The War of the Norm

Thoughts in and around geopolitics.

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The primary reason about half the country voted for Joe Biden was that he wasn’t Donald Trump. Trump was seen by many as violating fundamental norms of the presidency and of personal dignity. Biden had not introduced any stunning policy initiatives, nor did his supporters necessarily want him to. What they wanted was a return to the norm, as represented by Barack Obama, George W. Bush and others. They wanted a return to what they saw as moral rectitude and propriety, a country united rather than divided. On the other hand, just under half the country voted for Trump because they saw the norm as unbearable. On the surface, it seemed to represent civility. Underneath, for them, it was a ruthless attempt to enhance the power of the elite and assault the values of the country. Put differently, the norm was seen as a way to manipulate society for the benefit of the elite, who covered their actions with mock civility. In the view of Trump supporters, the norm divided the country deeply, against the Trump voters’ interests and values. For Biden voters, supporting Trump was inconceivable, since he was in it for himself and stood for the lowest values […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.



His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.