What You Have To Believe To “Normalize” Him

by Chris Brecheen

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 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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