Today’s billionaires fund the engine of their own destruction.
War Against the Normies
Regular people are being stampeded out of existence.
Norms. Remember those? If you do, you’re one of the few.
I used to be a normie. I come from a long line of normies stretching back through time to my first normie ancestors, who set foot on these shores, looked around, and thought, where should we put the TV, honey?
2023 is shaping up to be a bellwether year for normies and all their pesky norms. Are you still a normie? Do you ever lay awake at night wondering why it seems like everywhere you look, American society seems to be actively working against you? Like, despite your hard work, things aren’t improving. Things are really starting to suck, in fact. Bags of chips keep getting smaller but cost double. You had to tell your kids they can no longer watch Mr. Beast on YouTube (“Why, Mommy?” “Er, just because, okay?”).
You had to endure yet another humiliating DEI Zoom session at work, followed immediately by a Zoom call where your manager informs your team that ChatGPT will, in fact, put you out of work in three to five years.
And if your decorated Marine son tries to intervene on a subway from a lunatic shouting threats and making his intention to commit suicide by cop clear, you will learn exactly how our leaders feel about normal people.
A recession has arrived, and it’s not just economic. Yes, your paycheck runs out much faster than it did a couple years ago. Yes, your credit card interest rates have doubled. Oops, your summer vacation plans are on hold. You’d move, but the house is worth a lot less than it used to be, and you’d be paying double for a smaller house thanks to the new interest rates. It’s a bummer, man.
But at least in the last recession, you didn’t have to worry about your daughter telling you she was having her breasts clipped off and getting a huge neophallus Gorilla-glued to the opening through which your phantom grandchildren would have been born.
Every night you set the alarm hoping this is not the night it gets tested, since some of the window sensors are out of batteries and you don’t think it’s much of a deterrent anyway. If there was an intruder, and you somehow managed to unlock the gun safe, aim, and fire accurately in the dark without your glasses as your wife screamed, you’d end up getting tried for murder anyway.
There used to be these refuges people carved out, where normal, regular people could find solace; comfy places where you wouldn’t be judged, where daily life and routines still pretty much looked like they did when you were a kid. In fact, there were entire neighborhoods like this! Whole towns!
You’re not going to believe this, but I heard a rumor that there was once an entire country crammed full of normalness. They had so many normal people they had to create 50 states to hold them all.
Everywhere normal people settled, they quickly created safe spaces free of strident politics, X-rated entertainment, dangerous felons, and crazed loonies. They had baseball parks. Playgrounds. Decent schools. Leafy suburban streets. People could go to malls and movie theaters and Disneyland and know they wouldn’t hear people shouting obscenities, looting stores, delivering beat downs, or shooting up. They could go to a church or the beach or the local hiking trail. There were portals. These portals took you into family-friendly places where you could be pretty sure that everyone else was normal, too; none of them hated you, none of them wanted a private chat with your six-year-old about his penis, and most people were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. We really were all in it together.
Today, the only safe spaces like this are where the ultra-elite live. Bel Air. Southampton. Brentwood. Montecito. Palm Beach. Jackson Hole. Atherton. Park Ave. Those places are amazing. Pristine, safe, clean, beautiful. If you walk through those neighborhoods, in fact, they’re even better than they were thirty years ago. More beautiful, safer than ever. But everywhere else is sorta, well, getting junkier.
Rapture of the Kulaks
There has been a vanishing. A rapture of the normies. Until very recently, it never occurred to me that my children would be entering an adult world without normal people—and the guardrails and friendliness and decorum and safety they tend to bring with them. My kids are entering a future where normal people are carefully hiding their normalness in public lest anyone find out how very normal they were.
Suddenly, features of life like “going to college” and “getting a job after you graduate” are fraught. Schools I thought were easy safeties a few years ago are now far out of reach for reasons beyond our control. Jobs that would have offered stability and intellectual satisfaction have been swept away, earmarked for groups to which my children will never belong.
The Catholic church, a refuge for millennia for people seeking communion with God, has not been much of a buffer lately. The Pope himself is working against an entire cohort of regular Catholics who seek the tradition of the ancient Latin mass—by doing his best to restrict it into oblivion. Many priests forget to teach moral law to parishioners. Platitudes have replaced parables. One Manhattan parish now explains that “God is Trans.” That’s one way to think about transubstantiation!
Woke idiots like to say that the word “normal” is a dog whistle for “white” or “anti-gay” or whatever. This is false. Normal is simply a word everyone understands to mean someone who still lives according to what was the “norm” for American citizens within recent memory. We don’t need to go back to the 1780s; I’ll take the 1980s.
Norms, you know, like not shooting a houseful of your neighbors who complain about your AK-47 target practice. Not inflicting a sexually graphic pride parade on a small town in Tennessee. Not allowing deranged violent lunatics and child kidnappers to terrorize people on subways. Not defunding police. Not inciting, encouraging and supporting riots, lootings, and desecration of public monuments. Not allowing doctors to throw living babies that survive abortions into the nearest medical waste bin. Not sneaking graphic child pornography into school libraries and then calling parents who object “Nazis.” Not taking children to grotesque sex shows where fat men in g-strings grind distended fake breasts into your toddler’s terrified face. Not calling people “haters” or “bigots” when they object to all of this.
In a world this abnormal, it’s time to celebrate normalness. In a world of extremes, celebrate your extreme normalness. So let your freak flag fly! I am going to design a flag for the few people left who still identify as normal.
We can have our own parades. Our own beer. (But no subways.)
Today the normals, tomorrow the world!
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.
The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.