The normalisation of Donald Trump

And how the extreme became the mainstream…

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Trump smiles after making what he said was a major announcement, that he''d abide by the election results if he won, to supporters at a camp

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, 


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


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.