The normalisation of Donald Trump

And how the extreme became the mainstream...

by

    Donald Trump is on a new campaign. 

    It's to make himself appear sane. 

     

    He's saying he's a sober person

    with a very good demeanour

    and the best temperament.

    He's saying it in a very sedate and mild-mannered way,

    he's sitting still and trying to look humble. 

    Sort of. 

     

    Since he's spent the last year 

    running the nastiest campaign in living memory

    using racist appeals, 

    making promises 

    that he can't keep,

    lying to our faces

    and claiming he didn't say things

    that we heard him say 10 minutes ago,

    this is a very good idea.

    For him.

     

    Not for us. 

     

    We should remember

    that he's got a track record 

    of conning people,

    defrauding people, 

    bullying people,

    groping women,

    going bankrupt and sticking other people with the bill,

    without ever showing shame, regret, or remorse.

     

    So his new campaign to appear sane

    is a good idea for him.

    Not for us.

    Especially since his opponent actually got more votes than he did

    and he's going into the presidency with a disapproval rating of 61 percent. 

    Meaning that more than a few people who voted for him

    know he's a bad person.

     

    The media is largely, 

    bizarrely, 

    co-operating in this venture.

    They see him as, and I am quoting,

    "subdued," as the "enormity and gravity" is sinking in.

    They tell us he's changing from campaign mode to governing mode

    "dealing with realities",

    that "the office is transforming the man",

    and "we should root for him to succeed."

    Because "if he succeeds, the country succeeds."

     

    They're normalising him.

    Is it because he's becoming normal?

    No. It's because now he's in power

    and when you have a media

    that is completely entwined with the elite,

    whatever power says and does

    well, it must be normal.

     

    Let's keep our eyes, ears

    and our minds

    clear,

    this guy wants to deport

    two to three million people.

    Right away.

    He wants big, huge, tax cuts

    in order to be "the greatest jobs president God ever created".

    George W Bush did exactly that a mere 15 years ago

    and got a "jobless" recovery,

    the biggest crash since 1929

    and the Great Recession.

     

    The American military now bases its plans

    on the certainty that rising temperatures are making the seas rise.

    That's the Pentagon,

    Not the Environmental Protection Agency. Not Greenpeace.

    But Trump insists that's a hoax,

    that it's Chinese disinformation intended to undermine the American economy, 

    so he intends to withdraw, immediately,

    from the Paris agreement on climate change.

     

    So he's going to have a new, mild-mannered demeanour?

    Maybe get a tweet watcher,

    to hold down his thumbs

    at three o'clock in the morning.

    It's not his tweets you need to fear.

    It's his policies

    because they are mostly dangerous, bad, and frankly, mad.

     

    If he succeeds, it will be the ultranationalists, racists, fascists that will succeed

    And, of course, as always, the super-rich, the world over...

    Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera. Follow him on Facebook.

    The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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