I asked Faceborg the following question:
"Real Question. What does "I won't normalize the Trump Presidency" mean in real terms? Is it merely a rally cry (like our collective refusal to accept the Bush Presidency that lasted eight years and moved past) or does it mean some sort of action (like a coup or lawsuits or something?)"
Many answered from the Hivemind but the most impassioned response was this:
"It means speaking out over and over until we're sick of out our own voices. It means watching for those in worse positions and coming to their aid. It means refusing to pretend that acts and words of hate and violence are ok, or just boys being boys or just the way that that side of the family talks. It means putting every spare dollar into the aclu, planned parenthood and a host of other organizations that the American people need. It means make tough choices and upsetting comfortable things like old friendships when someone you care about says or does something harmful or hateful. It means challenging your own preconceptions and failings. It means being willing to give up some comfort and privilege to help others survive. And it means facing the very real fact that some, if not many of us are going to die due to this surge of hate, fear, and ignorance."
My first thought was "Oh. All that stuff we should've been doing anyway?"
My second thought was "I remember this well."
In the oughts, we on the Progressive side reeled from the Supreme Court Coup handing George W. the presidency and I recall the four or five months of pissing and moaning we did following. While we argued amongst ourselves about how it happened and refused to accept the legitimacy of his ascension, he withdrew us from the Kyoto Protocol on world climate change, pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, reneged on U.S. support for the International Criminal Court, and wholly ignored the credible threat of a terrorist attack using commercial jets. He moved to cut taxes on the wealthy immediately, blocked aid to countries who had legal abortion and pushed for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban.
All while we on the Left tore into each other trying to find a way to block his presidency. You know, refusing to "normalize" things. But things normalized anyway and in spite of our meaningless refusal.
In the spirit of the idea that refusing to "normalize" things we don't agree with, here's my list of things I will no longer "normalize" in American society:
I will no longer "normalize"
- The use of the internet to spread propaganda (known as fake news) or as a bludgeon to shame and publicly destroy people we don't like.
- Anyone who disagrees with 97% of all climate scientists.
- Black men being killed by the police (in small numbers) and other black men (in huge numbers.)
- Processed meat or cheese.
- Movies, television shows or books that don't address the pain of every possible identity.
- People who refuse to believe in a woman's right to determine what she does with her own body.
- More X-Men movies set in the past or future that render any semblance of a functioning timeline pointless.
- Airlines charging extra for baggage.
So, if the rest of you are right, my refusal to normalize these things will... what? What will my declaration of intent actually do?
Obviously, some of you know something I don't. Me? I guess I think focusing all that energy on doing something seems more productive...