Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Now what?

The media, which was complicit in the rise of Trump, is now working hard to normalize him. 

But there is nothing normal about appointing a leader of the "Alt-Right" (which means, white supremacy) to a senior staff position.

As David Leonhardt writes,
His appointment is a violation of American values, period. As John Weaver, the Republican strategist, said on Twitter: “Just to be clear news media, the next president named a racist, anti-semite as the co-equal of the chief of staff. #NotNormal.”
But Leonhardt goes on to note that we have a balance to strike.  Because, like it or not, Trump is the duly elected president and we have a democracy to preserve.
But if official Washington should be tough enough to avoid normalizing the Bannons of the world, Trump’s opponents should be smart enough to avoid Bannonizing any sign of normalcy.

This will be hard, I realize. It will be hard because people are angry and worried. It will be hard because every shift by Trump away from his campaign rhetoric will seem hypocritical. In fact, it will often be hypocritical. But hypocrisy is better than authoritarianism.
So, we have to be strategic.  Get the anger out of the way, and be realistic.  And here's the real lesson. We cannot be pure. We must be Americans, first.
There are two kinds of issues now: those worthy of passionate, ideological debate, and those that must unite left, right and center at a dangerous moment. “If you want to save the country,” tweeted David Frum, the strongly anti-Trump conservative, “you have to work with people you disagree with on almost every ordinary political issue.”
Do you hear that, left wing?  No ideological purity here.  First, save the Republic.  (Unfortunately that's not something the left/progressives are very good at.  How many of them didn't vote, or voted for Stein, to keep their hands clean?  The blame for this disaster rests strongest on those.)

Leonhardt finishes up by putting this upon the GOP
Perhaps the most important figures now are the Republican leaders who voted for Trump. They are planning the legislative changes they will be making, as is their due. But they also have a patriotic duty — a duty to stand up for pluralism, equality, tolerance of dissent and the rule of law.

They have a duty to encourage Trump toward those values and, in the case of Republican senators, to block any nominees who violate them. Republicans often like to describe themselves as defenders of freedom. We need them to live up to that ideal.
I guess we'll see, won't we?

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