The Updated New Normal

The news of the past week included an allegation of rape. E. Jean Carroll claims the current president raped her in the mid 90’s. The headline of an online The Hill interview says it all — EXCLUSIVE: Trump vehemently denies E. Jean Carroll allegation, says ‘she’s not my type’ (Jordan Fabian and Saagar Enjeti, 6-24-19). In a Washington Post op ed (Republicans believed Juanita Broaddrick. The new rape allegation against Trump is more credible. 6-22-19) George Conway (yes, THAT George Conway) crafts an essay examining why the rape claims of Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton differed or were similar to that of E. Jean Carroll. He also looks at how the current president used the victim’s testimony to distract from the “Access Hollywood” tape revelations and the present use. Did Analysis mention the words “victim” and “used’? Missing in all this is the underlying, near universal (in terms of civilized world) definition of rape as an act of violence, with a perpetrator and victim. A few days earlier (6-20-19) cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer headlined Gov. Mike DeWine: End statute of limitations for rape in wake of Ohio State sex abuse report. “DeWine acknowledged that state lawmakers have been reluctant in recent years to extend the statute of limitations for sex crimes. But he said the statute of limitations should be different for sex crimes because victims often don’t — or can’t — come forward until long afterward. “I would just ask members of the General Assembly, what would you tell your constituents today – or what would you tell your constituents tomorrow – if we come upon another tragedy like this where we have a monster who has been doing things like this and he’s alive, but…we can’t prosecute?” DeWine asked.” Analysis finds that with the POTUS it is not so much the statute of limitations as it is that his justice department will not indict a sitting president. In his defense, the president says “She’s not my type.” He’s said that before when questioned about the other women who’ve made claims of his sexual violence. Analysis finds all this troubling. Rape is troubling enough. But equally, if not more troubling, is the use of such violence as cannon fodder in the political struggle for governance of our democracy, akin to rape as a weapon of war. The most troubling is the sense of normalcy that now accompanies such a response to acts of violence. One critical thinker said we are at the point where diners in a restaurant enjoying an evening out will be completely nonplused by an ICE raid storming in and rounding up the kitchen staff that had just prepared their meal. “Not to bother. Just the authorities doing their job and carting off that type.” Analysis can’t help but wonder what type the president has been violent with?

“Stanley ends the short flick with the acknowledgement that “When Fascism starts to feel normal, we’re all in trouble.”” (This blog, The New Normal, 10-16-18 (video: If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the U.S., You Should Be. By Jason Stanley, 10-15-18, NY Times,))

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