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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Learning to accept our new normal

Learning+to+accept+our+new+normal

Discourse Editor Caroline Clink

Discourse Editor Caroline Clink

After four years, the presidency of Donald Trump has ended. 2020 is finally over. Does this mean we can return to normal now? What does normal even mean?

Looking back at everything that has happened in these past four years, one has to consider how we are ever going to be able to move on from all of this. Just because Donald Trump is no longer in the White House does not mean that the problems that he caused are not still here. 

Just in the past year, over 400,000 people died in the United States simply due to the irresponsibility of Trump regarding Covid. That number is not looking to slow down any time soon as cases are still on the rise and states are still struggling to rollout vaccines.

Those 400,000 people did not survive Trump’s presidency. It would be irresponsible to act now as if we could simply return to life as normal after this. 

Only a few weeks ago did masses of Trump supporters attempt to overthrow the government by storming the US Capitol building. How is that something that everybody is just supposed to forget and move on from? Just because Trump is no longer in office does not mean that the people who believed in him and the lies that he spread are not still out there. Trump himself promised in a video addressing the end to his presidency that this was just the beginning.

The insurrection at the Capitol was something that was wholly unheard of before. Though the signs that this was coming were out there, and subsequently ignored, this is not something that someone four years ago could’ve ever predicted. 

Trump no longer being in a position of power means nothing to his supporters because they believe in what he says more than anybody else. These people were willing to get charged with federal crimes because they thought it was what Trump wanted of them. How can we go back to thinking of his supporters as simply just our neighbors after this?

Alongside Trump’s power in right wing spaces, the conspiracy theory QAnon also grew. What once was only seen as a fringe belief has gained a lot of mainstream popularity, and its growth does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. 

Based in theories of pedophilia and child sex trafficking controlling the Democratic party, QAnon rightfully seems detatched from any sort of reality, but that has not stopped its supporters from being vocal about it wherever they can. Because Trump has never denounced QAnon or denied the validity of their claims, supporters of both are slowly merging to rally around them. 

Many notable QAnon supporters were present that day at the Capitol and all of them felt justified being there because they were told by Trump himself that he supported them.

The belief in QAnon is something that has only spread further during Trump’s time in office and is not something that is going to suddenly disappear. These people already believe and were told that the election was a fraud and that Biden never won. They are only going to keep spreading their lies and growing their influence now because they have never had anything but support from the people that they look up to. 

This may be the start of a new presidency, but the same systemic problems that we have been fighting against are still there. 

Joe Biden’s presidency may have a better outlook than these past four years, but this country has had problems before those four years started that will most likely continue after those four years are over. Change has already started happening, and it is okay to celebrate those victories if we don’t get lost in them and begin to ignore the wrong that is still being perpetrated by the United States government within our own country and around the world.

Elected officials like the president are not people that we should be fans of. They are elected to serve us and we should not be spending our time celebrating them but demanding what we deserve from them.

Joe Biden will never get my unwavering support because he does not deserve it. Politicians never have been and never will be your friends, because at the end of the day, they will always choose the policy that furthers their interests and never your wellbeing.

So, how are we supposed to return to normal? That is, if you believe there is a normal to go back to, because the harsh truth is that these past four years have been our normal.

Everything is not going to suddenly be fixed because Donald Trump is out of office. It will take years to undo some of the damages that he has done, and after that there will still be some that will never be able to be fixed.

We as a country need to learn that this is the reality that we live in now, and we will never again reach that perceived normal. We may one day move past this, but what has happened will never be forgotten. 

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