We’ve seen quite a lot of things over the past few years that we never thought we’d see. We have a President of the United States whose understanding of the issues is weaker than that of the drunk guy at the end of the bar. We have a political party willing to destroy itself just to try to prop up that failing President. He paid off a porn star to keep quiet about their affair. His best friend is a career criminal who threatened to murder a witness and kidnap his dog. On and on.
I hear pundits talking a lot about how this is all becoming “normalized.” I don’t buy into it. Donald Trump’s approval rating and poll numbers are disastrous. It shows that people are overwhelmingly rejecting this guy’s antics, and that his behavior in office is definitely not becoming normalized. In fact I’m less concerned about whether any of this is normal than I am with whether any of this is even real.
Yesterday the President of the United States incorrectly announced that a certain Senator was going to magically change a piece of legislation after it had already passed. Then the President had his staff announce that the cartoon show Paw Patrol had been canceled when it hadn’t been canceled. Then the cartoon show Dora the Explorer was used to mock the President’s senility. This was even as the President pretended that a worsening deadly pandemic in the United States is somehow… going well? How can any of this possibly be real?
There’s no master plan here. “Person, woman, man, camera, TV” isn’t a viable slogan for reelection. Every time Trump talks about his cognitive test, he merely reminds voters that he’s facing serious questions about whether he’s going senile. Making false announcements about Senate votes and cartoons isn’t a strategy either. Trump is just flailing. I’m not worried about him having a plan. I’m just worried that I may be hallucinating all of this, because it’s gone past the point where it feels like any of it can be real.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report