On a few occasions – most recently, on last Sunday’s edition of his program – John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight has encouraged his liberal viewers to tape a Post-It note to their refrigerators to remind themselves, “This is Not Normal.” With “This” in Oliver’s case being the presidency of Donald Trump.
But as horrific as Trump’s presidency undoubtedly is to the snowflakes who turn in to watch Oliver, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, and the rest of the comedy brigade that simultaneously profits from Trump while warning that we’re standing at the edge of global collapse…as horrific as it is to have a president so shameless in his defense of American principles…as horrific and “abnormal” as it is to have a president who isn’t afraid to go outside the decades of stagnant thought that has crippled our security and economic growth – perhaps there are actually worse things going on in the world.
As we were reminded, once again, on Monday night.
Thousands of Britons, many of them teens and pre-teens, went to see Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena that night. 22 of them never came back home. Another 60+ will live with the scars of that evening for the rest of their lives. And no one who attended the concert or had family members who went will ever forget the terror they endured. All this because of one radical jihadist who had nothing better to do with his life than to end it while taking others with him. “Evil losers,” Trump called them. It ain’t poetry, but it really says it all.
Now, maybe we should indeed have a reminder that This Is Not Normal. Because from a frequency standpoint, that’s exactly what it’s becoming. Normal. Ho-hum. Another one. Oh, it’s just awful. Well, what else is going on?
We like to talk about the “terrorists winning” when they strike fear in the hearts of those they attack, but they can also “win” when we decide there’s really nothing we can do about it. When we simply give up. When we’re so paralyzed by the fear – not of terrorists but of offending Muslims – that we offer no response to tragedy. When we simply accept these attacks as a part of reality.
Because that’s when the terrorists kick it up a notch and unleash the kind of havoc we have NO CHOICE but to wake up and pay attention to.
Orlando, Boston, San Bernardino, the World Trade Center, etc. On and on, the list goes. And no, This Is Not Normal.
And we can’t afford to let it become so.