I feel like am barely treading water about the Trump Presidency. It creates such a huge number of scary possibilities that I don't know how to form a good plan about what to do about it. I normally like to tackle the big picture and then fill in details, but I can't do that. However there are a few details I'm sure about. This is one.
We can't play into the dynamic of normalizing Trump. That just activates the tribal patterns where each side downplays problems on their side, each side is mistrustful of the reliability of the other, and each side makes hyperbolic criticism of the other side for effect. The post that triggered this thought is Erik Loomis's If Only Reasonable Moderate John Kaisch Had Won the Election
The body of Erik's post is a normal criticism of normal Republican gun policies. That is fine. Don't stop criticizing stupid policies. But do not, even as a point of regular political hyperbole, insinuate that being under President Kaisch would lead to about the same outcome as being under Trump. Even if you strongly disagree with most Republican policies. Even if you think that living under a standard Republican would be horrible.
Trump offers all sorts of bog standard Republican policies PLUS a huge number of risks to our continued existence in a democratic republic. Is he going to hurt overtime standards? Yes. He also has a growing personal security force which could form the kernel of a private army. That is different. Is he going to resist the minimum wage? Yes. He also is going to blunder into multiple international crises because he refuses to attend intelligence briefings. That is different. Is he going to let Congress wreck Obamacare? Probably. He is also going to attack companies just because people give him minor offense.
If you understand that Trump is dangerously different, part of dealing with that fact is that you don't get to play with certain types of normal political hyperbole that might have been fun before.
I don't know what the specific crisis points will be, but I am certain that there will be multiple crisis points where our best chance for survival will lie in the hands of people who have been Republicans a long time. We want them to see these crisis points as soon as they can. One way of helping them with that is to not put everything through the normal political lens. Don't make it easy for them to discount what you're saying by providing them the opportunity to think "Well, they aren't reliable because they think all Republicans are basically Hitler". Don't help them activate all the tribal protections of discounting the other side by using rhetoric which lumps all Republicans together.
I can't guarantee outcomes. Maybe we are already lost. But if we aren't, we can't be unguarded in using political hyperbole anymore. We have seriously dangerous things that we need to be able to talk about in scary terms. We must not contribute to a dynamic which will help Trump survive under the normal tribal concepts.
When you want to talk about regular political issues, you do not want to say things that suggest that Republicans are the same as Trump because when you want to talk about country shattering political issues you don't want the association to be strong.
I think Erik is a good guy. We disagree on all sorts of things. His post isn't a deep failing. It is just incautious at a time where we need to protect every tiny advantage. If we repeatedly do it, we are actively hurting our chances of surviving Trump's presidency with our republic intact.
Update: I meant this to be in the original post, but it got lost in draft somewhere. This advice applies to normal Republicans going forward with normal Republican policies. Don't criticize a normal Republican opposing miminum wage hikes by comparing them to Trump. However if a Republican is supporting some sort of actually corrupt or dangerous measure, of course attack that by linking them together.