If you are reading this, you are not one of them. The “normal” people, for want of a better term, aren’t interested in politics. Normal people don’t see why anyone gets as excited as they do about candidates, parties, politics or issue positions. Normal people have their own ideas, but they aren’t passionate about them. They are passionate instead about their family, their hometown, their local football teams, and their hobbies. They vote – it’s something you are supposed to do – like going to church at least on holidays, or stopping at stop signs – but they don’t obsess over their vote; sometimes they don’t decide until they get to the booth.
Normal people used to find politics more interesting back when they could have a civil discussion about it. As I said, normal people have points of view. But they feel now its just so hysterical and overwrought – and that goes for both parties. Normal people may or may not have voted for Trump but now he seems to them to have lost it. A lot of people can get that way when they lose something they once had. But the Democrats are screaming all the time too. They are always crying racism, even when normal people don’t see it, not that they look that hard. And on abortion, they feel its better when abortion is legal because the sorrow of an unwanted pregnancy does happen, even among normal people. Abortion is not right, they say, but we can all forgive people who make mistakes. Still, women can walk, and talk; they haven’t lost control of their bodies and, really, people should be more careful.
As for the midterms, normal people aren’t sure what they will do. The Republicans really do seem to be on some kind of power trip but normal people have always worried about the Democrats on taxes, and the Democrats do seem to be on their own kind of power trip too – much more about screaming at the Republicans than saying what they will do about anything, except maybe abortion. Most normal people voted for Biden because they thought he would settle things down but things don’t seem very settled right now. Maybe its better to have Republicans in Congress so the Democrats don’t get out of control. On the other hand, they will all just scream at each other all the time and no good will come of it.
These days, normal people don’t take polls much. You hear a lot about the hard right anti-institutional crowd avoiding polls so everyone knows to make sure they have “enough” Republicans. But normal people don’t want to talk politics with a stranger for 15 or even 10 minutes either. And if they know your focus group is about politics, they really would rather not participate. Whatever they do in the midterms, it won’t be far off their center line, and they wont feel all that strongly about it. It’s football season, after all, and time to start planning for Thanksgiving.
To be clear, I’m not normal myself. I never have been. But they used to be willing to be in focus groups “about the community” and even to take polls. And while much of Mississippi is not normal by these definitions, a lot of it is – and more normal than Washington, although both D.C. and Jackson are football towns.