The Rev. Mr. J. Walker has been using the hashtag #ThisIsNotNormal on Facebook and Twitter, pointing out that the actions of President-elect Donald Trump and his crew are not normal. Rev. Walker wants to make sure we don't start taking their actions for granted and letting them become normal. He took the hashtag from John Oliver, and has been doing his best to make it go viral.
For a president to be annoyed by the press is normal. For a president or a presidential candidate to threaten to tighten libel and slander laws against the press is not normal.
For a politician to change his mind as his opinions evolve is normal. For a politician to deny statements he's made on videotape is not normal. One expects politicians to lie. But President-elect Trump is either unusually mendacious or has such a poor memory that he literally cannot remember what he says from one day to another.
Joshua Foust wrote an article called "This Is Not Normal," wherein he points out that Trump's actions are not normal and should not be regarded as normal.
John Oliver on #ThisIsNotNormal
Examples of the Abnormal and the UnAmerican
The actions of Donald J. Trump and his supporters are unAmerican and abnormal.
Donald Trump's misogyny is not normal.
Trump's racism and anti-Semitism are not normal. "I’ve got Black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza — Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else." Trump has also stated that "laziness is a trait in Blacks. It really is; I believe that. It's not anything they can control." He has also used anti-Semitic tropes in his speeches, as well as the infamous Star of David incident in a tweet against Hillary Clinton.
Trump encouraged, rather than attempted to rein in, the actions of his followers during the campaign. He called for protesters at his rallies to be thrown out and beaten, and offered to pay the legal bills of those who did so. Accounts of racist and sexist graffiti and harassment have jumped during Trump's campaign and especially since his election. The Southern Poverty Law Center says there have been over 700 incidents of harassment or intimidation since the election.
Racist vulgarities are painted and shouted across the country. What happened to the notion of judging each other by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin? Hispanics, Mideasterners, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans are frightened, insulted, and outraged. This is not normal, not in the great American melting pot.
A history teacher in California was temporarily suspended for pointing out the historical parallels between Donald Trump's campaign and Adolf Hitler's rise to power.
A language arts teacher in Georgia received a death threat, urging her to hang herself with her hijab.
A California teacher told Hispanic students that they would be deported. This is not professional, and it is not normal.
When Trump's supporters threatened journalist Megyn Kelly, a TV executive had to explain to Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, that it would affect Trump's candidacy adversely if she were to be killed by one of those supporters following through on their threats. "Let me put it to you in terms you can understand: If Megyn Kelly gets killed it is not going help your candidate."
Trump mocked a reporter with a physical disability... after lying about what that reporter had said, and whether or not they knew each other.
Senator Jeff Sessions, whom President-elect Trump has suggested as Attorney General, says he wouldn't "characterize" grabbing a woman by her genitals as sexual assault.
Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's former rival, has said that if he becomes President Trump's Secretary of Education, he will "monitor" free speech on college campuses.
As a political candidate, Trump broke with decades of tradition, refusing to release his tax returns. Although other presidents have put their investments in a blind trust, to avoid a conflict of interest, Trump intends to have his three eldest children run his multinational businesses. He's already made them and his son-in-law part of his transition team, and rumors (and denials) have been flying that he requested they be given security clearances. His daughter Ivanka even joined him when meeting with the Japanese prime minister. Given that Trump has extensive foreign debts and foreign investments, a conflict of interest seems inevitable, when he deals with Russia, China, Germany, India, and other nations.
When Vice President-elect Pence attended the musical Hamilton on Broadway, the cast politely addressed him by name at the curtain call and asked him "to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” Trump found this request rude and offensive, and tweeted several times to complain and demand the cast apologize.
Our Vice-President-elect considers homosexuality a sin, and believes it can be cured by "conversion therapy." That superstition might have been socially acceptable in the 18th century, but this is the 21st century. This is not normal in this day and age.
Know what this country has been, believe what it could be, teach what it should be. Do not let this ugliness, this unAmerican behavior, become the new normalcy.
Rosemary Edghill on Language Use
Language and word use are my business. They are my stock in trade. And so, with utmost respect to those of you reading this, I submit what must be, when all is said and done, purely my own opinion, and in no wise an attempt to make you do something, or give up doing something, if, in your heart, you find it good. But perhaps some of you will agree with what I say, and take it as your own place to stand.
We must not allow the thugs in power to define the language of our political discourse. Do not follow the soi-disant Fourth Estate in normalizing the language we must use to speak of the usurpers and oppressors. Not "alt-right" but "white supremacist". Not "unprepared", but "incompetent".
