Robert D. Mather, Ph.D.

The Conservative Social Psychology Blog
Review of "Militant Normals"

When I first encountered the work of Kurt Schlichter, I was shocked. It was on the Townhall VIP broadcasts, which are not for the faint of heart. He was right about what he said, but it just didn’t seem like a political commentator was supposed to say it like that. Then I realized that he talked (and wrote) like how my friends and I would talk about politics at a bar or on the porch late at night. Then it hit me—he wasn’t like the other political commentators; he was like me and the people that I know. He was normal.

After reading his articles, one of his books, listening to his two different podcast venues, and watching more of his Townhall VIP sessions, I found him to be very much as he describes himself—the conservative id. That metaphor, of course, speaks to me as a psychology professor.

In Schlichter’s 2018 book “Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy” he captures the fundamental truth of why Donald Trump is our President. It is in the elegant distinction of Normal versus Elite.

The Elites are not necessarily rich, but they buy into the culture surrounding elitism. We know better than you, we make the decisions, that sort of thing. The Normals are humble everyday people who go to work, take care of the people they love, and don’t think they are better than anyone else. It sounds simple, right? The Normals work all of their lives for the Elites and the Elites make the world go ‘round, right?

Not at all. The Normals elect the Elites to political power. The Elites work FOR the Normals. The Normals are the customers of the Elites who run mega corporations like Amazon, Google, or any giant enterprise. The Elites work FOR the Normals. But the Elites forget this humility from time to time and the Normals have to remind them by doing something wild like burning down cities and marching on the capitol. Wrong again, some of the braver Normals just wear red MAGA hats and even more of them just vote to drain the swamp. 

It is a clash of Elites versus Normals, not rich versus poor. The Normals are not voting against their own interests, as the Elite like to say. The Normals are smart and very capable of voting for their own interests. The Normals are tired of institutional bureaucratic inertia—or “The Swamp.”

Like Schlichter, Larry O’Connor is another Breitbart protégé. Both men understand what all of us Republicans experienced during the George W. Bush years. Republicans were made laughing stocks by the media. Every session of every scientific meeting I attended for 8 years had a minimum of 20 Bush jokes to even enter the session, most of them enshrined within the PowerPoint itself. George W. Bush stoically did what I and many others thought was right at the time—he remained classy and above the fray, never stooping to the level of the mud-slinging. But the mud-slinging wasn’t just for him. His supporters went to the ideological battlefield every day to face humiliation. He didn’t stand up for us. It was an old model and we didn’t know he could. Look, George W. Bush is one of my two favorite Presidents (Reagan is the other) and you will rarely hear me criticize him. This isn’t even a criticism of Bush’s strategy during the context of that time period, but I am noting that Donald Trump stands up for his supporters.

Bush encountered the new age of the internet, and mud-slinging was at a whole new level. Barack Obama was the media darling and a Democrat, so he was left alone by the media. Donald Trump is a Republican, so he takes shots from the media. I watched an old Saturday Night Live a few months ago with Kirk Douglass hosting in February of 1980. There was a segment where Ronald Reagan was portrayed as a racist. Do you see the pattern? Normals see it and it is not a new phenomenon. Republican Presidents get harassed by the media and Hollywood. What is new is that Republicans are fighting back.

We Republicans haven’t had a true prize fighter in the ring for us since Reagan. Go back and listen to Reagan’s speeches. Listen to the speeches he gave in 1964, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988 and you will find it doesn’t matter. He was tough and he fought for us. He fought for California, he fought for the U.S., he fought the media and he fought the Communists. He was hated by the media, by Hollywood and he was a former Democrat, but he produced major conservative wins. Does that sound familiar?

To contrast our choice this year, we are at the climax of a four year tantrum by the Democrats who have yet to acknowledge that President Trump won the votes in the electoral college with the rules that were in place when the campaigns were set—rules that are always there—against someone who thinks Trump stole the election but should have actually been in jail for using a private server to communicate classified information.

When I worked in a maximum security prison, we signed a form. It was the last form they gave us and the only one they didn’t go over with us. I was the only one in my new employee training cohort who read the form. We had just signed 30 forms that were all carefully explained to us. Why are they slipping this one in at the end with no explanation, telling us to just sign it? I bet this is the only one worth reading. It was the one that said if there was a prison riot and I was taken hostage, my employment would be automatically terminated and as policy they would not negotiate for my release. I thought that was good to know, so that I wouldn’t sit around waiting for the warden’s security to get me in that scenario. I figured I had two options: Fight my way out or team up with the prisoners and lead them into battle with the cowards who had turned their backs on me. Hypothetically, anyway. Given the riots and four year tantrum of the Democrats, a vote for many DNC candidates this year is akin to negotiating with a hostage taker. Vote for us and the chaos and trouble will stop, because we are the ones doing it. That’s the Democrat platform this year!

We Normals are tired of liberals being able to exercise free speech, political virtue signaling, and cancel culture in the streets and workplaces and expecting us to stay quiet and maintain “civility.” Free speech works both ways. Activism works both ways. Resistance works both ways.

Colonel Schlichter’s basic premise is that the Normals sit and yield the operations of democracy to the Elite until the Elite lose sight of who they work for. Then the Normals wake up, fight back, and elect a fighter. Then they go back to Normal until the Elite slap them around long enough and they wake up and fight again.

Speaking of slapping conservatives around, the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign and used the IRS to target conservatives. That’s not President Trump abusing power, those are Democrats.

What about violence? Congressman Steve Scalise was FREAKING SHOT by a man hunting Republicans. In Jacksonville, FL, a man FREAKING DROVE A VAN into a tent of Republican volunteers while hunting Republicans. In Portland, OR, Aaron Danielson was FREAKING SHOT by a man hunting Republicans. Rand Paul was FREAKING ATTACKED by his longtime neighbor with longtime political differences who promptly used the “brush pile made me do it” defense. Then Rand Paul and his wife got mobbed after the RNC. These aren’t attacks on ideals—they are active attacks targeting Republicans for being Republican. This isn’t chaos due to Donald Trump. We have Donald Trump to fight for us against an opponent that has been less than civil. This is intimidation.

Schlichter’s book captures the sentiment that Normals are sick of being slapped around by liberals, reminding me of the end of an old Kenny Rogers song. We Normals listen to Kenny Rogers sometimes.

Coward of the County, by Kenny Rogers

When Tommy turned around they said, “He look! Old Yellow’s leaving”

But you could’ve heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door

Twenty years of crawling was bottled up inside him.

He wasn’t holding nothing back, he let ‘em have it all

When Tommy left the bar room, not a Gatlin boy was standing…

I walk away from trouble when I can

Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek

And Papa, I should hope you understand

Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man

Hey Republicans, sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man.

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