Last Thursday, during the Morning Joe debacle, Don Lemmon opened his show by saying this:
“I have heard and said the phrase ‘This is not normal’ so many times and I’m sick of hearing it and I’m sick of saying it.”
At least one Donny with a history of lying is actually speaking the truth these days. I wholeheartedly agree with his statement, but it doesn’t make the phrase less importantly urgent.
It seems as if every day there’s another Republican begrudgingly flipping over to the side who agrees that this is not a normal presidency. I’m not talking “of course it’s not normal, it’s better” kind of statements here either. These right-wing politicians are talking about their president like kids at my middle school talked about lil ol’ neurodivergant me, like he’s the weird kid in the back of the room mumbling about other dimensions and eating paper. Now of course when talking about myself I say something along the lines of “of course I’m not normal, I’m better,” but once again that is not what’s happening in Washington. Whether Trump and I share any diagnosis does not matter because when we say “normal” we are not talking about what the more bigoted members of our society perceive as “normal.”
We are talking about history and we are talking about humanity. We’re talking about what is happening to our country, something that could not be happening if we simply had a “mentally ill” person in the white house. This is especially true since his supporters are the aforementioned more bigoted members of our society who voted with ableism in their hearts anyway.
Her statement is an awesome example of what Trump’s ghostwriter has been saying: everything he says about others is actually about himself, and that habit is infectious. His deputy press secretary is right, it IS like we’re living in Twilight Zone. When the media said negative things about past presidents, no one was aghast when the president responded likewise…because he didn’t. Past presidents understood, at least better than Trump, that the press fights with a 4th of July sparkler and the White House with that flame thrower guitar from Mad Max: Fury Road.
Plus, uh, this whole thing.
Most of what we’re experiencing these days is not normal. Some of it is humdrum “been-there-done-that” or non-important abnormality, but as the New York Times discovered as early as February of this year, a good portion of it’s not.
The communications president at NBC currently has this as his pinned tweet.
Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, “it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.”
— Mark Kornblau (@MarkKornblau) June 29, 2017
Even the president with what many would call the historically worst relationship to the media never went as far as Trump has been going. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say there will be no “belated respect” this time around.
It’s not just the media, we know this…or at least I hope we all still know this. To find a presidency that could even start to relate to Trump’s, you’d have to look all the way back to the good ol’ violently racist, homophobic, sexist, and ableist days of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and John Tyler. Seriously. Even then it’s still a toss-up whether or not Trump is acting even stranger for a president in politically incorrect times. So when we’re debating if Trump’s presidency would have even been normal in the early 19th century, we can all agree that this right here right now is not normal, right?
I hope you are tired of saying it. I hope you keep saying it.
To help, I made a shirt so you can wear it instead of verbalizing it.
I really love this shirt because not only is it political, I like to wear it as a personal statement, as it is both about how this moment in history is not normal but that the entity inside the shirt isn’t quite up to what societal bigots would call “normal.” You don’t have to wear it that way, but it’s a nice reminder that when it comes to people “normal” isn’t a goal…politically, globally, and historically, though, we’d like to move back a little bit towards normal (like a president who doesn’t promote sexual assault) and then hopefully shoot for some positive abnormality in this country (like universal healthcare).