Oakton Outlook

Stop being surprised when Trump says something terrible

Jake Neuffer, Editor

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On Thursday, January 11, Donald Trump said in a meeting behind closed doors that he was fed up with people coming to the US from “sh*thole countries.” This was said in reference to a proposal that would have given more visa lottery slots to people from Haiti and Africa.

Cue shock from audiences all over the world. News pundits and social media warriors everywhere jumped at the opportunity to condemn this horrible insult to American allies and people in need. And then the Donald decided to dial it up to 11 and try something completely new; he denied it.








Cue media pundits heads exploding for the second time in 24 hours.

This is nothing new. Ever since Donald Trump crawled out of his swamp like the mud monster he is sometime in early 2015, critics of him have been vocal and plenty, and that made perfect sense. When Trump’s “grab em by the p****” scandal broke in 2016, Americans were genuinely shocked. They were shocked because a presidential candidate had just said something exceedingly “rapey” and many were disturbed by the implications this had on society that this was what these men said behind closed doors, especially his goblins came out of the woodwork to defend him. But the main reason that this initial shock was so genuine was because none of us had yet grasped this new horrible reality we were all living in. The idea that a politician, however new to the game he was, could say something like that and get away with it was terrifying. The effect it might have on the future of politics prompted our imaginations to run wild.

But now that the foreshadowing is over and the nightmare has really begun, we can’t keep pretending to be surprised when Trump says something grotesque. The man may not be reliable, but he is reliably horrible. Remember the inauguration scandal, where then press secretary Sean Spicer lied about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd? Remember how it broke just one day after the president ascended to office? Or even today, where news about the investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia seam to be coming out every other day?

It is a sad, sad truth that we’re used to this by now. In 2012, the media would have torn into the Obama administration had anything close to the Russia stories touched his administration. Today, it’s become hard to stoke such genuine outrage in the American people. 

Which is why people need to stop feigning surprise when Trump does something terrible. When you say “Last time this happened was one thing okay whatever, but this is different” every time something happens, it loses it’s meaning. It’s been well established by now that the president can’t be left alone with his phone for more than five minutes, so let’s stop acting like this is unprecedented. His entire presidency is unprecedented. To act like this hasn’t happened before tons of times and won’t happen again tons of times is naive at best, disingenuous at worst.


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Stop being surprised when Trump says something terrible