MAKING THE ABNORMAL LOOK NORMAL
Trump is nothing if not cagey.
When he fights, he does it with a pugilist’s knowledge of what he can get away with, how far he can go with no consequences.
This was evident years ago when, as a builder of massive hotels, he hired construction crews who were never paid what they were owed. When the bills came due, Trump “shook down” the contractors, offering them some lesser fraction of what he owed, knowing most of them couldn’t afford to sue him. And he was right. A protracted and expensive undertaking in court would ultimately cost the contractors more than they’d get by simply accepting Trump’s offer of a sharply reduced final payment.
Lots of people knew what he’d been doing—but apparently he never suffered any reprisals.
He’s conducted his whole life that way.
We Democrats imagined we had him when he was caught secretly asking Ukraine for a favor—that they, as a foreign government, assist him by “digging up dirt” on his political rival, Joe Biden. It took an unrevealed whistle-blower to catch him. His moves all appeared underhanded, covert, and at last worthy of a long-overdue impeachment. He broke laws established as presidential limits way back . . . well, centuries ago.
And then Trump did the wholly unexpected. In full view of reporters with cameras, he asked China to investigate the sins of the Bidens.
Some of us caught on immediately. O.M.G. By repeating his formerly sneaky act in full view of everyone, he’s making it appear normal. No big deal. With that he also revised his motivation . . . “I’m just going after corruption everywhere. As a president, I can do that. I don’t care about the politics.” Another of his several thousand lies.
All but a few Republicans were ecstatic; they bought Trump’s surprising and clever public re-enactment of a sin. For most he made the “sinfulness” all but go away. I hear Republicans on numerous TV shows depicting his latest crimes as not “worthy” of impeachment. I’m beginning to think Trump’s wildest declaration might have a grain of truth: “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.”
Still, I’m convinced of my own private truth: most intelligent Republicans find our president personally repugnant; they stick with him only because he’s managed to give them what they want--tax-reduced incomes, right-wing judges, and less government.
Sadly, the opposing party doesn’t see what the rest of us see—that massive immorality at the top will ultimately filter down and doom the country that allows it. It happened in Germany, and in certain ways, like political denigration of the press, it’s already happening here.