The Old Normal


Several conservative commentators have taken the position that Donald Trump’s tweets about The Squad last weekend were a PR blunder. One pundit described it as an “own goal.” I disagree. While I might not have phrased those tweets exactly as the President did, I believe that his main point—Why don’t you go straighten out one of those troubled foreign countries you admire (eg., Somalia, “Palestine”) to provide a worked example of how you think we should change America?—is a valid put-up-or-shut-up challenge to those congressional novices.

I also think that he’s been smart in refusing to back down, and there’s a post over at Bookworm Room that provides a partial explanation of my view. Over the past decade, the Left has successfully narrowed the range of “respectable” public opinion (called the Overton Window). Trump is forcing the allowable range of our public conversation back to realm of opinions held by most sentient adult Americans, including many, if not most, Leftists.

Think of ideas that were normal just a decade ago: using pronouns consistent with biological sex, worrying about Muslim-inspired terrorism, admiring the Founding Fathers, believing that a traditional male-female marriage is optimal for raising children, mentioning the Judeo-Christian God in public, questioning anthropogenic climate change, or being anything but mindlessly positive about a member of a “Progressive protected victim class.” Nowadays, thanks to relentless media, entertainment, political, and educational pressure, voicing those ideas creates the risk that the speaker will be shouted down, humiliated, fired, or even physically attacked.

Read the whole thing.

Donald Trump is sometimes inarticulate or coarse. But just as the economy has improved by the changes the President has championed to the New Normal economy, our public discourse will likely benefit in the long run as we allow the values that made America great to compete with the New Normal in the marketplace of ideas.