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The Dangerous Normalization of Donald Trump


The Dangerous Normalization of Donald Trump

Steven Harper

"[W]hatever is going to happen is really here now — if only one could see it.” — H.G. Wells, 1916

Americans are living through the dangerous effort to normalize the abnormal candidate who won the presidency with a record popular vote deficit of nearly 3 million ballots. Donald Trump has about the same popular support as losing candidates Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004). But that won’t slow him down.


All about politics - a necessary evil I am told.

But I'm looking at the jet stream map from Environment Canada for today and now (Thursday, Jan 05/17, 13:30 MST):

San Francisco along or indeed south of that line of latitude, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean - cold and blue, with the jet streams just south.

There is no polar vortex that I can see - zero !

I've been watching these maps as a mountaineer every day for over eighteen years - watching the changes creep up on us.

It feels like a small plane just before stall. Is the climate ready to perform a backflip ?

I sincerely hope not, but it is scary - Arctic Sea Ice, Antarctic Sea Ice, the glaciers emptying into the sea from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet now apparently in a condition known as an "instability".

Translation - get set for significant sea level rise much sooner than expected.

I can only handle so much politics - so much 'pie in the sky' - "Let's do this, or that" - when the chances of doing 'this' or 'that' are effectively zero.

Rather, let's keep our eye on the ball - the biosphere, the geosphere, whatever you want to call it - maybe the Earth System.

Because the Earth System is getting mighty tired of all the humans committing the greatest Greek sin of HUBRIS.


It appears so far that two Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are leading the way against normalizing Trump. They have powerful committee positions and are not accepting Trump's embrace of Vladimir Putin, who essentially is a dictator of Russia. They have have promised to protect eastern European countries that Putin seems to want to have power over and they are investigating the evidence that Putin influenced the US election by stealing emails and putting out fake news. McCain has said in effect that it appears Russia has carried out a war against the US. Finding that Russia interfered in the US election would be extremely serious. It would be close to an act of war. I would not expect that Trump's embrace of Putin will ever be considered normal by Congress and the members of Congress have the power to take action. Trump's favorable view of Russia;s dictator seems to be a good place to begin the attack against the normalization of Trump.


The cliche is personnel is policy and Trump's personnel list shows he is ready for all-out assault on the environment at this crucial moment. We either fight or we'll have real chaos.


What sane person does not care about the environment? Also what kind of sec of ed hates public schools and teachers? Trump is beyond mentally ill. He's a sociopath.


The normalization of Republican talking points and the normalization of right wing media preceded all this. And the absence of an opposition party helped it settle in. When Hillary got up there and said "I like Republicans" what are people to think anyway? The "normal" structure of civilization over the ages is divine-right monarchy and slavery. We are actually returning to normal patterns. It is democracy and equal justice that are not "normal" and require extreme effort and sacrifice to achieve. Until we find a way to educate our neighbors, we return to "normal."


You're right. These people are literally talking about a return to child labor as a good thing. They would love some slaves.


Please, at a minimum, ask your local communities and schools to fly the American flag at half mast on Jan. 20 for the death of democracy. At a maximum, call your senators and representatives about the illegal electors before the congress certifies the vote tomorrow.

Not even president yet, Trump has begun a trade war with China, initiated a nuclear arms race with Russia, promoted dictators in both Russia and Pakistan, outright threatened North Korea with a nuclear attack, mangled the stock values of GM, Ford, Boeing and Lockheed Martin...

His communications in the Ford and GM cases illustrate that he plans to overturn Congress’ sole authority to set tariffs. Along with his campaign attacks on the Free Press and the judiciary, his actions imply that he intends to overturn the Constitution.

And whenever his lies have been exposed, he's attacked -- and urged his supporters to attack -- people like the union official who told the truth about Carrier jobs.

As Trump’s authoritarianism will likely get worse, not better, after Jan. 20, a subtle action such as half-mast flags across the nation might cause his supporters to see that their hero doesn’t have a mandate – as he claims in spite of a 2.9 million vote loss in the popular vote.

Please ask your local officials to fly the flag at half staff.


Americans represent a non-normal distribution in many areas, not the least of which is intelligence. Highly skewed population to the left half of the graph, there, for sure. They only understand small concepts with short catchy lines that they can remember. Like make America great again. Hollywood tries to scare or amuse us, Tomorrowland or Idiocracy, and everyone takes it either as a challenge or a map, neither of whose end games are contemplated. Why? ...because everything turns out right in the end in the movies?

We can't get to Idiocracy without a President Trump, and the problem with shining the light is that a primary difference between the rich and left is that if it's not the old way, then the right won't go along (Mitch McConnell anyone?) and things get bad. And if the right tries something to help we all go along with it, in the spirit of getting ahead. So unless the left STOPS playing along nothing will change. And if the left does stop participating then they suffer first and most. What to do in such a dilemma?


