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OPINION

What Is Normal?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/John Bazemore

One of the American Left's primary goals is to convince us that we are not normal if we do not affirm its ideology, a well established tactic among totalitarians. One of the best examples is the psikhushkas of the old Soviet Union. If you did not agree with Soviet Communism, you were not normal so you’d be placed in a psikhushka, or psychiatric prison.

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Few were more clear in articulating this principle than former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev who said of those with whom he disagreed, “Of those who might start calling for opposition to Communism on this basis, we can say that clearly their mental state is not normal.”

The growing militancy of domestic authoritarians who harangue and berate as abnormal those who believe something different begs a simple but important question: What is normal?

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides many definitions of normal. Among them, in descending order, are: “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern, characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine; according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, procedure, or principle; occurring naturally; approximating the statistical average or norm; and generally free from physical or mental impairment or dysfunction,” to name a few. 

If we contrast these accepted definitions of normal with many policies and practices of the American Left, a trend emerges. Much of what today’s Left promotes does not comport with what is recognized as normal. 

Instructing children how to think and behave like racists, as happens in many government schools through variants of Critical Race Theory, is not normal. Teaching children to judge people by the content of their character is.

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Grown men dressed as women and performing provocatively before preschoolers is not normal. Reserving adult entertainment for adults is.

Deliberately depriving people of available energy needed to heat their homes is not normal. Making such resources abundantly available is.

Promoting obesity is not normal. Promoting a healthy diet and living is. 

People pretending to be a sex they are not is not normal. Recognizing people for what they are is.

Taking money from people and giving it to other people, otherwise known as wealth redistribution, is not normal. Reaping and keeping the fruits of one’s labor is. 

Men using the ladies room is not normal. Men using the men's room is.

Letting criminal suspects out of jail with no restrictions or repercussions is not normal. Keeping criminals locked up is. 

Boys playing sports against girls is not normal. Boys playing against other boys is.

Giving away military weaponry to the extent that one’s own military is degraded is not normal. Maintaining a strong defense is. 

Surgically mutilating healthy human tissue is not normal. Preserving healthy tissue is. 

There are many things actively promoted - often demanded - by the Left that are simply not normal. But if somebody notices and says so, they are marginalized. That is what is happening right now.

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People who believe in normal things are under attack in America. They are assaulted on a near continuous basis by Leftists who practice and promote behavior that is clearly abnormal, behavior that deviates from the statistical norm, that does not conform to regular patterns, that does not approximate statistical averages. Frighteningly, some of this behavior is not merely abnormal, it's evil. 

People need to reclaim normalcy. 

But ordinary people are often intimidated into going along with abnormal ideologies because it’s easier than being screeched at by somebody who demands we affirm their abnormal behavior.

This intimidation prompts many people to tip-toe around the fact that much of what we see in America today just isn’t normal and sometimes, we keep quiet even though we know it’s not normal. This is how normal becomes redefined. It’s how Soviet Communism found a way to imprison and torture those with whom they disagreed; they just weren’t normal. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn knew that all too well.

None of this is to suggest we should be mean to or discriminate against people with such beliefs. Many of these people have been deceived, coerced or extorted into affirming abnormal behavior and ideas, and they deserve our compassion.

By the same token, other Americans have every right to withhold their acquiescence of abnormal behaviors without fear. A little more ‘live-and-let-live’ would go a long way. 

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But live-and-let-live is a two-way street. As long as ordinary people are under attack, we have an obligation to recognize and call out the abnormal behavior of those who demand we agree with their misguided ideology. 

It’s time to stand up and say, “That’s not normal,” when something abnormal is being foisted upon us. Promoting normalcy is the only way to prevent normal from being perverted and redefined. The best defense against the abnormal is to call it what it is, and to elevate normalcy at every opportunity. 


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