“One of the most amusing things to come from the fallout of the 2016 election is this idea of “normalizing” Trump.
As a millennial inside the DC beltway (at least in the literal sense), most people I associate with are absolutely apoplectic about Trump’s victory. My goal is to bring more young people into the fold of liberty and constitutional conservatism, so I don’t find it useful to troll and rub it in their faces. Donald Trump (who I didn’t even vote for, although I did prefer over Hillary) has been enough of a setback in that mission. Instead, I’ve opted for measured discussion. “I understand why you’re scared and fearful. I get it. Remember a lot of Republicans felt this way about Obama in 2008 and 2012…”
And at that point, I am cut off.
“It’s not the same”
“This is way different, and you are too privileged to understand”
“You’re normalizing Trump!”
Apparently, striking a conciliatory tone is “normalizing” Trump. Because he is so beyond the pale of acceptable politics to the left that we can’t even acknowledge his authority as president-elect. This means we must even ignore truth if it in some way validates Trump, even if that validation is completely unrelated to the primary issues liberals have with him. What they don’t understand is that this too is exactly how many in rural conservative America felt about Obama. I’m not saying either side is justified or not, just that this is how they felt. And on both sides, it’s an excuse to avoid responsible discourse.
The Media’s “normalization” of Trump
It’s apparently not just me experiencing this.
When Justin Taylor of “Between Two Worlds” attempted to engage in the polite, reasoned discourse that we expect of him, he was shot down by Keith Olbermann. Because he was wrong? No. Just because he wasn’t actively calling Trump out for being a bigot and thus was normalizing him.
No, actually it's normalizing bullshit. Pence and Trump need to be reminded hourly that they represent a minority of hate in this country https://t.co/bfVdWz9cuV
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 21, 2016
Let me translate that – “You make valid points that I don’t have much of a come-back to, except to say that valid points are automatically invalid if they are in any way positive to Trump.”
During the election, Salon and others led the charge that by analyzing Trump’s statements the same way they would any other candidate, and by treating him as an equal candidate to Hillary (something many on the right would strongly dispute), they were “normalizing” his awfulness.
NBC News Legal Analyst Lisa Bloom wasn’t shy in expressing her thoughts on the Trump campaign’s meeting with top news executives:
Top network executives, anchors meet with Donald Trump. Step 1 in normalizing a bigot. Don't fall for it. https://t.co/56VBuH4yX5
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) November 22, 2016
What does “normalizing” even mean?
Your guess is as good as mine. But it sounds like an excuse so the left doesn’t have to ever acknowledge anything positive that could come from a Trump administration. They howled for a “reasonable Republican” who could be a deal maker, not an ideologue. Well, they got it, and now they realize they need another excuse not to work with him. Principled Progressives like Tulsi Gabbard have kept their word and attempted to work with the president-elect, but even her defenders like the chair of the Hawai’i Democratic Party still acknowledge the risk of her normalizing Trump.
The problem is that we can never come together as a country if even trying to be conciliatory, as I have, is considered a normalization of evil. If a Republican CEO had behaved like the CEO of GrubHub back in 2008, he would have been called a racist. But now that the other side is in power, the same out-of-touch liberals that caused the Trump phenomenon are justifying this behavior, giving themselves moral license for their hypocrisy.
I hope that the post-election blues will wear off and most reasonable Democrats and even Progressives will come around. There are hopeful signs from candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, along with Gabbard (although the former two have backtracked in the face of criticism). The truth is, I am in the same place as these individuals. I didn’t vote for the guy, but I will stand with him on conservative/libertarian values while opposing him when he is wrong. Supporting him when he’s right doesn’t diminish my ability to oppose him when he’s wrong, and while it may “normalize” him, he is, after all, going to be the President of the United States.
And then there’s this guy who gets it:
Can they do something new – like a stunned silence – so people don't start thinking he's just an average Republican?
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) November 17, 2016