The rogue waves set off by the Trump administration have been probably the most fascinating part about all this. Particularly, the concept of “normal.”
Immediately after the election, there was plenty of rhetoric regarding the “normalization” of Donald Trump as President. (These op-eds have continued.) More recently, a rather perfect Jezebel post spread about, the entire contents of which are the sentence This is not normal.
And I wonder, what is normal?
Outrage By The Outrageous
NPR, the Atlantic, the Times. They’ve all done a great job navigating waves of newsworthy events. For the most part. Today, they all took Donald Trump to task over a botched military operation in Yemen, which ended up with casualties on all sides.
The reporting of the story doesn’t bother me, nor does the outrage echoing from the streets. What bothers me is exactly that these are not our normal reactions.
The Future Should Not Repeat The Past
The time we are in is not normal; this much is true. However this misfire in Yemen is illustrating more that the “normalcy” we had before was a press and public ready to ignore a horrifying drone program which incurred a fair share of tragedy.
No, Donald Trump as President of the United States is not normal. Yes, it is important to remember that. After that, though, ask what really was normal before—and why it all came crumbling down in the form of this political dumpster fire. (Here’s a start: Normal was a news industry owned by media corporations so hell-bent on advertising revenue they gave Trump $2 billion in airtime. Even news directors admit their own likely role in his electoral win.)
This is not normal, and it is not good. But what we had before wasn’t great either. What is important is surviving what is to come, and building something better from what remains.