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Friday, January 6, 2017

The Narrative of Normalization

Come see the full comic at:

If you are still trying to convince yourself that a Trump presidency will not be that bad, here is (some of) the cognitive dissonance that exists within that narrative of normalization:

  • That a presidential nominee who you praised for not being a typical politician (one who goes back on their promises) will go back on their promises.....but only the ones you don't like (like cutting YOUR government support or maybe that Muslim registry that DID sound kind of scary). The ones you liked he'll do. Absolutely.
  • That nearly every person who has either lived through or studied Hitler's rise to power suddenly, all at once, decided to become melodramatic and overwrought. For no reason.
  • That he says what he means and you like that. Except for the stuff that you swear you weren't okay with him saying. You're not a racist or anything. That was just bluster. But the stuff you agree with wasn't just bluster; it was totally sincere. You are able to tell exactly which things are bluster and exactly which things he has high integrity about.
  • That a guy who lies almost every time his mouth is open was totally telling the truth to you. Totally. And sure he lies all the time, but he's right about all the stuff you agree with him about. Yep.
  • That a presidential nominee who bragged during nationally televised debates about scamming freelance workers and spent twenty-five million to settle a fraud lawsuit can be trusted to know exactly where the water's edge of "conflict of interest" is between his personal investments and US interests and doesn't need the slightest oversight.
  • That a presidential nominee who bragged during nationally televised debates about scamming freelance workers and spent twenty-five million to settle a fraud lawsuit totally wasn't saying anything he had to to win so he could defraud YOU.
  • That these appointments aren't terrifying at all. Breathtaking cronyism in a historically uneducated and inexperienced cabinet with a bent towards white supremacy and anti-LGBTQ+ policy is only alarming because everyone on the left is a sore loser.
  • That Republican paranoia about shit that Obama never said he would do (like taking away your guns) was justified, but our fear of explicit campaign promises is blowing things out of proportion.
  • That Russia hasn't ever done anything enemy-ish, is absolutely blameless, would never do such a thing, and you should mock everyone who thinks otherwise. Even those seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies. Because what did they ever do.
  • That nothing bad ever happened when a president decided not to pay attention to an intelligence report. *cough9/11cough*
  • That your vote was all about economics. Not even a teensie weensie bit about race or bigotry. (Even though those "identity politics PC folks" sure had it coming!) Despite the fact that Trump's tax plan very clearly spelled out that your taxes would be (and will be) going up unless you are a business or in the top 1%. But let's go with the economy. Absolutely.
  • That intelligence agencies are somehow only trustworthy if they are accusing Hillary Clinton of a crime.
  • That someone who has called American citizens of the opposition party his "enemies" in a taunt that a twelve year old 4channer would find petulant egged on by a mainstream constituency that is delighted at how much pain and suffering "those fucking coastal elites" are about to endure is somehow going to heal the divisions of our country.
  • That the party that once used "pinko commie" as an insult to the left to insinuate that they were in league with Russia is now darned cool with those guys and their curious blend of anti-LGBT, one party, imperialistic oppression.
  • That after enduring eight years of birther crap, racism, faux lynchings, literal burning effigies, the rhetoric of taking the country "back," watching the Tea party rise as a Koch brothers astroturf movement involving a bunch of white dudes in revolutionary war costumes calling the administration of a right leaning Democrat (with an infuriating penchant for compromise) "tyranny," as well as an unprecedented obstructionism at every single level of government, liberals should just "get over it" because "He won."
  • That the REAL problem is that a group who is trying to get everyone the same rights, achieve equality, listen to others' lived experiences, and empower those pushed to the margins of our society is lacking empathy. If only we'd learn to build a bridge.
  • That in a country where the status quo is already violently unjust towards certain people, an administration that has openly voiced hostility towards these people will make things better.
  • That a head of state who chooses not only to ignore a foreign attack by our enemies, but also mocks the sitting president who retaliated with sanctions....then turns around and PRAISES the foreign head of state who almost certainly attacked us....  That THAT guy is going to keep US interests safe.
  • That a dude who didn't realize his tweet calling for a boycott of Apple was going to reveal that it had come from an iPhone somehow knows more about hacking than 17 U.S. intelligence communities and a host of private analysts.
  • That a guy who brags about grabbing women by the pussy isn't sexist and it totally wasn't even a little sexist to go ahead and vote to make him the most powerful person on Earth.
  • Repeat the last point for racism, xenophobia, ableism and every shitty bigoted thing he has said or done. But it totally isn't even a little bigoted that all this stuff wasn't a deal breaker, and liberals are just being "hateful" to suggest it.
  • That "the least racist person you'll ever meet" appointed a white supremacist to a new White House position.
  • That a person with an ego so frail that they take to twitter at the slightest criticism (be it from SNL portrayals or a Broadway musical with the audacity to hope that all US citizens would gain equal protection) is going to be an effective diplomat, and totally won't have a nuclear power rattling its saber at him before he's even sworn in.
  • That negative three million votes is a "mandate."
  • That the problem with a widely diverse groups struggling against the bigotry of cis het white male lawmakers to enact policy that will not target and possibly help marginalized groups is that we are "elites."
  • That diverse coalitions of folks coming together in big cities where they all are exposed to other points of view are the ones living in an ideological bubble and the group that was 86% white voters needs a bridge built to them.
  • That nuclear proliferation is a big competition and Trump can "win."
  • That the guy who not only has been conspicuously silent about the shocking uptick in hate crimes but has also demanded a list of the federal employees involved in combatting the rise of extremist groups (but won't say why) isn't going to be as bad for minorities as he's being painted, and all "those people" are just making mountains out of molehills.
  • That being cheered on by Nazis is not an inauspicious sign.
  • That calling Obama racial slurs and racist epithets are just free speech, but pointing out when Trump is lying with facts should be cracked down on because it's so hateful.
  • That someone who hates taxing the rich and hates unions and hates regulations and hates bipartisan cooperation isn't talking about the social hegemony of cis het white men when he wistfully looks to the past while invoking a promise to make America "great again."
  • That it's too late to admit you've made a mistake and join us in our every effort to #RESIST
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  1. Sir, I salute you. Are you comfortable with this list being reproduced and distributed (message boards, news groups etc).

