Normal Is A Pretty Crappy Idea

I don’t watch TV news. Not the talking heads channels, or the seemingly endless blocks of “infotainment” in the morning, or the nightly half hour from the major broadcast networks, and especially not local news.

Not because they produce “fake” news.1 Much of what they present is useless. A continuous stream of opinion and speculation, with little bits of information that get in there almost accidentally. It’s largely a waste of time.

Once in a while, however, I get stuck in a space where the television is running and some exposure to this stuff is unavoidable.

This week was one of those times. While trying to read in an auto repair waiting room, the TV was on a little too loud and I overheard a supporter of one of the many Democratic candidates2 say that his person, as president, would “work hard to return the country to normal”.


That idea got stuck in my head. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how completely wrong that goal really is. We don’t need the country to “return to normal”.

Normal is how we got into the current mess in the first place.

Normal is ignoring or tolerating discrimination. The idea that determining the basic status of people should be a matter of “states rights”.

Normal is allowing state and local governments to actively deny voting rights to large groups of people, as a means for the status quo to hang onto power.

Normal is supporting a system that allows rich corporations and individuals to get richer at the expense of everyone else, and dictate the necessary policies to continue that process.

Normal is talking a lot about climate change but ultimately doing nothing meaningful to address the problem. Again, as a means to maintain the status quo and make rich people richer.

Normal is… well, I think you get the idea.

Forget getting back to “normal. I want candidates whose goal for the country, and our people, is to be better than normal.

About the best kind of normal I can think of would be the public library of Normal, Illinois. I’ve actually passed through there at one point in my life. The town, not the library.

1. Excluding Fox “news”, which is a very real propaganda channel, even during the so-called “hard news” programs.

2. I wasn’t paying attention to the introductions so I don’t know which candidate, other than the spokes guy referred to “him”. So it’s one of the men running. I know… not very helpful.

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