trump?” The media, Hollywood, academia, and much of the Democratic Party have decisively De-Normalized themselves. They cut their ties with Normal America. And now the rest of us on real life Planet Earth can watch them noisily float away.
(Normal people elected Donald Trump. Other normal people voted for Hillary, and they’re going to watch and see. One thing normal people don’t like is craziness and disorder. They deal with reality, even reality they don’t like. They don’t play ‘let’s pretend,’ even for a living. They have very good BS detectors and no tolerance for it. They believe there are facts and there is truth and they don’t like being fooled. They’ll put up with crap but not forever. That’s why they’re normal. )
teaches Political Science at Oakland University and serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.