Normal vs. New Normal
Moral grandstanding against President Trump has become a cottage industry among the Republican establishment in Washington. Prominent members of the Party from Mitt Romney to former President Bush have made full speeches against Trumpism. Senator Jeff Flake is merely the most recent iteration of this phenomenon, and there will surely be more to come. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to Flake’s speech, it went something like this:
“I’d like to announce that I am not seeking re-election. Am I leaving because my pro-immigration stance is out of touch with Arizonans? No, I’m leaving because I think that continuing to work in Washington makes me complicit in Trumpism. That is why I am going to continue working in Washington until 2019 when my term ends. Sound contradictory? Well, it’s not. It’s normal. And Trump is totally not normal, you guys. Because the Founders.”
Okay, that’s not exactly how he said it, but that’s the gist of the speech in caricature. Jeff Flake’s central point was a plea to all Americans that no one allow themselves to think that Trump’s behavior constitutes a “new normal”. In his own words, he said, “if we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us.” Many in the Democrat Party and the Mainstream Media have applauded this sentiment for politically expedient reasons.
But as candidate Trump was fond of saying during the campaign: “wrong”.