Sunday, March 18, 2018
Trump Era "New Norms" Suck!
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! That old saying came to mind while searching for the reason for the pain and anxiety I feel these days as I watch the chaos across this country unfold. What I know as the “normal” for acceptable behavior and common decency in our society and our government have been ingrained in me all my years. Now those “norms” are changing at warp speed and my heart and soul are resistant to that change. We cannot let these “new norms” become acceptable and ingrained in the next generation. I cannot accept these “new norms” of which there are many. I am only addressing a few here. My greatest desire is when the history is written about this “Trump Era,” it will call this lapse in acceptable behavior an anomaly.
WHILE WATCHING Trump’s rallies during the campaign, I was appalled at his disrespectful abuse of his political opponents. As a life long political junkie, I had never witnessed such behavior from a politician, not to mention a candidate for the U.S. President. The normal was for a politician to act like a statesman, not a thug. Each day I thought his verbal assaults would be the end of him. Nope, people loved it. Finally, on October 7, 2016, the Access Hollywood video tape was released and in Trump’s own words, he admitted to sexual assault. He used a slang word for a woman’s genital area that he liked to grab and today, that word has been broadcasted millions of times thereby normalizing that word. Adding icing to the cake, 19 women said they had been groped or sexually assaulted by Trump. I thought for sure that the American people would drop him faster than a hot potato. Nope, he was elected a month later. Suddenly, vulgar, crude, sexual behavior was an acceptable characteristic for a candidate for the highest office in our land. This is not the old normal.
YOU SEE, I lived in the time when a much better candidate for President than Trump, Gary Hart, admitted to an affair, and was immediately repudiated by the people and his party and immediately dropped out of the race. Now we have a President that had an affair with a porn star, just months after his wife gave birth, paid the porn star $130,000 in hush money days before the election, and has now sued her for violating their non-disclosure agreement, while all the while maintaining (or I should say lying) that he did not have an affair with her. All his supporters, the Republican Party, and Congress have been quieter than a church mouse on this case of adultery. This is not how society would have dealt with a scandal such as this in the past. This is not the old normal.
IT WOULD be repetitive for me say Trump lies, I’ve written many times about that. He lies because there are no consequences for lying. We have to have confidence that our President is telling the truth and we should demand the truth. I remember when bumper stickers said, “Nixon lied and Agnew.” Nixon knew he was about to be impeached for lying, abuse of presidential power, and deliberate obstruction of justice, so he resigned. Impeachment for those crimes was the normal outcome back in the day. Today, there seems to be no lie big enough to cause alarm with his supporters. This is not the old normal.
LAST WEEK, just when I thought I’d seen the worst Trump could deliver, he stooped to an all-time low. He committed a grotesque and cruel act against a dedicated public servant. He fired Andrew McCabe, Assistant FBI Director, just two days before his retirement date, thus denying his retirement benefits. All we know about the official reason was that McCabe was “not entirely candid” when questioned by the Inspector General. McCabe is not accused of leaking documents, that’s one of Trump’s lies. We all know from Trump’s tweets over the past six months, he hated McCabe and his wife and wanted him fired, simply because McCabe’s wife ran for office as a Democrat and was donated PAC money by Clinton’s friend, Terry McCauliffe. In a meeting with McCabe, Trump crossed a line of common decency when he told McCabe, “Ask your wife if she likes being a loser.” Andrew McCabe served his country with distinction for 21 years. It was a rushed firing and McCabe was not afforded a hearing. Firing McCabe is all part of Trump’s plan to disqualify McCabe as a witness against him in the Russia probe. Pure revenge. He has already started chopping away at James Comey’s character. That is not the old normal.
AS FOR McCabe’s pension, I imagine he will eventually get his pension, but it will cost him hundreds of thousands fighting for it in court. He shouldn’t have to do that. He only lacks two days to having enough time to retire. If the Congressmen and Senators who possess common decency would offer McCabe a position on their staff for a few days, there is nothing Trump could do about it, and decency would prevail. That would be the OLD normal.