Chaos is Normal

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“Donald Trump is right. Build the wall. Deport criminals. Stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants”

No, those words did not come out of of the mouth of Fox News shock jock Sean Hannity or Twitter conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. Rather, they came directly from a new Trump campaign video aimed to disparage Democrats in the wake of the government shutdown:

It’s not difficult to recognize that this video was riddled with bigoted innuendo. It made extensive use of the classic Trumpian canard of conflating undocumented immigrants with increasing domestic crime. But this sort of bigotry is nothing new; it has been an integral part of Donald Trump’s agenda ever since he announced his candidacy. What this video truly hints at is the veritable lunacy inside of the White House.

Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury gave a disturbing (albeit humorous) snapshot of the Trump White House. With the president’s falling out with former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the White House doctor’s remark about Donald Trump’s “incredibly good genes”, and Trump’s doubling down on the border wall after Chief of Staff John Kelly assured that the president’s view on the wall “evolved”, this administration resembles a Saturday Night Live adaptation of Orwell’s 1984 more than anything else. This new video is just another testament to the incompetence of the president.

How can the president, who boasted about his prowess in negotiation and promised to foster cooperation in Congress, possibly blame Democrats for the shutdown when he is releasing videos like this one? Compromise is not achieved by being inflammatory, nor is it achieved by bullying the opposition. Nonetheless, Donald Trump does not seem to understand that the Democrats’ adamance about DACA is a direct result of his own racist rhetoric. As he has been doubling down on his rhetoric, the president seems to think that the onus of compromise is on everyone else. It fits right into the narrative of a Trump—as an immature child who whines when he doesn’t get what he wants—that Michael Wolff recounted.

Ever since Trump took office, shooting from the hip, as the president seems to have just done, has landed him in nothing but trouble. It complicated his battles with the courts over the travel ban, triggered the public to question his mental stability, and now, it seems that this video will only prolong the shutdown. The Democrats will not budge (nor should they) until Donald Trump softens his rhetoric on DACA or the wall. That the president still has not recognized this is ironclad proof that the president is exactly what Rex Tillerson said he was: a moron.

The decision to release this video was likely not a unilateral one made by the president, so its purpose was probably twofold: For Donald Trump, this video, coupled with his tweets, affords him an outlet for catharsis. For the White House, this video will galvanize the ever-waning base against Democrats. It’s funny that this is the same president who blamed Barack Obama for the 2013 shutdown and has dubbed himself “like, a smart person”.

Lunacy is becoming normalcy in the Trump White House, but that does not mean we shouldn’t still get outraged when something despicable happens. If we allow ourselves to become desensitized, we will impair our ability to resist. Laugh at the madness, but never forget to remain vigilant. A functioning democracy requires that the people are on perpetual high-alert.

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About the author

Matt Walsh is a VI Form day student from Southborough, Massachusetts. He leads Openly Secular, plays trumpet and French horn, and leads the young Democrats club. His academic interests include public policy, political science, and chemistry, and he plays baseball and runs cross country. In his free time, he curates Spotify playlists and pets his dog, Portia. Matt hopes that The Parkman Post can be a hub for intellectual thought, ideological diversity and meaningful debate.

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