"Working together"? Call it by its true name: collaborating with the enemy. "Give him a chance"? TO DO WHAT, FOR FUCK'S SAKE? Make good on his campaign promises? REALLY? President-Elect Thugpuppet and his inner circle of sycophantic bootlickers aren't the Merry Pranksters. They are privileged self-centered plutocrats who only want power at any price and absolute revenge on everybody they suspect of not thinking they're as wonderful as they know themselves to be. AND THEY ARE ABOUT TO BE IN CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT.
This is not a time to "hope" or "pull together" or "make it work". This is a time to refuse to cede the bullies one inch of ground.
Including the language of public discourse.
Rosemary Edghill is an author of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and romance novels. She posted this on her Facebook page November 17, 2016 CE; it is reprinted here with her permission.
J. Walker on Normalizing Trump's Actions
And more than anything else, the hashtag that I've been using for the past several days, the sentence that John Oliver begged us to remember in his post-election show, is something that you absolutely must keep in mind: #ThisIsNotNormal
The media, in an attempt to be fair, is going to try to normalize this. Watch out for that, and call them on it at every turn. It is not normal for an open anti-Semite and white nationalist to be in charge of White House strategy. It is not normal for a man rejected by a Republican panel as a federal judge in the 80s for racism to be the new attorney general. It is not normal for the children of a President to manage a multibillion dollar business on his behalf, and it is not normal for one of those children to sit in on the private first meeting between the President-Elect and the Japanese Prime Minister, nor is it normal for the same child to attempt to use a television interview with her family to promote her jewelry brand. It is not normal for a President-Elect to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle a major fraud case that involved seniors being fleeced of their life savings. It is not normal for his Vice President to openly advocate for shock treatment for LGBT youth. It is not normal, it is not, it is not, and we cannot afford to pretend otherwise for even the briefest moment.
And there's so much more. The tweets against the New York Times and the cast of Hamilton. The fact that he didn't ask the State Department to prep him before taking calls from foreign leaders, and the fact that these foreign leaders ended up having to call through to Trump Tower. His ditching of the press, leaving them completely in the dark as to where he was, meaning that they could not accurately inform the public of his whereabouts or safety in the case of a national emergency.
All of it.
This is very bad. It seems likely that he's going to be trying to implement his programs in a serious of stages, hoping that we'll be like the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, and not notice how bad things have gotten until it's all done.
The only way to fight that is to not let him turn up the heat even a little.
We make his life and administration an utter hell for him over the next four years, or we lose our country. The next major step will be the midterms, and if and when we get even one House of Congress back, that will seriously screw things up for his larger agenda. In the meantime, though, he doesn't get a wink of sleep.
The Rev. Mr. J Walker is an ordained minister, a writer, a raconteur, and a social critic. One of his tweets was recently posted in a Buzzfeed article. This was originally posted on his Facebook page, and reposted here with his permission.
First Amendment of the Constitution
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
First Amendment, United States Constitution
This amendment means that it is unconstitutional for President-elect Trump to start a ban on Muslim immigrants or a registry of Muslim citizens and tourists.
This amendment means that Vice President-elect Pence cannot force people to accept his interpretation of Christianity.
This amendment means that ordinary American citizens have the right to express their opinions about Donald Trump and his actions, whether in private conversation, standing in the middle of Central Park shouting at the top of their lungs, on Facebook, on Twitter, or in their blogs.
This amendment means that the press has the right -- the obligation -- to report the government's actions, and to report the president's deeds and misdeeds, so long as they are A, honest, and B, not violating national security.
This amendment means that people have the right to gather peacefully to protest and make their opinions known.
This amendment means we have the right and duty to gather signatures on petitions, write or e-mail our congressional representatives, and write, call, or tweet the man in the Oval Office to demand the best possible government for the United States of America.
One Principle Above All Else
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world -- "No, YOU move.”
J. Michael Straczynski
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
Theodore Roosevelt on the Right to Criticize the President
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Superman on the American Way
Truth, Justice, and the American Way
The above illustration is from 1968. As early as the 1940s, Superman fought for tolerance and equality. He fought "the never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way."
What is the American way?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence
The American way is equal rights for all citizens, regardless of age, gender, skin color, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. The American way is the right to speak up and speak out. The American way is hard work and sharing and caring and trying to improve ourselves, our nation, and our world.
Have we always succeeded in achieving the American way? No, all too often we haven't even come close. Langston Hughes wrote a beautiful poem about the American dream and for how many people, especially ethnic minorities, that dream never became a reality. "America never was America for me," he said. It's called "Let America Be America," and it's well worth reading.
O, let America be America again— The land that never has been yet— And yet must be—the land where every man is free.