I have a very good friend who is also a very liberal Democrat. As you can imagine, nothing Donald Trump does is acceptable to him and he spend much of his day looking for articles that denigrate the President. He is typical of many on the left today who are still struggling to accept that they lost an election that they never considered they would lose. In their minds Hillary Clinton should be the President and the U.S. Senate should have Chuck Schumer as the Majority Leader. Then the world would be normal.
Anytime I say anything in defense of President Trump this friend tells me I am trying to “normalize” Trump. I keep trying to understand what he means with this term. I counter by saying he is trying to “demonize” Trump but that still does not fully define what he is saying. Then it finally hit me.
What this friend, and millions of other Democrats want is a career politician because that is the normal procedure for them. The last President we had that had any semblance of a business background was Jimmy Carter from 1976-80. But even Carter had a career in politics and had been the Governor of Georgia. Ronald Reagan, an actor, had also been the Governor of California and his successors in the White House, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama were all politicians. They did things that career politicians do and the political denizens of the country considered them all normal.
But lets look at what these “normal” politicians have created. We have a national debt that has skyrocketed to almost $20 Trillion. We have an economy that is languishing. We have a tax code that has not been reformed for over 30 years and has become outdated and cumbersome. We have a foreign policy that seems to lack any coherent goals and a military that has become weaker by the year. Our health care policy was passed in a strictly partisan vote and is now collapsing as premiums rise and deductible go through the roof. Insurance companies that once thought ObamaCare to be something they could work with are now fleeing the program.
In Congress we have two parties that cannot agree on anything and the result is the nations is bitterly divided politically and nothing can get done in Congress. Even within the two parties there are sharp divisions that prevent even them from moving any particular agenda.
So we have a new Presidential election and the two parties put us a slate of career politicians. The Democrats have Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State on one side and her opponent is the angry old man from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who has spent over 30 years in elected office. For the Republicans the list was long and included Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry and many others. All of them had long careers in government. Then you had the outsider, Donald Trump, who everyone scoffed at and figured he was just in this to build his name identification for his business and entertainment projects.
I remember being at a dinner with a liberal Democrat member of the House Ways and Means Committee early in the process. He asked me what I thought about Trump and I laughed and said that he was not a serious candidate and would not make it through the early primaries. He told me that he was not so sure that was the case. He said that “Augie and Boris at the diner” like him. He was speaking metaphorically about the blue-collar workers in his district.
We now know that Donald Trump did not fall by the wayside in the early primaries. He built up a following and touched a nerve among millions of Americans that felt the career politicians had left them behind. In the rust belt and throughout middle America his message of putting America first was beginning to resonate. People were not openly saying to everyone that they supported Trump but when they looked in the mirror they saw someone that agreed with his message and someone that could cast a vote for Trump for President. This is why the polls never got it right.
Trump was not your normal politician. He did not use political-speak and did not couch his words trying to avoid saying anything that would offend anyone. He said what he thought and no matter how crude or inarticulate the public heard it and millions cheered him on. On election night as the returns came in there was a palpable change happening. Liberal Democrats were sitting by their televisions in shock and many of them were weeping. Republicans were sitting by their televisions equally shocked but with their mouths open in amazement. Could this brash real estate developer from New York actually become the President? By the late night we knew it was true, Donald J. Trump was the 45th President of the United States.
So I go back to my opening thought. My friend keeps saying I am trying to “normalize” Trump. What he is not seeing is that the American public did not want the normal politician. Trump is anything but the normal politician. There are times when I cringe listening to him talk. He says things that I have to wonder where he got that thought or if he really thinks that if he says it then it must be true. But when you are able to tune out his verbal gaffes and just look at the policy you find that he is in fact still resonating with the American public. He promised to do a lot of things and he is actually attempting to fulfill his campaign promises, something normal politicians rarely do.
To my friends on the left who keep saying he is not normal they are correct. But he seems to be what the American public was looking for, a leader that is not a normal career politician. I don’t know how the next four years will play out but I have concluded that Donald Trump will be Donald Trump and he is not about to change. He will be brash and he will make outlandish statements but he will be his own man. You may not like it but in truth the new normal is Donald Trump. The career politicians are the ones the left is trying to “normalize”. They lost touch with the people and if you are going to be normal you have to connect with the normal people. Donald Trump did and Hillary Clinton did not.