What We Mean When We Say Not Normal

Since Trump’s win on November 6th, I’ve seen a lot of stories casting Trump as an authoritarian, an autocrat, a fascist.  Most of what’s been written is intended for an audience that’s accepted the premise: what to do, how to take action.  Those of us who think this way remind each other to fight normalization with the phrase, ‘This is not normal.’  I can only imagine how that must sound to someone who doesn’t buy in.  ‘This is not normal’ makes sense to me, but isn’t terribly specific.  So, what exactly do we mean when we say it?  Given that quite a lot of people consider what’s taking place as perfectly normal, it’s a question worth answering.  I had trouble answering it.  As such, I can’t find a lot of fault with people who aren’t on board.

But if I had to choose one thing, it would be the press conference of the President Elect on the 11th of January.  This was my major not normal moment, and it came fairly late in the game.  Prior to this, I was unhappy with the results, but generally resigned to endure it.  After this, I was truly worried.  So, to you, my hypothetical citizen who thinks that they are watching a perfectly normal presidency unfold, I say the following: Continue reading “What We Mean When We Say Not Normal”