Don’t Accept the “New Normal” — Keep Outrage Alive

Steve Eason / flickr

"All of this is gaslighting – the deliberate effort to derange – in its purest form, and it is no accident."

Truthout - June 15, 2019

On Tuesday, after Donald Trump blew kisses at North Korea when it was revealed the regime had assassinated a CIA “asset” by spraying VX nerve agent in his face in the middle of a crowded airport, a friend asked me: “Is your capacity for shock as burned out as mine?”

The asset, by the bye, was Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of Kim Jong Un. You may remember when this very public killing in the Kuala Lumpur airport happened back in 2017. The barrage of Trump-related horrors was still somewhat new and fresh, and we were all yelling “This is not normal!” to maintain some semblance of perspective. We were saying that to others, and to ourselves, because it was a lifeline to reality in a world that had gone positively surreal.

Two years later and four years nearly to the day since Trump rode his golden escalator into presidential infamy, I’m having conversations with friends about shock burnout … and that was Tuesday, which was before Wednesday, which was the day Trump spent denying even the existence of internal polling that showed Democratic frontrunners beating him in 2020 matchups. The polls had been reported on by virtually everyone in the media. “They reported Fake numbers that they made up & don’t even exist,” he frothed on Twitter pretty much first thing in the morning.

Leave aside the fact that he’s saying this because his base will believe it and his base is all that matters to him, because that’s the kind of political calculation one cobbles together in a world where mathematics make sense. The president of the United States is lying in public about the non-existence of things that tangibly exist, again. This should be flatly terrifying.

Instead, this deeply disturbing behavior at the highest level of government is met with crouching indifference, because so many people have transformed themselves into The Little Train That Just Can’t Even in an act of basic self-defense.

When you get cut, you heal, and there’s a scar. When you get cut over and over in the same place, the resulting scar becomes akin to armor, nerveless and impervious to further pain. It’s just another Wednesday. ...
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