Charles Blow Eviscerates Trump and Anyone Who Would Normalize Him
Constant outrage may be exhausting, but as Charles Blow reminds us in his last column of 2016, it may be American's only line of defense against the normalization of the "unstable, unqualified, undignified demagogue" who has been elected president.
Blow ended 2015 with a celebration of the biggest social justice stories of the year. He had hoped to make it an annual tradition, but Donald Trump, as he has with so many of our hopes, dreams and conceptions of America democracy, intruded on this plan.
So instead, Blow concludes 2016 with a call to resist normalization, a no-holds-barred reminder of what lies ahead, and the fatal danger of complacency. Despair and defeat may be all too tempting, but "the only thing that can protect America from the man who will sit at its pinnacle of power is the urgent insistence of the public that radical alteration of our customs and concepts of accountability are not on the table, that authority in a democracy is imbued by the ballot, but it is also accountable to its people."
After all, depressingly, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, "there is little that can be done to constrict or control his power and unpredictability." In case that wasn't enough, Blow reminds us that Trump is a man who:
is disturbingly complimentary when discussing Russia; whose onetime campaign manager had pro-Russia ties; whose son said in 2008, 'Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,' and continued, 'We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia'; and who has nominated for secretary of state a man on whom Vladimir Putin bestowed Russia’s Order of Friendship."
This is not normal. This is also a history lesson about the Cold War and how "Americans shouldn’t have to worry about whether the White House will become an annex of the Kremlin."
If Russian interference and treason weren't enough, Blow has more frightening reminders of what we should never, ever become comfortable with:
to have a president surround himself with a rogue’s gallery of white supremacy sympathizers, anti-Muslim extremists, devout conspiracy theorists, anti-science doctrinaires and climate-change deniers is not normal.To have a president for whom we don’t know the extent of his financial entanglements with other countries — in part because he has refused to release his tax returns — is not normal.To have a president with massive, inherent conflicts of interest between continued ownership of his company and the running of our country is not normal.
There are signs of the chilling acceptance Blow warns us against already, of mainstream Republicans falling in line, or Democrats saying they'll do their best to work with the new president. Others however, refuse to take it lying down, and will never accept the erosion of our democracy. Blow sends us off into the holiday season, and a new year, with a call to join them: "I happen to believe that history will judge kindly those who continued to shout, from the rooftops, through their own weariness and against the corrosive drift of conformity: This is not normal!"