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U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he meets with President-elect Donald Trump (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2016. They talked for 90 minutes on a range of issues as the transition of power begins. ( Photo: Pat Benic/UPI)

The Normalizer-in-Chief

Thomas S. Harrington

Got an unsavory past? Does a great moral stench attend to you as you go about your daily business? Tired of having people see the things you do as grotesque vulgar and savage?

No problem. Call the Normalizer, Barack Hussein Obama.

He's cool, or so they say, he's relatively articulate and best of all he's got a skin color that suggests to people that he is naturally disposed to taking the side of the downtrodden and morally righteous.

And therein lies his secret power.

He long ago figured out that most liberals today are long on the celebration of semiotic perceptions and short  on the empirical analysis of political actions.

Secure in this knowledge, he set up a lucrative racket, starting way back in his days at Harvard Law, of posing as a saint of progressives while shamelessly doing the bidding of society's most regressive forces.

He was at his normalizing best this week after his meeting with Donald Trump. While immigrant families and young people of color—the people it is casually and automatically assumed are the apple of his moral eye—are quaking in their boots across the country, with some spontaneously breaking into fearful sobbing in classes taught by yours truly, there he was providing a much-needed moral whitewash for the Donald.

On a day when Trump was appointing the white supremacist Steve Bannon as one of his two top aides, there was the Normalizer giving the president–elect the establishment seal of approval, going so far as to bestow on him what is arguably the most coveted descriptor in American politics: that of being "pragmatic."

And the very real fears of the constituency that, incredibly, still idolizes him after eight years of constant, in-your-face betrayals?  Well, all that  can wait for another day, another day, way, way far in the future.

The Normalizer knows the key right now is to make sure there be no disruptions in Empire Inc., that he provide no openings for those that might question the essential decency and good-heartedness of his paymasters in the U.S. Deep State.

Mission accomplished.

Is there a shadow of moral opprobrium pursuing you?

If so, call the Normalizer. Make your appointment now before his fees go up astronomically on Saturday, January 21st, 2017.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Thomas S. Harrington

Thomas S. Harrington

Thomas S. Harrington is professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of Public Intellectuals and Nation Building in the Iberian Peninsula, 1900–1925: The Alchemy of Identity (Bucknell University Press, 2014).

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