What if THIS is what Normal Looks Like?

Two prepping books published in the late 1970s.
Two prepping books published in the late 1970s.

It’s pretty clear that the normal we all came to know and love in the years leading up to 2020 is never coming back. Those days of low inflation, rising home values, a soaring stock market, and easy money are behind us. So too is the era of the U.S. being the sole superpower at a height where no one was willing to challenge us.

Today, it feels like we jumped back to the 1980s, when inflation was high and the cold war was still chilly. The misery index is rising, we’re going to all have to turn down our thermostats, and we’ve got a president as ineffective as Jimmy Carter.

It’s enough to make me wonder: Maybe this is not only the new normal, but the true normal. Maybe the last couple of decades were the aberration. Unfortunately, we can’t get back in the DeLorean with Doc and Marty and change our past. We’re stuck in this future, and we have no one to blame but our elected officials.

Prepping Gained Popularity in the 1970s

On my bookshelf is the book “How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years,” by Howard J. Ruff. That titled sounds like it might have been published last year, but its copyright says 1979.

Mell Tappin wrote his survival gun books in the late 1970s. Ragnar Benson’s first survivalist books were published in the early 1980s. Even prepper fiction got its start back then. While Robert Heinlein had explored survivalist themes in his science fiction as far back as the 1950s, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle was published in 1977 and is considered an early great in the genre.

Yep, 45 years ago, people were prepping, buying gold, building their survival armories, and digging bomb shelters. Of course, they didn’t call it prepping; it was all about survival and practitioners were survivalists. But things were so similar then, you can learn from any of those books if you read them today.

Like I said, the new normal is the old normal. Those good years in between? They may be gone for years, if not for good.

It’s not the End of the World… Yet

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, the threat of nuclear war was always there, but we didn’t worry about it. We felt the country was strong. We had leaders and warriors. Now the country feels weak, and we have socialists and wokeness. No wonder Russia and China see us as a paper tiger. Iran challenged President Carter and they may well challenge Biden as they build a nuclear stockpile.

We can only hope the pendulum swings back before our enemies grow too bold.

It’s going to take something big to change our course, to halt to the speed of our fall. I don’t see anything that could do it before the 2024 presidential election. That means we have to hang on, hope, and vote.

In the end, it is important to remember that this country has survived trials and tribulations before. We have weathered wars and depressions. There have been prior periods of inflation. Politics has been divisive before, and we’ve even had a civil war.

I believe that the United States will survive—in some shape of form. The question is, will you and yours?