Patrick Basham’s Epoch Times article asks, “Is Trump a 4-Letter Word
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Patrick Basham's Epoch Times article asks, "Is Trump a 4-Letter Word

Is Trump a 4-Letter Word?

Denormalizing MAGA voters will sow discord

January 21, 2021

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Discrimination against Trump voters is the most troubling post-election trend.
The American elite—Establishment Democrats and “Never Trump” Republicans,
in concert with their allies among the leftist mainstream media, woke social
media companies, and virtue-signaling corporations—is attempting to socially
engineer America’s political environment. Their goal is to make the wider public
intolerant of Donald Trump’s supporters.

A key instrument in this dangerous initiative is “denormalization,” which seeks
to have Trump voters perceived as abnormal, aberrant, even deviant individuals.
In practice, denormalization means that America’s elite will attempt to shame
Trump supporters into disowning their past voting habits, thereby reducing their
willingness to support another populist candidate in the future.

A week before the 2016 presidential election, Charles Homans, the politics editor
of the New York Times Magazine, wrote that, “Republican leaders own the blame
for assembling the constituency and, yes, normalizing the values that made
Trump’s nomination possible, and they will also own the responsibility for
denormalizing Trumpism, for walking the country back from the ledge.”

More recently, other leading American journalists issued pro-denormalization
declarations, each one implying that support for Trump equates to a mental
health affliction. During an appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,”
former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric stated, “The question is, how
are we going to … deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of

On Jan. 7, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein wrote: “The fact is that getting
rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to
be something else.” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson told MSNBC
that “there are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans,
who somehow need to be deprogrammed.”

For this cleansing- and deprogramming-based denormalization campaign to
succeed, Trump voters must be stigmatized. They must be placed apart from the
rest of polite society until and unless they learn to behave (that is, to vote, to
donate, to assemble, to communicate, to read, and to view) in the manner
approved by their self-appointed moral betters. Denormalization pushes Trump
voters from being a political hazard to being a moral hazard, nothing less than
sickening stains upon the nation’s moral landscape.

The denormalization campaign will seek to connect a person’s politics to their
very citizenry. Denormalization campaigners seem to believe that the ideal
American citizen is, literally and figuratively, an anti-Trump citizen.

In this way, the Trump voter will be categorized as a lesser citizen than his or her
virtuous (that is, “progressive” pro-elite) countryman or countrywoman. Hence,
a pro-Trump American will be portrayed as a “failed citizen.”

The goal of denormalization goes beyond making non-Trump voters think of
Trump voters as aberrant. It extends also to convincing Trump voters to see
themselves in this way. For denormalization to “work,” it must convince Trump
voters to see themselves as deeply compromised both in terms of their selfesteem
and their self-respect.

As such, denormalization represents a vast and unacceptable instrument of social
engineering. Its proponents will not hesitate to trumpet this as its great virtue;
apparently, their goal is to effectively reorder the consciousness of individuals
with respect to their political preferences.

Clearly, this is not the provision of information or even reasonable persuasion.
It’s actually social marketing on steroids. It’s designed to manipulate the cultural
environment so that the central aspect of democratic life—individual autonomy,
that is, the right to shape one’s own mind, behavior, and life—is effectively

Rather than allowing individuals the freedom to come to their own conclusions
about politics, denormalization represents the elite’s imposition of its own
values. It’s a crude attempt to create an environment in which individual
decisions have no prospect of realization simply because the elite considers them
to be aberrant choices.

For proponents of individual rights and fundamental civil liberties, the only hope
is that denormalization will hit a numerical wall. The historically accurate
Rasmussen poll found Trump left office with a 51 percent approval rating, while
official election tallies show candidate Trump received the most votes of any
incumbent president in history.

Therefore, the framing of Trump voters as second-class citizens will be of
palpable significance to half of the American electorate. Socially engineering a
lowly social status for the Trump voter will dehumanize at least 75 million people.
As such, this home-grown denormalization effort eerily echoes the political purge
that dominated communist China’s despicable Cultural Revolution from the
mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

Like so many tactics and techniques emanating from the American elite’s anti-
Trump playbook, denormalization is a perverse, counterproductive approach to
national unity and healing.

Patrick Basham is founding director of the Democracy Institute, a Washington and
London-based politically independent research organization.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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