Dictionary.com defines “normalcy” as: the quality or condition of being normal, as the general economic, political, and social conditions of a nation; normality.
While overly broad, it’s easy to believe that most citizens of this nation would accept this definition as accurate. Amazingly, the example given for word usage was: After months of living in a state of tension, all yearned for a return to normalcy.
Not so amazingly, I accept that our loss of normalcy shapes the state of our current national distress. What’s worse – under #45 – there is little hope of relief from the state of flux we now endure. Confusion and uncertainty occupy more space in my future concerns than at any other time in my life. What is certain is that I yearn for a time, as those just a few short years ago, where things weren’t perfect, but where we weren’t subject to the unlawful, perverse whims of a would-be tyrant and those who would support him blindly.
The majority of voters knew better. We voted, and not for him. We knew him to be racist, misogynistic, and lacking in values and character. He was self-described, and described by those closest to him, as a disruptor whose primary goal was to destroy the institutional fabric of the nation. Although not completely successful, in three years we have seen him take giant steps toward his singular rule as we hope, pray and act to prevent his stated goals.
Rather than working for the benefit of the entire nation, he first, with the support of a Senate and House of Representatives corrupted by the goal of perpetual power, began to pass laws which had no effect other than to enrich the wealthy. When his laws and Executive Orders didn’t directly enrich the already rich, they were motivated by a racist and infantile effort to erase the legacy of President Obama.
Many have grown so weary of the on-going litany of breaches of presidential protocols, practices and traditions that they have given up their protests of his conduct for the safer tact of “praying for divine relief.” Many more, I believe, have failed to correctly anticipate how the pieces of his strategic jigsaw puzzle fit together.
Our government of three co-equal branches has been coopted by an Executive Branch which has manipulated the judiciary with the lifetime appointments of scores of unqualified judges and enlisted the assistance of a cooperative Senate to maintain the gridlock of legislative inaction. Within the Executive Branch, he has established a revolving door of cabinet and staff that make his judgments and whims the only constants in administration policy.
Most alarmingly, his recent forays into the judicial process – military and civilian – are disturbing to the core. His act of reversing the judgment of a military court released a war criminal with the additional effect of eroding confidence in the military chain-of-command and the standards of conduct service members are bound to uphold.
The recent pardons/commutation of sentences for 11 federally convicted criminals are within his constitutional authority, but were they purposed to uphold justice? To the contrary, I believe they were issued with the desire to condition the public to accept any action he might choose to take. His actions are those of a monarch, not a president. But he’s already told us of his intention to remain in office – like a king.
It’s not normal to be able to “boil a frog.” The key to boiling the frog is to turn the heat up gradually so it won’t notice.
Even when our “normal” is disrupted by perverse mismanagement, we have the capacity to access and reject the disruption. We have the capacity and the responsibility.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President of the National Congress of Black Women. She’s also host of “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW-FM 89.3 radio.