Nick Searcy's 'Hollywood Ain't Right': Normalize This
This week’s Hollywood outrage story centers around Vince Vaughn, who apparently committed the unpardonable sin of being respectful and pleasant to the President of the United States and the First Lady at a football game.  In the leftist Hollywood/media, this is what is scornfully called “normalization.”

Apparently, to Democrats, if you treat someone who disagrees with you as if they are a fellow human being who also deserves to live, you are “normalizing” a horrible monster who deserves to live in a re-education gulag built by Bernie Sanders’ staffers — if it deserves to live at all.

And just so we’re clear, this isn’t just about Trump.  The Woke Police also went after Ellen Degeneres a few months ago, when she brazenly “normalized” George W. Bush — by finding herself sitting next to him at a Cowboys game, laughing at some of his jokes and taking a couple of pictures.

But we didn’t always call what Ellen and Vince did  “normalization.”  We used to call it “normal.”

This word “normalization” recently leapt into our modern vernacular, after decades of being mostly relegated to scientific journals, due to the election of 2016.  Before that, the word “normalization” mostly had a positive connotation, particularly in a medical sense.  Successful treatments would  “normalize” an organ’s function.  Normalization is simply defined as a “return to normalcy,” which up until 2016 was considered a good thing.

But when the Democrats’ Memaw lost, any acceptance of the fact that Donald Trump had won the Presidency — and therefore should be treated as if he was, you know, the PRESIDENT — was scorned by the Sore Loser Left as “normalization,”  instead of being what it really is: “normal.”

In 2020, Republicans have destroyed what the Left considers to be the only “normal” state of affairs — which is Democrats running the country. If you act as if it is “normal” for Democrats ever to lose an election, you are normalizing evil, you love Putin, you hate all ethnicities and genders,  and you must be “cancelled” — which is another misappropriated buzzword that the bigoted Left has “normalized.”’

I have a confession to make that may get me cancelled. I have been guilty myself of “normalization.”In 1998, I was invited to the White House for a screening of an episode of HBO’s From The Earth To The Moon.  Producer Tom Hanks and six of the actors in this particular episode, “1968,” were flown in, and there was a reception after the screening.

Now I was not a fan of Bill Clinton’s.  I did not vote for him, I disagreed with his policies. and at this particular time, he was in the middle of the Lewinsky scandal.  In fact, when the limo picked Leslie and me up at the airport, the front page of the Washington Post tucked into the back of the seat in front of me was all about Monica’s stained blue dress, which had been discovered the day before.  I remember turning to Leslie and saying, “I don’t think Hillary will be in such a good mood tonight.”

But even though I was against President Clinton politically — I’ve been smart for a very long time, people — I was determined to respect the office and the honor of being invited to the White House.  So after the screening, when we were escorted back to the reception area where President Clinton was waiting to greet us, I walked up to him, shook his hand (which was risky, since I had no idea where that hand had been), and respectfully said the words that I had carefully prepared:  “Mr. President, it is an honor to be here, and thank you for having us.”

Bill Clinton warmly took my hand in both of his, applied the perfect amount of congenial pressure, and replied, “Nick, you did a great job as Deke.  I’ve seen you play a lot of bad guys, and it was good to see you as a good guy for a change!”  He then proceeded to run down a little bit of my resume, and we talked a bit about his close friend Mary Steenburgen, who I had just done a movie with, and I walked away stunned, thinking “He knows me.  The President knows who I am!”

Now obviously he had been briefed, since there were only a few of us actor types there, but at the time, my head was spinning.  “WOW. He’s not so bad,” I thought. “He’s really a great guy!  Maybe there really is a right-wing conspiracy after all!  After all, IT’S JUST SEX.  Maybe Ken Starr really IS a sex maniac who wants my children to smoke cigarettes!”

These alien thoughts swirled around in my head while I briefly met a terse Hillary, who shook my hand like she would rather have Pope-slapped it and muttered “Thanks for coming” — but I was still under Bill’s spell.  For about 15 minutes I walked around thinking about how maybe I had been wrong all these years and maybe socialism wasn’t so bad and they should just leave my new friend Bill Clinton alone — until suddenly the Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” started playing in my head, and I snapped out of it, thinking “Oh my God.  MAYBE HE’S ACTUALLY SATAN!  He played an evil mind trick on me!  That must be what he’s done to these stupid Democrats!”  (Granted, I’d had a little chardonnay by then).

But looking back on all that now, I realize that I was ahead of my time.  I “normalized” Bill Clinton before “normalization” was even a thing.  By the modern leftist’s definition of “normalization,” by shaking his hand and being civil, I was normalizing everything he had done — rape, serial sexual harassment, perjury, having sex with a subordinate, ruining a perfectly good cigar, changing the meaning of “is,” pretending to cry at Ron Brown’s funeral, pretending Epstein killed himself — all of it .

Weirdly enough, my friends on the Right never tried to “cancel” me (maybe that’s just a lefty thang). Moreover, when I told the story, they usually said, “I would have risked the perfect Satanic mind-control handshake with the President of the United States too” — even if they didn’t know where his hand had been.

You see, what Vince and Ellen and I did wasn’t “normalization”. It was “normal.”

Here’s hoping that during Trump’s second term — and there is going to be a second term, crybabies, so suck it up or go home to Mommy — we can  “normalize”  being decent to each other again.

And if we can’t, then I’ve got something you can “normalize” right here.

Nick Searcy's 'Hollywood Ain't Right': Normalize This

Nick Searcy
Nick Searcy is an actor, director, and writer. His credits include Justified, Fried Green Tomatoes, Cast Away, and The Shape of Water. His film Gosnell was released in October 2018, and his next directorial effort, Where I'm Bound, about Southern gospel music, will shoot in 2020.
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