That is a little pessimistic. There will still be Congress with power and a judicial system with power. There will still be 50 states with powers and thousands of municipalities with powers. We already have sanctuary cities and sanctuary campuses. The Republicans in Congress are not buying Trump's benign version of Putin, not for a second. There is great concern in Congress and elsewhere about conflicts between his business interests and the interests of the United States. Elections are not going to end. We still have the US Constitution. Outside of rural areas Trump has little support. He won by close votes in three states with rust belt areas and lost the popular vote by a fairly wide margin. Democracy will not end on Jan 20. This is the United States. Millions of people are not ready to roll over and give up democracy because Donald Trump, perhaps with a lot of help from a foreign government and certainly with a lot of help from the head of the FBI, managed to squeak out an electoral college victory.


I thank you for your observation, but I would add that cultures "normalize" social patterns. Our culture is on the cusp of exiting hierarchies. We're in the late stages of feudalism. We haven't become a democratic society yet. There are antiquated notions being spuriously promoted by very comfortable people at the top. Good manners and our distaste for instability is helping them overstay their welcome.
Ironically, it is our indulging them that is inviting planetary and economic disaster. Their constant need for luxury and a sense of superiority is an unquenchable thirst ...quite literally...We have to lure them down from their perch before "we all fall down".


We have to stop going along with failing strategies, I agree. I would take exception to your relegating so many people as unintelligent though. Our public education system has been starved of proper resources and appropriately small class size since its inception. Its taught down to the working class deliberately from the very beginning. Local business people have always had a great deal of influence over classroom policies that produce uncreative, incurious, but obedient, low paid employees. And that's who graduates from high school with no encouragement toward college or reading broadly. Of course, they seem less intelligent. What's the old phrase? Like mushrooms, we have "Kept them in the dark and fed them sh_t".


Wow! You covered just about every kooky conspiracy theory, meme, and outright fake-news falsehood out there among the "left"!

Your post was parody, right?

I sure hope it was, becasue if it isn't then you are just one more useful idiot for fascism.


Funny, but just last night Trevor Noah was excoriating folks for realizing this was a reality. That if we don't change then nothing changes. I guess what we're learning now is that complacency is less uncomfortable and thus incrementalism has benefit, short term and in a perverted kind of way. But less bad must be thought to be a benefit, or else how can this be explained. And how intelligent is that? Im getting that you are taking exception to the outcome because of the cause. What do you mean?


Are you talking about our P.... grabber in chief?


Thank you for the list of catastrophes brought to you by the liberal/conservative establishment. Harper quotes Brandeis "Justice Louis Brandeis was right: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”" Of course failing to mention that Sunlight is great as long as it is not pointed at me. Who was Louis Brandeis?
Early charter member of the Zionist secret society called Parushim. He never quit this secret group even as Chief Justice of the United States. He used his position to further Zionist aims against America and Palestine. For more on this see Alison Weir's devastating book "Against Our Better Judgement".


The fight between sane people and Trump and his gang will be a 15 round match of heavyweights that will take tremendous strength and effort on the part of the people to stay in the ring for four long years.


I don't see people settling into apathy, in my world. We have law suits going, thousands protesting at the Electoral College, 26 sanctuary cities so far, pledges to protect minorities and immigrants, increased donations to enviro and social justice groups, huge demos and marches planned, petitions galore to fight the cabinet appointees , some in Congress taking strong stands.
I am hoping this will spark a real non-violent revolution, since we now know that the current system does not care what the people want, economic disparities are more extreme than ever, cutting social welfare programs will ignite millions, even those who believed the T was going to help them.....What more, Steven Harper, can you suggest we actually DO? I am calling for a national Federal income refusal- and to redirect our tax dollars to local welfare, justice, enviro programs....


If America is so bad why did you vote for another republican like 60 million other misguided people who blame everything on Democrats like you appear to do? Hello! Trump is a republican!

Do you realize that Trump is an investor in the the DAPL pipeline?

The poisoning of Flint's water with lead was done under the authority of Michagan's Republican governor.


Iraq and Afghanistan wars were instigated by Republican George Bush.

9/11 happened under a Republican.

Yes, Libya, Ukraine, and Yemen are Obama projects but drone warfare started at least under Bush.

It sounds like you should have supported the Green Party not Trump.


"...useful idiot for fascism": You should know, Yunz, being one yourself. And I note that you have no trouble enthusiastically embracing one of the most dangerous, crackpot conspiracy theories out there, that "the Russians hacked the election." But I guess that's just you. The official conspiracy theories are okay by you, no matter how preposterous. Those buttressed by Newtonian physics, on the other hand, are anathema (provided the MSM and official channels deny them, of course).