Business, economics, and other fields are using the term “New Normal” to describe the years after the financial crisis of 2007-2012. But the term has come to mean much more in a broader sense: things will never be the same again, something previously abnormal has become commonplace, dealing with current situations rather than longing for what has been.
As a Southerner, I have some thoughts on this based on my upbringing. I was taught that being nice is critical. It’s a matter of civility. If one must say something difficult to hear, there is a tactful way to do it. I saw it practiced by the adults around me. My mother called it “Grace with dignity.”
I am sorry to say that it appears that the New Normal is not only not nice, but also there is often no civility, and certainly very little grace with dignity. Instead of dealing effectively with current situations, we have often witnessed people in places of influence being “not so nice.”
Here are some examples:
- The latest strategy to controlling illegal immigration is to separate parents from their children. When asked about the trauma to children, Chief of Staff John Kelly responded that the children will be taken care of and put in foster care “or whatever.” Yet the First Lady’s platform seems to be “Taking care of our children.”
- War Hero John McCain, dying of a brain tumor, has been slandered with negative statements from President Trump and staffer Kelly Sanders.
- At a Trump rally last week in Indiana, supporters chanted, “Lock her up,” even though Hillary Clinton has been cleared and is now a private citizen.
- The President has referred to some countries as “Shithole countries” indicating we do not want their immigrants.
I could go on but I will not. The amazing insensitivity and lack of civility are disturbing. These comments and actions are antithetical to the way I was brought up. I guess I haven’t made peace with the New Normal yet.