Don’t Normalize Trump (Originally Published by The New York Minute on November 23, 2016)

Full article can be viewed at The New York Minute.

It can be tempting. This morning I heard Trump announce that his son and his wife will not live in the Whitehouse, I heard him complain about having to give up his personal cell-phone because he could lose connection to his friends, and I heard him belittle the staff of Hamilton for advocating the support of minorities.

I was tempted to shrug my shoulders and say, “Of course he did.” Over the past year, we have been listening to historically unprecedented statements from a potential elect. We have watched him mock a disabled reporter, call Mexicans rapists, and threaten to implement a Muslim registry.  At this point, nothing seems very surprising, which is why we have to remember to never normalize Trump.

The alt-right (also known as white nationalists and neo-Nazis) is stepping into American mainstream politics, belittling people of color and making tangible threats to their inalienable human rights. Trump’s governmental decisions and cabinet members call for the extreme obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedoms, which are being widely identified as a form of fascism.

Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin told the Huffington Post that, “America elected a fascist” when the country choose Donald Trump; the Washington Post reported that reputable authors Jeffery Tucker and Robert Kagan have also called the Predential-elect a fascist; Georgetown History Professor John McNeill researched Trump’s connection to fascism and determined, “He is semi-fascist: more fascist than any successful American politician yet, and the most dangerous threat to pluralist democracy in this country in more than a century.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, a Trump presidency could repeal Obamacare, implement “Stop-and-Frisk” (which was ruled unconstitutional), defund climate change policies, support conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors and adults, overturn women’s rights to adequate health care and abortion services, increase deportations, and in essence, institutionalize an authoritarian government in the US.

According to PoliticusUSA, the media spent three times more discussing Clinton’s emails than her policy. This pales in comparison to the amount of time media has spent discussing Trump’s fraud case settlement of $25 million dollars or the amount of time major news networks spent on the FBI investigations against Trump’s team and his connection to Russia. It makes me start to wonder, have Trump’s completely unprecedented and unacceptable behaviors become normalized? Why else have the protests tapered in size and the media neglected to demonstrate the gravity of the actions and words of this President elect?

After Trump was elected, I had people reach out to tell me, “I’m not happy with the results either, but we have to move on and accept him for the sake of national unity.”

I disagree. In the wake of the election where Hillary Clinton now has 1.7 million votes more than President-elect Trump, we cannot normalize this election or Trump and his behavior. Whether or not Trump is a full fascist, or the “semi-fascist” as John McNeill called him, Trump is a threat to all minorities and their rights. He has been endorsed by the KKK and also accidentally disclosed his Department of Homeland Security Plans which endorse human rights abuses.

As Hillary Clinton tells us, “We must accept this result,” and President Barack Obama urges Americans to do the same and “respect” the Democracy of this country, I argue that normalizing Trump, a man who consistently echoes the patterns of Fascism, would be a detriment to this nation.

On Monday, November 21 the U.S. Holocaust Museum issued a statement condemning the rhetoric used in Trump’s campaign. The museum warned, “the Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words.” On this very same Monday, Alt-right white nationalists yelled “hail Trump” while using a Nazi salute.

Alt-right (neo-Nazis) hailing Donald Trump.

After watching the video, UCLA Professor Dr. Michelle Erai stated, “This is what will be coming from behind those doors if the electors aren’t convinced to not vote Trump.”

Each outrageous action committed by President-elect Trump, his team, and his supporters cannot simply be downplayed because of the sheer amount of times he has crossed a line and insulted the humanity of so many in this country. Normalizing Trump’s fascism lets it disappear from the limelight and become less of an issue than Clinton’s infamous emails. Despite the fact that he is consistently behaving in an unprecedentedly racist, sexist, and authoritarian way, outrage and disapproval might be one of the only ways he is ruled incompetent to lead. This outrage might be the only tool citizens currently possess to change the course of the electoral votes on December 19.

Besides physically going out and attending a protest, here are some tangible things we can be doing to stop the normalization of Trump, and also support those who are going to be vulnerable under his presidency.

  • Financially support the vulnerable populations whose rights might be challenged under a Trump presidency. Gofundme pages range from appeals to fund gender document corrects for Trans folks before Trump’s inauguration, to pleas to help cover immigration paperwork fees for others. Financially contributing can make a big difference.
  • Call upon your elected officials, workplaces, any institution you shop at to condemn Trump’s statements. The app boycott lets you scan labels to ensure you are purchasing products that don’t support Trump. Make sure to also let those companies know why you are not supporting them. and ask that they remove Trump products.
  • Ask the media to cover specific news stories (maybe even write them yourself). Force them to cover in-depth articles about how the president-elect is behaving differently from the past and use the type of language that actually represents the situation, i.e some have protested the use of the word “alt-right” when this group has values that more closely relate to Nazi’s (the leader of the alt-right, Richard Spencer, asked on Monday, November 21, “Are Jews people?”).
  • If you know an elector, ask them to consider siding with the results of the popular vote. Sign petitions that advocate for the election of Hillary Clinton on December 19.
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