Normalize

This is an old, old topic, and there is a present push to try to normalize new behaviors to reduce stigma. In Montana, Governor Bullock has requested that all State employees wear masks while indoors, except while at their desks, to help normalize that behavior. While good data is extremely hard to find, a principle is that if a behavior needs to be normalized there’s something wrong. Consider the following activities that have been “normalized” in my lifetime:

  • The fight against smoking.
  • Wearing seat belts while driving.
  • Wearing a helmet while skiing, bicycling, or motorcycle riding.
    • Or leaning back in a chair…
  • Using credit cards instead of cash.
    • And making government benefit cards look exactly like credit cards…
  • Marijuana is an acceptable narcotic.

So you can see, there’s a mixture of some potentially beneficial, and some potentially harmful behaviors that have been normalized. The context that is missing, is that positive trends in society will gain traction as part of everyday life. On the contrary, negative trends gain traction through totalitarianism.