Things have changed in our lives in ways we don’t even know. Like, norms have changed.
Kids text their parents from other rooms IN THE SAME HOUSE.
Strangers spend hours sparring with each other on virtual platforms in arguments that create absolutely zero change, save for a deepening animosity – and an even wider divide than the one that existed before their fingers lit up their keyboards.
And those same strangers will probably engage in the same way the following day. Or minute. Even though nothing is ever solved that way.
And our president tweets.
This is big. It’s a massive shift. It’s like world-turning, and it’s terrifying to me for a couple reasons. One, because I’m not tight with Twitter. I’m just not. Nothing personal, especially because it’s impossible to have something personal against a digital, non-human platform. I just don’t dig it. Never really got down with it.
And I wish I could, because I’m thinking it may help with the whole “you should just write, Lisa” thing that keeps coming up in my universe.
The other reason it’s terrifying? Because, it’s becoming normal. The fact that he does it is being normalized in that we hear about it every day – multiple times a day – the press reports on it, constantly, because that’s how he’s announcing his moves. It’s weird, and not new for him, but context behind it just came my way after hearing someone from the press corps speak about behind-the-scenes details.
And as with everything that’s loud, annoying and shocking, it eventually becomes white noise. That’s the scary part. Will more than a majority of our country begin to believe, or have they already, that making announcements about official national business with a tweet is somehow the new normal?
Because, that’s what everyone else does?
I’m tuned in to the political scene as much as my digestive system allows. I’ve had to pull back as a form of self preservation because this guy is just too much. And as an American, I’m not real fond of watching play-by-plays of a dictator-in-denial.
The tweeting thing is just one example of the way things are changing. Environmental standards. Silencing science in favor of industry. Chiseling away at women’s rights. The demonization of the press, except when they offer him “good ratings.” The bullying and gaslighting of anyone courageous enough to stand up to him. The manipulation of those who aren’t.
It’s all too familiar. For me, anyway.
The man didn’t just forget that he said some screwy or erroneous or threatening or uselessly boastful thing last week, on the record, actually recorded or with a tweet. He didn’t forget. He knew he said it, whatever it was.
But his gaslighting game is so good, and has been so effective for so long, he thinks he can keep it going by outright lying and leaving the rest of rational America shaking its head.
Because right now, that’s the best we can do. Shake our heads. Ignore the child. And hope with everything that his behavior is not normalized for the future of our country and how we work as a union.
Without knowing it, the American public is getting a psychology lesson I don’t think it ever asked for.
Those who voted for him, I can guess, did so because they believed his grossly-overused fear-mongering tactics, and grabbed hold of his “government is broken” message only to watch now as he cripples it and our reputation in the world in ways he will never comprehend.
Because he’s not capable of self-reflection or honestly accepting blame. Don’t believe me? Read his tweets.