America is changing….. We have heard that before. In fact, if we look at any opinion piece in the last 40 years, you will read this statement, followed by either hope for the future or doom and gloom. I feel neither, and this is something that I will explain further down in this piece.
Our change was once gradual but increased exponentially over the past decade. I think that that most visceral representation of the change is the overwhelming anger of the people and the manner in which this anger plays out. The first thing that I want to take a look at is the definition of “anger”. a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. What causes this? Since it is a very powerful basic human emotion that can stem from feelings of frustration, hurt, annoyance or disappointment.
Anger can serve a constructive purpose in society in that it will spur to action movement for change. An example of this would be changing laws that have repressed one group of people at the whims or superiority of another group of people by arbitrary characteristics such as age, race, gender or religion.
Anger have also worked well in the political arena as well. We have replaced regimes around the world as a result of constructive anger where people decided that they have “had enough” of the present system and work, out of frustration and anger, to replace one political system with another.
America is going through a high level of anger right now. It did not start yesterday, or even last year. That would have been easy. What is in place right now is an antipathy, not only for the opposing party but a loathing for one’s own party. The unwillingness of the people to want to identify with either party has given rise to the “Independent”. Unlike the original intent of the “Founding Fathers” of this country for elected officials to serve and return to their own to their own environs to live by the laws and rules they helped construct, we have bastardized the political office to resemble a permanent and often lifelong office.
For example, Senator Robert C. Byrd, the 92-year-old Democrat from West Virginia, was pushed onto the Senate floor in his plaid wheelchair for one contentious vote…… he served 57 years and 176 day in office. Daniel Inouye served over 53 years and in the end not only needed a wheelchair but oxygen as well in order to make it through a session. Both men died while serving in office. John Conyers, with 50 years is currently the longest serving congressional member still alive. I could continue this list, however, suffice to say that after so many years in office and outside of the specter of interacting and feeling the pain of the populace, these people can get “out of touch” to say the least. Instead of serving the people or their constituents, they become involved with the business of making sure that they hold their “job”, thus forgetting the professionally written and “poll tested” words they used to prompt a majority to vote for them.
The insincerity of this game of extracting money from donors, convincing the busy and often distracted public to pay attention to the satisfying words from their lips and not the unsatisfying deeds of their hands, and the constant deal making creates a contempt withing some elected officials for the very people who keep them in Washington. These well meaning people otherwise called the “voters and constituents” become instead known as the “crazies” or the “racist tea parties” and treated in turn as the “stupid people who are too dumb to know better …. or as much as us”. And hence, the voters become “tolerated”……. because even the elected officials can become drunk by drinking in their own vainglorious bathwater.
And they, the elected, continue to disappoint, make deals and frustrate. Hence, causing anger. Anger is silent and swift, as it drives out Eric Cantor from his role. Anger is visceral when the crowd decides that they don’t want another “bought” politician, no matter how hard the media pushes. The populace no longer wants to be disappointed and angry. So……
Just like any frustrated and jilted friend or lover…… the American voter looks for an elected “suitor” who won’t lie to them, and they are forgiving of any and all gaffes, and go easy on little or even big faults because in the end this new “elected” is the one who will give it to them unvarnished, and that will make them love him/her even more. And he/she is the one so unlike the one who “hurt” them before.
The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the Republican and Democratic nomination contests, respectively, is symptomatic of this increased anger in the American electorate. And the lie of “comprehensive immigration reform” which really means “cheap labor from other countries at the expense of US labor” in many cases is exposed …….as well as all of the other perfumed stories that have so angered the American voter.
“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”