Internalizing the new normal

Internalizing the new normal

Here we are facing the winter of our discontent in that ten week period between Election Day and Inauguration Day when the outgoing Presidential administration is wrapping up business and the incoming one is preparing for a successful run.  Things have, with a few exceptions, cooled down.  We Democrats are still licking our wounds and trying to determine the best way through our pending sojourn in the cold political wilderness.  As we watch President-elect Donald Trump’s America take shape, winter has descended upon much of the nation including the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66 touching all with an icy grip as real as it is symbolic.

Information continues to emerge from multiple sources that a foreign entity hacked the DNC email server and compromised Clinton campaign data but solid evidence has yet to reach critical mass to warrant enough concern to alter the course of the final Electoral College vote tally.  As someone who served in the Navy during the height of the Cold War and was deeply steeped in Reagan-era Superpower indoctrination, I find it amusing that so many heretofore anti-Soviet/anti-Russian conservatives are being conspicuously quiet regarding and categorically dismissive of the notion that Vladimir Putin may have had a significant hand in tipping the election in Trump’s favor.  Assuming that all the intelligence analyses are accurate, I take this to mean that their position is that the end justifies the means.  That is good to know going forward given the House Benghazi Committee was shut down this past week after filing a final report.  I wonder if we can count on the due diligence of the incoming Congress to extend the same level of scrutiny to the hacking reports as they did to Benghazi embassy attack?  At the end of the day the DNC offices are located inside the Beltway and not in Libya.  As has been revealed in the past six weeks since claiming victory, anything Candidate Trump said or promised during the course of the campaign is negotiable.  Still, I wonder what he really meant by “draining the swamp.”  It seems that the President-elect is indeed draining the swamp….right into his cabinet.  I certainly hope all who saw fit to elect this man are going to be satisfied with the results of their pick.  I wonder how long it will take them to figure out that Mr. Trump has an agenda and most of the folks who helped elect him are not on it.

During this transition phase it has taken me some doing to get used to President-elect Trump’s addiction to social media.  He will be the first U.S. President of the social media age.  President Obama was also adept at social media, which was still in its beginnings when he was elected, but did not show signs of addiction to it the way Mr. Trump has.  After all Trump is largely the product of the media and, as he has demonstrated over the past year and a half, he is a master manipulator of it.  Social media and heavy reliance on it is indeed a key plank in the new normal.

Locally, the new normal is not a lot different than the old normal.  It will however be ramped up a bit.  We here along the reddest stretch of the Mother Road are accustomed to having the anti-science lobby and corporate interests dictating policy.  When Oklahoma’s main industrial revenue source, Big Oil, looked headed for hard times, Governor Fallin just ordered Oil Field Prayer Day.  If your home becomes collateral damage from one of our Oklahoma Freedom Tremors then just buy earthquake insurance, if you can find an insurer.  If your Blue Cross & Blue Shield premium doubles then just pay it.  If your public school is failing to educate your kids, just withdraw them and enroll them in a charter school and be happy with the results.  We get the government we elect.  If you find the results of all their legislative and executive efforts are wholly unacceptable then that is your problem.  This is what we need to remind all of our conservative friends and family members about over the Holidays.  Here in Oklahoma all my GOP/Trump supporting family and associates have absolutely no reason to be dissatisfied with the election results as they got everything they wanted.  Okay, maybe the Oklahoma State fans are still disgruntled over getting whacked in Bedlam but in terms of politics, with few exceptions, they got everything they voted for.  My advice to them is take delight in a sound victory and try to be less of an asshole.  I know that is asking way too much for many of them but we can always hope.

It has been a very tall order for Yours Truly to squelch that still small voice emanating deep from within the furthest recesses of my inner soul that keeps telling me the American experiment is at an end.  The people have spoken via the Electoral College and the system remains in place, obstructionism and outside tampering notwithstanding.  For better or worse, the people have chosen government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.  Where will we be in four years?  We can only hope that we won’t be back committed to multiple overseas military operations, wiped out by mismanaged responses to natural disasters or digging out of yet another market crash.  If history is our guide then what we have to look forward to is not promising.  As we Dems set off into that frozen wilderness of electoral anonymity, let us not forget our unifying vision for America.  We may have been rejected at the ballot box but that does not mean we are not needed.


  1. Lameur
    Jan 6, 2017

    Wake me up in 2020…

  2. Route66Kid
    Dec 19, 2016

    Carl A,

    I take it you did not see this piece I posted after the RNC in Cleveland this past July.

  3. Denise Carpenter
    Dec 19, 2016

    The new government is shaping up to be an unprecedented opportunity for profiteering as every department is led by someone who has spent a career working to undermine or dismantle it. The GOPers I talk to point out that the stock market is on the upswing. Of course it is – all those pesky regulations that protect the air, water and people look like they could be swept away, leaving a clear path to exploitation. Education, criminal justice, public lands, all ripe for the enrichment of a few. The smash-and-grab for the military/industrial complex that was the Bush presidency could pale in comparison. I only hope that, like Glenn Beck, more conservatives have a “road to Damascus” moment and can admit it if they realize they made a YUGE mistake.

  4. Carl A.
    Dec 19, 2016

    Time to dig out that old copy of ‘1984’ and dust off the pre-Big Brother history of how the three major world powers – Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia – came to be in continual conflict, always 2 against one, and continually shifting alliances back & forth in order to maintain a state of perpetual ‘War’ (is Peace).

    Looks like we’re going to be friendly with Eurasia again, and Eastasia is about to get whacked next…