Good Point

Marcie “Emptywheel” Wheeler gives us a bright side to the Trump administration:

I have a confession.

There’s something I like about the Trump Administration.

It’s the way that his unpopularity taints long-standing policies or practices or beliefs, making people aware of and opposed to them in a way they weren’t when the same policies or beliefs were widely held under George Bush or Barack Obama. Many, though not all, of these policies or beliefs were embraced unquestioningly by centrists or even avowed leftists.

I’ve been keeping a running list in my mind, which I’ll begin to lay out here (I guess I’ll update it as I remember more).

  • Expansive surveillance
  • The presumption of regularity, by which courts and the public assume the Executive Branch operates in good faith and from evidence
  • Denigration of immigrants
  • Denigration of Muslims
  • Denigration health insurance

As an example, Obama deported a huge number of people. But now that Trump has expanded that same practice, it has been made visible and delegitimized.

In short, Trump has made things that should always have been criticized are now being far more widely so.

It’s true.  Obama’s war on whistle-blowers is unprecedented, he was the deportation president, he terrorized half a dozen with drone strikes, and he expanded surveillance beyond Dick Cheney’s wildest dreams.

The so-called left never had an objection to what Obama was doing, but now, even the far right is wondering about things like the surveillance state.

Obama normalized a lot of bad things, and now Trump is abnormalizing those same excesses.

It’s kind of like watching your mother-in-law going over a cliff in your brand new car.

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