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How Do We Contend With Trump's Defiance of 'Norms'? byEmily Bazelon

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 8/13/17

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"If there was anything a teenager in America could count on, , it was that she could stand up and ask a question at a political event without fear that a future president would try to grind her into chum. 18 yr old Lauren Batchelder questioned whether Trump was a ‘‘friend to women’’ -- asking about equal pay & female autonomy. On Twitter, Trump called Batchelder ‘‘arrogant’’ and her manner ‘‘nasty,’’ pointing a torrent of supporters’ violent threats her way. Until that moment, it went without saying that a presidential candidate would not use his platform to vilify an ordinary young woman — a wildly disproportionate unleashing of power against a person with little of her own. But assumptions like these are more traditions than formal rules — boundaries made of sand. They’re norms, imprecise and ambient that  exist only as long as there’s a consensus, even unspoken, to preserve them."

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At www.nytimes.com

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3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Susan Lee Schwartz

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"Norms are entirely up to us -- they exist only as long as there's a consensus, even unspoken, to preserve them. Such consensus is probably as important as law to the functioning of a democracy. But it's also fragile. We say that laws are ''broken'' -- a definitive act of rupture. Norms merely erode, slowly, amid argument and equivocation about the significance of a breach, until they've been destroyed."

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 5:16:35 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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"When Trump defies norms, his most ardent supporters exult in the transgression. Republicans stand on the sidelines, occasionally flapping their hands. Rarely do many of them -- including the legislators with the most power to pressure a sitting president -- seem inclined to take the risk of trying to rein him in"

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 5:17:04 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and this, also froths important essay is a big reality: " The conservative and far-right media are eroding the norms of the fourth estate to aid Trump in eroding the norms of the presidency. Outside the government, Trump can call on a force with greater social influence: the ''sycophantic media,'' as Bob Inglis, a So. Carolina Republican writes: that outlets like Fox and Breitbart have made it far harder for Republicans to take on Trump by ''defying the journalistic calling to test and to probe the government's claims.''

" Perhaps it makes sense to give the institutions surrounding Trump extra leeway to assert themselves. The ''checks and balances'' of our system of government are themselves a kind of norm, with boundaries not fully enumerated in the Constitution "...

..."The question is what happens after each of these norms has been attacked. Imagine that Trump leaves office with the norms of the presidency damaged but not irreparably so. The next occupant of the office doesn't berate 18-year-olds or female TV hosts. He or she respects the separation of powers, sticks to the facts, owns no hotels where foreign dignitaries go to curry favor. Will we quietly move on to a giant erosion-repair project, or do we have to reckon with how this damage was allowed to happen in the first place? At the moment, even the question itself seems like an act of collective faith that our norms of government -- including the most precious ones -- will hold at all."

YEAH!

Submitted on Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 5:22:43 PM

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gunnar kullenberg

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"...Will we quietly move on to a giant erosion-repair project, or do we have to reckon with how this damage was allowed to happen in the first place? At the moment, even the question itself seems like an act of collective faith that our norms of government -- including the most precious ones -- will hold at all...."

...is there a compelling reason they should...?

...this NYT piece is a perfect example of Plato's Cave allegory..."meta-cultural obfuscation" at its finest...a waste of time...

Submitted on Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 5:12:03 PM

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Janet Supriano

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We gave away our 'norms'; simply allowed them to dissolve during the Bush/Cheney takeover. The people in this country, disoriented within an fog of irrational fear, let go of personal privacy, habeas corpus, international law, disgust of torture, respect for the other, refusal of the 'dark side,' decent law enforcement, social safety nets, hard-earned money, labor unions, honest elections, etc....the list is a long one.

Yes, it started before G.W., but his time was pivotal. Then, for fear of appearing racist or whatever, we let the personable Obama steal ever more rights, property/money, dignity and morality. How cool are drones?!

Norms? Trump doesn't have any norms to live up to. They're gone.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 14, 2017 at 6:43:42 PM

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