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Chuck Moss

Chuck Moss

The Normals

May 4, 2018

You can slice and dice the electorate like a Miracle Smart Chopper, as seen on TV! You can talk about this or that micro-subset whose peculiar tribal imperatives will decide the vote. But this time around I haven’t heard a peep about a group of Americans who decided the 2016 contest, might swing the midterms, and definitely will call 2020: the Normals.

‘Normals?” What are they? I’m talking about plain normal Americans. What are they? We might better start with what they’re not. Normals are not any one race/ethnic/social/financial profile. They’re anyone and anybody. The category is dynamic; 20 years ago if you said that a homosexual couple living in the suburbs with kids could be considered normal, people would say you were nuts. Today, it’s well… normal. Or folks worshipping multi-armed gods in golden temples would be mundane, grass-growing neighbors? Completely normal. Normality is a self-selected lifestyle and state of mind. Go to work, obey the law, pay your taxes, keep your grass mowed—you’re in.

Normal people’s lives tend to revolve around family, work, and faith. Normal parents spend an inordinate amount of time with kids and activities. Driving kids to games, concerts, various specialty camps, competition leagues, enrichment programs. Also, religion: church, temple, mosque, are central to the lives of normal people. Oh, yes: and normal people work. They have jobs, generally both mom and dad, and they work very, very hard. What they don’t have is a lot of free time, but they’re always squeezing some out for the kids, family, or faith community. This is what normal people do.

What normal people are not, is political. Anybody who says “I’m a political junkie,” is by definition, not Normal. Normal people tend to regard the world of politics as kind of shady, and the people who work in it as a form of waste disposal workers. Yes, they’re happy that you work at it—if that’s what you want to do. Yeah, they’re glad that you’re there doing whatever-it- is, better you than them. You seem like a nice person and all that, but when they ask what you do and you say ‘politics,’ they hide the silver and lock up their daughters.

Normal people aren’t spending that lovely Saturday afternoon out knocking door-to- door. They’re working in their yards, sitting on folding chairs at the kids’ soccer game, or driving to Band Camp.

You won’t find normal people at the Precinct Delegate Sign Up Boot Camp, they’re volunteering at the temple’s rummage sale. Friday night? Not the Meet the Candidates coffee but picking up Grandma to watch the school play. So political people and Normals don’t interact all that much. When they do, political people want to talk about…well, politics. This either makes normal people’s eyes glaze over or gets them mad.

It’s not that Normals are stupid, ignorant, or don’t have political opinions. Far from it! It’s just that these things aren’t of great interest to them outside of elections they care about. A certain amount of Normals are Democrats, and some are Republicans. Many are Independent. Most of them will listen to arguments that make sense, from people that show respect and seem trustworthy. Try to fool them once, ever, and you’re dead forever. Political people and Normal people live in different worlds; when political people want to know what Normals think, they take opinion polls.

Another thing Normals aren’t is extreme. Extremism, either in opinions or manner, is the kiss of death. They’re neither Socialists nor Libertarians. Neither major political party really connects with Normals. The Democrats are currently the Anti-Normal Party. Republicans say they value Normals, but their idea of Normals seems 50 years out of date.

So: 2016? Hillary Clinton clearly and openly hates Normals. Donald Trump is as un-Normal as they come, but he seemed to be aware of what Normals need and promised to do something about it.

And 2018? In Michigan? Neither Bill Schuette or Gretchen Witmer are Normals. Schuette’s campaigned for so many years he’s actually fluent in Normal, while Whitmer is reportedly taking lessons in how to be human. But after that left-wing goat rodeo Democrat convention that B-slapped the UAW, I’m putting my money on Schuette. Todays Dems hate Normals. The GOP is wooing their grandparents, but at least it’s something.

Chuck Moss teaches Political Science at Oakland University and serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.

May 3, 2018 · Filed under Chuck Moss

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // May 4, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Normal sounds pretty good. A bit lame for a politician like me, but I could probably like it if I practiced it long enough.

    I think I’ll give it a try – in about 10 years. And that’s no BS, Mr. Chairman.

  • 2 Richard McLellan // May 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Bothered by the fact that I am clearly not normal. I know I have an addiction to Fox news and read but too much about politics. I’m not sure what the cure is Otherwise a great article.

  • 3 Mrs A // May 7, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    What a snot you are, Mr Moss. Oh, wait, were you trying to be funny? You did not succeed.

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