“A friend at the office said it’s like you’ve been tossed out of an airplane…you feel the alarm, the fear, you feel the freezing wind around you, but you haven’t gone splat yet. On the other hand no parachute has opened…there’s no sense of ‘aah, this is a normal event.’ The back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. There’s not that sense, at least not in me. But there is that impulse to make it such. Normalization. It’s a very human impulse…to normalize the situation so you’re not in a state of constant alarm or fear or sadness or agitation.” — New Yorker editor David Remnick in a 12.21 interview with BBC’s “Newsnight”, which was largely about Remnick’s post-election (11.9) essay — “An American Tragedy.”

Favorite Remnick quote: “[Trump’s] temperament, which is a very important thing in a President, is completely opposite to the kind of temperament you’d like to see in your grown children.”

From 12.18 Salon piece by Peter Dreier, titled “Donald Trump’s questionable intelligence“: “Many observers have noted that Trump has a difficult time expressing himself and speaking in complete sentences. A linguistic analysis last year by Politico found that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level. A study by researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University compared this year’s Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in terms of their vocabulary and grammar. Trump’s scored at a fifth-grade level, the lowest of all the candidates.

“Some might suspect that this is not an intellectual shortcoming but instead Trump’s calculated way of communicating with a wide audience. But Tony Schwartz, who spent a great deal of time with the developer while ghostwriting his book ‘The Art of the Deal,’ noted that Trump has a very limited vocabulary. It would hardly be surprising if these observations infuriated the vain and insecure Trump.”