The new normal - where are we, where are we headed - ready, set, speculate. Lets face it - almost anything we come up with is simply a swag (scientific, wild-assed guess), so here we go.
First there is the election here in the USA - the winner will go a long way toward defining the new normal. And, just what is normal these days? We are in the throes of a pseudo-nationalistic, selfish we are the champions of the world era while our respect among the nations of the world is in a steady rate of decline. Our alliances are in jeopardy and our government is in denial about the ongoing globalization. It is a natural byproduct of other nations growing ever stronger economically and militarily and assuming more control over themselves. The same thing is happening here inside the USA as the controlling cabal of old, white men here in the USA realize their "automatic" authority is slipping away, contested by a younger, more diverse population nipping at those old fellas' heels.
That evolution of power is a natural occurrence, and, how we deal with it will in large part be determined by who wins the election in November. One side is stoking fear and predicting the end of suburbia as city dwellers move into suburbia, bringing with them gangs and illegals. The other side is touting themselves as the transition team, promising to stabilize and break the tribal grip that has ensnared the country for the last few years. The current administration promises to be the law and order crowd that will protect the suburban housewives (their words - not mine) from the expected onslaught. Which one will win out? That is up to the voters - although one side is already shouting if they lose, it is because the election is rigged and they continue to try and cast doubt over election integrity. Interestingly enough, the current administration launched an investigation into election fraud but the Trump commission did not find it to be widespread. That has not yet deterred Trump and his team from making the claim, however. The bottom line is simply that we are living the new normal right now so little will change if Trump is reelected. Trump promised to shake up the norms - in fact his chief advisor stated what they intended - "Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations, and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty. I would suggest they are deconstructing with a capital "D".
What will be the new normal because of the pandemic that has caused over 180,000 deaths here in the USA to date? I suspect initially there will be a continuation of the mask/social distancing but I suspect that will disappear over time. We tend to be a reactive population. As the current problem hits the rear view mirror, so too will the concern. Eventually there will be a vaccine, although since 50% of the population does not even take a flu vaccine, a Covid vaccine may be of limited value unless herd immunity is eventually reached.
We are entering into another era that will be marked by a focus on racism and race relations, as the job started by the baby boomer generation is hopefully completed. Institutional racism is being recognized - and addressed. Though not IMHO intentional, when old white men make rules and regulations for other white men expected to be in charge, a degree of racism is institutionalized. We are not an inherently racist country but we do have a racism issue that must be addressed.
We will continue to wrestle with gun ownership and freedom of speech so in that regard we are living the new normal daily. Gun ownership, particularly of semi-automatic weapons - will continue to be a hot button issue. Every gun owner I know is against restrictions on the weapons they own and they are among the most conscientious folks I know. I do not care what type of fire arms they own, but I do believe there should be serious background checks on people before they own semi automatic weapons. Gun show loopholes need to be eliminated. As I said, we already are wrestling with those issues.
Retail shopping appears to be on the way out as more and more people make purchases online. Spending the day at the local mall is a vanishing option. This was already happening but has been exacerbated during the pandemic. Restaurants are closing rapidly and a large percentage of the unemployed rolls are made up of restaurant employees. Those jobs may never come back so an extended recession is certainly possible.
Movie theaters are in jeopardy and by extension so too is the movie industry. We simply cannot predict what will happen at this time - are the blockbuster movie days behind us? Concerts? Stage venues? State Fairs?
One of the issues facing us, regardless who wins the election, is what will happen to the 30-35% of the population that makes up the core support for Donald Trump. If Trump wins, they will continue to be the primary target for presidential rhetoric. If Biden wins, how will they react? They imply through their rhetoric they are the true patriots, and they have the guns with a clear implication they will protect their rights and beliefs. Look at what just happened in Kenosha WI. when one of them took it upon himself to protect the law and order and killed two people. The shooter is 17.
That's the end of my speculating about the new normal. Essentially we are living the new normal for the most part, and any further changes in the norm will depend on the outcome of the election in November. Be sure to check with my compatriots to see what they have to say - Conrad, Ramana, Sanjana, Padmum, & Raju
I'll see you next week, same bat time and same bat channel.