    1. It'll make my life "interesting," but it's been that before. So go ahead.

  2. I'm still in denial. It says very terrible things about the hearts and intelligence of American people that we allowed the presidential race to be between two unworthy candidates. There was no "lesser evil" this time.

    1. One is a racist, sexist, lying, bigot, with zero political experience, that happily admitted to sexual assault.

      The other had a better resume than any other modern candidate, and had some issues with emails.

      I fail to see your "no lesser evil," point.

    2. There was a better choice and the majority of the voters chose to vote for her.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Needs more cowbell. Where is the healthy skepticism that the government is now highly politicized in all its branches and that the biggest story in all of this is the missing plan to lift so many Americans out of poverty. Hillary Clinton's people from Wall St. Are getting appointments. Her plan was to privatize Social Security, but she would have sold you that idea in a palatable format, because after all, the Democrats are FOR the people...right?

    Trump is a chump, but don't kid yourself that the corporate owners didn't just get everything they wanted for Christmas.

    You still trust that the government is there to protect your safety and your interests, but the never ending wars point to another focus, they create death, destruction, inspire jihad and veterans' suicides and moreover....make corporations a ton of money. What is the benefit to America or the world to be toppling regimes all over the place. Why is America the LARGEST weapons dealer on the planet???

    Let's focus on the economy here, and call ALL politicians on their treachery, because they are subverting their duty to serve the American people when they enrich themselves and their family members, clinging to Congress seats like overfilled ticks that won't let go.

    Teach Americans to only trust results, not just words. Words matter, but not as much as results you can bring home to your family, thungs like a steady job with a decent wage and benefits. The ability to save for retirement and not have the government leeches raid your pension fund without ever repaying .

    Now we have to trust these politicians to tell us how to be patriotic?

    Not bloody likely!

    Otherwise, you do awesome work!

    1. I'm not really the type to shut up because someone with a (D) after their name is in the Oval Office.

    2. I would like a source for "her plan was to private Social Security." Because as far as I can tell that's flat out a lie. Not that the Trump supporters don't bask in accusing others of the actions of their candidate.

  4. I am still in shock over the election results. I really don't know how a reality show bully got elected. I came to the realization that NOBODY watched the news, or the issues. And that it wasn't the 'red-necked' hillbillys that elected him, but also the middle class.
    I have talked with college educated people in high paying jobs, and they DON'T watch new, read papers, or actually speak correct English, or spell correctly.

    Also, for some 'odd' reason, a woman in power is not something we are ready for in our backward country. Europe is so far advanced in many areas.

    Nobody watches news, our newspapers are failing, even FOX news with their 'fair and balanced' hasn't a lot of followers. I followed everything, I watched the debates where Hillary clearly won, and am still in shock that people thought she was "crooked", a "liar" and that it would have been 4 more years of the "same." Nothing was 'wrong' with our country that we have to 'make it great again.' Obama did a lot of things (despite the Republican fighting him all the way from the beginning.) , and yes, she would have continued a lot of them.....but they were all good things. Unemployment down, no wars, and I don't know why I'm bothering, no one will read this either.
    He makes me physically sick to look at. I'm afraid for the future. I am registered as an independent, I have voted both parties through the years. I would have voted Bernie in a heartbeat, or Joe Biden.
    Today, tRump said that taxpayers will pay for the wall and Mexico will pay us back. Without getting into all the things he has/will backtrack on. It's too late....hopefully it won't be 8 years. Please God.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Sir;
    Since I understand too well about life becoming interesting...I am glad to see you have not expressed an objection to this well-said essay being republished. SO! I am (with attribution, of course) adding an entry to my blog where this will fit in nicely. Thank you for thoughtful analysis. I am of the opinion, being a student of History, that Democrats in the White House both do work more for the ENTIRE population of the country, and, are universally hated for it. I came to the conclusion some time ago that it was because they were being the "hard ass parent figure" who makes the kids clean their room, do chores and generally behave responsibly. Frankly I am OK with that, as life always improves. However, I do agree completely that we, as citizens, and bloggers, have a responsibility to call whoever is leading the administration out, no matter what party they are a part of, if they are failing us. Keep up the good work!


  7. I live in the U.K. I am greatly relieved that I now know of at least one intelligent American who has shown that the Trumpster is a disaster for both the US, and most of the Western world. Stay strong my cousins.