A New Kind of Normal

Jeff Sessions, a senator from the state of Alabama, is going to be the United States Attorney General. He is known to have supported the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants and the imposition of a moratorium on the entry of Muslims in the United States—two proposals that Donald Trump launched in his campaign as being absolutely normal.

Mike Pompeo, Republican representative for Kansas, will be the new director of the CIA. The U.S. secret services are well delivered. They remain in the hands of one of the first tea party Republicans to have a seat in Congress. We continue in the field of “normalcy.”

Michael T. Flynn, a three-star general with a history of harsh and controversial statements about Islam, will be the new national security adviser. Normal.

Stephen Bannon, the head of Breitbart News—a website that consists of right-wing nationalist, nativist and white supremacist writings—will be the top adviser and strategist at Trump’s White House. Yes, just as normal.

It is normal, but revealing, that the new president began by announcing the names related to security and defense positions.

But this week, a spokesman for one of the president’s top campaigners told Fox News that the registration of all Muslim immigrants — an idea advocated by Trump during his campaign — had a legal and historical precedent in the United States: the internment of Japanese in detention camps during World War II.

And it is also normal for the president of the greatest democracy and the largest military power to respond to a question about Obamacare in this way: “We will arrange, and we can arrange, many different plans. Indeed, plans that no one has ever heard of are going to be designed because we are going to get plans – health plans – that are going to be very good.”*

Between truly dangerous ideas, dreadful appointments and utter unpreparedness, Donald Trump is passing the days until the inauguration. I know that Trump’s victory is the result of a free and democratic election. Other free and democratic elections happened in shadows far more sinister. I know all this, but do not ask me to “normalize” it.

* Editor’s note: This quote, though accurately translate, cannot be verified and seems to paraphrase rather than quote Trump verbatim.

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