Is abnormal the new American normal?
Have we gotten used to the unprecedented and un-presidential antics of President Bluster? Have we grown accustomed to his outrages de jour: his nasty comments about friends and foes alike? His slurring of geopolitical allies, even as he gives a pass to America’s adversaries? Or how about his penchant for telling three whoppers before his first Happy Meal of the day?
It’s hard to keep track the antics of this modern Peck’s Bad Boy.
So take this little quiz: if your middle school child acted, spoke or Tweeted in the manner that the alleged leader of the free world does, what would you do?
Far from being grounded, our Orange Oligarch is roaming free, attacking Canada, Harley-Davidson, Amazon, a war hero (from a war he studiously avoided), a Gold Star family, and recently an African-American congresswoman for being “an extraordinarily low IQ person.”
This last insult — uncalled for and racially charged— hardly raised a murmur in the media. It’s hard to focus on one “Trump-trocity” when three more are steaming around the bend.
As an example, it has now become common practice —something unheard of in previous administrations of either party— for this president to use the bully pulpit to bully American businesses that are going about their business legally. He threatened to tax Harley-Davidson “like never before” after it announced plans to shift some production overseas in response to the administration’s escalating tariff war.
The motorcycle maker is just one of more than a dozen firms targeted by President Twitter. His numerous rants against Amazon have sent its stock into temporary tailspins, down billions of dollars.
Is it right and proper for a president to defame individual companies? Sorry, no time to answer: the next “T-rumpus” is upon us: for example, the president’s incomprehensible attacks on Canada and its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom Oval Don called “very dishonest and weak.”
Remember now, were talking about Canada here. If this were hockey, our president would get a game misconduct for slashing. But hardly anyone — and virtually no Republicans — say boo about this Twitter-fit masquerading as diplomacy. It’s the new normal: the man who can’t utter a disparaging word about Czar Vladimir Putin has picked a fight with Canada, which has stood by America in war and peace for the past century, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And what, pray tell, was Trudeau’s offense (other than naturally great hair and a totally buff bod)? He vowed to defend his nation’s interests in the burgeoning trade war that our president has launched in the name of “national security.” Imagine that!
This slur against Trudeau was uttered as the president was on his way to Singapore for his love-in with North Korea’s despot, Kim Jung Un; administration minions explained his insulting words by saying that the president didn’t want to look weak before that meeting.
And at that alleged summit —“meet and greet” or photo op are more apt descriptions—the purported leader of the free world couldn’t say enough nice things about the brutal dictator of the world’s most un-free nation. Rather than the culmination of painstaking diplomacy, this low rent rendezvous seemed more like the rollout of a seaside casino hotel that would soon be in receivership.
It is not remotely clear what, if anything, Kim agreed to — the details are apparently being negotiated at this writing, nearly a month after the purported deal was struck. Nonetheless, as soon as the glad-handing and smiley photos were over on June 12, peace in our time was declared by our Developer-in-Chief, who touted North Korea’s waterfront as the ideal site for future condo projects.
The only thing missing from this new abnormal diplomacy was the stirring phrase “Mission Accomplished.”
Yes, we have broken new ground in the past 18 months, and undoubtedly there’s more dirt to come. The latest is that president Comb-Over’s advisors had to talk him out of invading Venezuela. Look for a war, somewhere over something or other, in our future.
He isn’t waxing presidential, as some who voted for him insisted he would—after arguably the meanest campaign in modern American history.
The man who was opposed by nearly 54 percent of the voters in 2016 (but not Russia) has turned this nation on its ear, as our once (and hopefully future) allies look on in dismay — and also start making other plans with other nations.
What was once unthinkable is now fully in play. Whether the new abnormal is just a phase, or the new America, will be decided in November and the Novembers to follow.
David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.
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