The ‘Normies’ will save the world

For life to sustain itself, we need far more than the majority to be in the moderate ranges.

If you look at a photo of earth from space, you can’t help noticing that the top and the bottom of our planet are both covered with ice. That is what is called the polar regions — the north and south pole.

Together those two poles comprise about 20% of the earth’s surface. Those two poles stabilize our climate, our sea levels and the ocean currents that control our weather and seasons.

In other words, our two extreme polar regions influence our lives, but few of us will encounter them directly, and virtually none of us will live there.

20% of our earth’s surface is at the poles — which means that 80% is in the more moderate zones. This moderate zone is where virtually all of life — human, animal, bacterial and plant live and thrive.

Maybe we could learn something from this terrestrial principle; we need those poles, but few can live there.

For life to sustain itself, we need far more than the majority to be in the moderate ranges.

I was thinking about our two literal earthy polar regions because I hear from the media and everyday conversations a near constant wailing about how “polarized” we are.

And of course, when it comes to food, work, money and Taylor Swift, we are polarized.

But as with our planet, a steady minority at our extremes is what makes the system work — or at least keeps things in motion in a productive way.

It is when the “poles” stop working, or become dominant that everything (sometimes literally) collapses or freezes.

Everyone seems to have that nutty uncle or in-law that breathlessly exclaims (or whispers) of conspiracies and secret agendas or cover-ups.

Those voices are entertaining (sometimes) and may lead to further, more productive questioning or research, but when the whole family takes them in — and starts acting accordingly, distrust, chaos and destruction are not far behind.

Those who are in the full grip of the conspiracy mania have a name for those who don’t buy into the whole menu of rabbit-hole conspiracies; “normies”.

In the eyes of the conspiracy inspired, “normies” are guilty of attempting to live a “normal” life of working, raising a family, having outside interests and being a responsible citizen.

This would be in contrast to those who are primed for control or manipulation by “elites” either from secret societies, enlightened beings or aliens. Or all of the above.

You may have noticed that conspiracy “evangelists” believe and propound elaborate (and often contradictory) positions.

Voters, citizens and public figures can’t decide for example, who is evil and who is wonderful.

Consider the dilemma of Fox News. Fox was once the hallmark of “Fair and balanced” and then the voice of the GOP, and then the rallying center of the Trump campaign, and then it wasn’t. And now it is — sometimes. Except when it isn’t.

When a network holds as its highest goal clicks and views, as opposed to holding government officials accountable or being an advocate for a specific cause or constituency, it can lose its focus — and identity and can quickly become just another contributor to the noise and distractions that clog our airwaves and our ever-dwindling level of concentration.

And then there is the case of Fox’s (once) headliner — Tucker Carlson.

It can be hard to tell who Carlson is supporting (and advocating for) to win the Ukraine-Russia war: a European democracy defending itself, or the invading force of a (questionably elected) Russian despot.

And in videos from his recent trip to Moscow, and a fawning interview with Putin, including a rhapsodic riff on the brilliance of Russian shopping carts, it wasn’t always clear who Carlson imagined to be the most admirable or fortunate; Russians or Americans.

For the past couple generations, one thing has been crystal clear — few things are more destructive (conceptually and literally) to America and our highest and best beliefs, it was Communism — especially the imperialistic, invasive version; as we are seeing in Ukraine.

But thanks to those at the “poles” — who see both those at the other “pole” and in-between as “enemies”, what was once clear and unanimous is now muddled and subject to change.

For better or worse, normal Americans (or people around the world) don’t change their minds very quickly and, for the most part, know the difference between right and wrong, democracy and tyranny, Ukraine and Russia, and Hamas and Palestine and Israel.

It might be hard to believe, but once upon a time we had a solid base of citizens and public figures who had principles that they lived (and sometimes died) for.

The last several years we have seen people (who should know better) make public (and yes, often contradictory) statements of what could only be described as self-serving moral relativism that stands in contrast to the truly great (and memorable) speakers and leaders of previous ages.

The strands of history that have stood the test of time, and have proven reliable in every culture and society, from integrity to honesty to diligence, discipline personal sacrifice and courage are astoundingly hard to find these days — and when we do see them (as in the recent case of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny) most of us don’t know how to respond.

A key element of the Western Tradition (if not “normies” around the world) is the pursuit of the right, the beautiful and the true.

It may not be as tantalizing, passionate and exciting as the latest conspiracy fantasies, but being a “normie” and paying our bills on time and not blaming others for our shortcomings is its own reward.

In other words, sometimes we could use the “seasoning” and passion of the extremes, but when too many of us get distracted from what could be called “the real work”, everything can be thrown into chaos.

The conspiracy prophets can have their fun, and entertain their greatest (and often worst) fantasies, but to reframe a once-common phrase, the normies shall inherit the earth.

Most of us just hope that there is something left for us.