Saturday, July 30, 2016

Is normal enough?

Andrew O'Hehir's Salon piece bears the unwieldy titie, "Clinton's DNC was a big win for normal people and normal politics — but in a country gone insane, that might be a problem". Yet that title expresses a valid concern, one that I share.

O'Hehir observes that there was a lot to cheer for in the convention, but:

There were also pathological outbreaks of jingoism and flag-waving, promises of endless war against faceless enemies, and a consistent rhetoric of American exceptionalism that would have seemed too extreme for almost any Republican convention of the pre-Reagan years. I understand the strategy, pretty much, and I understand the goal. But Jesus H. Christ. Did we have to go all the way to that screaming general out of “Dr. Strangelove”?
The takeaway:
I feel absolutely no doubt that the same insanity virus that destroyed the Republican Party from within has infected the Democrats, and the normals are completely unaware of it.
I don't doubt O'Hehir's right. Paranoia is contagious, and right-wing paranoia has had a couple of decades of pretty effective messaging to infect all of us. That it doesn't take quite the same form among Democrats that it does among Republicans is no comfort: paranoia is still an unhealthy condition.

Will it take a truly out-of-the-box thinker, rather than a flawed "normal", to take the country in a more effective, more positive direction? Perhaps. But for November, we have only one of those two, the flawed normal that is Hillary Clinton. Trump is many things, but a thinker is not one of them. So in November, normal, however flawed it is, will be enough.

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