Friday, September 23, 2005

A Nation of Anger

Everyone is so damned angry. I know I am. The neocon movement has at least succeeded in stirring up fear, hatred and anger. All of us are furious, not just the progressives.

I know why I am angry. We are all intimately familiar with the litany of misdeeds that fuel our anger, but isn't it just the sheer dishonesty of it all that ignites it? The bald-faced lies that the uninformed or the mentally lazy actually believe, and that the well-informed, intelligently savvy pretend to believe? It is the dishonesty that enables the misdeeds. Who would accept the “tax-relief” if they called it “a party for the rich” or “a tax-increase on your children and their children?” Who would condone “Operation Iraqi Freedom” if they called it “Operation Oilfields?” How about “Corporate Profits at the Expense of our Environment” instead of “Clear Skies Initiative?" The few who stand to gain from such insidious policies, sure, but a majority? A plurality?

What about the anger of the conservative population? The religious right? The libertarians? I’ve noticed that they are all very angry too. That is something that has been scaring me for the last year or so. The neocons have incited anger among their followers as well as their opponents. Members of the NRA are angry, in spite of the fact that the
assault weapons ban was allowed to expire. Racists are angry even as African Americans are still taking it on the chin in our criminal justice system. Religious fanatics are angry, even though “Intelligent Design” has been deemed a scientific theory and on an even par with evolution by the president, and even though there are “national days of prayer” officially declared by the government. Right-wingers are angry in the midst of cutting taxes to the bone, gutting regulations on corporations, and, for practical purposes, successfully “starving the beast.” Anti-feminists are angry while Roe vs. Wade is threatened and while safe drugs that can circumvent abortions remain unavailable. They are all still furious, and yet they are getting exactly what they claim to have wanted.

I believe that the tide is turning, that this government is on its last legs, that some Democratic seats in congress will be gained in ’06 and the Democratic nominee will win the presidency in ’08. As good as that sounds, it begs the question:

What are all of those angry conservatives going to do then?

12 Comments:

Anonymous blue girl said...

Good post Al. That is really something to ponder -- why in the hell are they still so angry at everyone?

They've got their war -- and all the things you mentioned.

Maybe they've also figured out that the angier they get and the angier they stay -- the more money they'll make. It never seems like they can ever make enough money.

Maybe they think their anger will keep the cash flowing in.

BTW: Happy belated birthday! Glad you had fun going to see Sir Paul. I've never seen him, but would love to.

Another question I've been meaning to ask you -- if you had to recommend ONE Bob Dylan album that you couldn't live without -- which one would it be? I want to buy one, but don't know which to get.

1:20 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

>Another question I've been meaning to ask you -- if you had to recommend ONE Bob Dylan album that you couldn't live without -- which one would it be?<


"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" would be my first choice. Just him, the guitar and harmonica. Has "Blowin' in the Wind," "Masters of War," "Don't Think Twice," and "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," but the whole thing is just genius. Incredible lyrics, and a wisdom that seems impossible for such a young man. He was 22 years old.

This is a good review of the record:

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=MIW020509231443&sql=10:71e67uy0h0jd~T1

1:44 PM  
Blogger cali said...

Great post!

Is it anger or is it fear? Is it anger fueled by the culture of fear? Anger about what *might* happen.

Fear is an awfully strong motivator.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Wish I could believe your predictions for the next few cycles but I'm not so sure. It's because, frankly, I wouldn't put anything beyond the desires and capabilities of the right wing.

They're incompetent at government because that is not part of their agenda - I'd say they feel it's not their job at all. To dismantle governemnt, at least in any sense a government looking our for that plurality you mentioned, is the goal.

I think that gives some clue as to what these people might do at their most extreme. Think of what this country would look like if they already had their every wish granted in full. That is exactly where we're headed. I'm don't think a few elections alone will change that course...

2:41 PM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

BG, I think you've got a point, but I think the anger spread by the neocons serves another purpose: to unite their otherwise fractious constituency, even to the point where that constituency will vote against their own self-interest. This "create a common enemy" trick is an old one (it was a favorite of Bismark and Hilter, among others), and quite effective.

Al, I too hope that your predictions are correct ... and I share your apprehension about what we'll do with the disenchanted Right if we can take back Congress and the White House. But hopefully things will be so bad by then that only the most rabid (nice pic, btw) fringe will still be foaming at the mouth.

(Going down to the Mall tomorrow ... it'll be interesting to see what kind of counter-demonstrations we'll be up against. I remember going to a pro-choice rally about 10 years ago, walking down from my house on Capitol Hill to the Mall, and hearing a couple of counter-demonstrators say loudly to each other as my friend and I passed, "Look, there go some more of them babykillers."

We just looked at them and laughed. Ooh, they got mad.)

3:52 PM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Bluegirl, the Viscount is right, pick up 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan', you'll be amazed at how topical the music still is after all this time.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Pepper said...

I don't know, but I sure do hope they have some Milkbones handy!

8:16 PM  
Blogger joebftsplk said...

They're angry because they were dislodged from their natural position as Masters of the Globe in the '70s and are concerned that it may happen to them again, since we the usurpers are still here and unrepentant. Bless Blue Girl and all her kind for open hearted curiosity about Dylan and how'd she get so smart without access to him anyway?

10:27 AM  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I'd like to think they'd leave the country.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

As to Dylan, it depends on what "period" you want. "Freewheelin'" has some of the anthems, but for the later electric "period" "Highway 61" is the best.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Phoenician in a time of Romans said...

What are all of those angry conservatives going to do then?

Well, I've seen comments about guns.

That the military culture is largely conservative is worrying. Consider the Bush vs Gore debacle; if it happened today, and it went to Gore through a dubious decision, can anyone be sure that the military would not offer resistance, covert or even overt?

5:29 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

>That the military culture is largely conservative is worrying. Consider the Bush vs Gore debacle; if it happened today, and it went to Gore through a dubious decision, can anyone be sure that the military would not offer resistance, covert or even overt?<

I've often thought about this, but more and more military men are speaking out against this administration. It is hard for them to do - they are taught as soldiers to support the commander-in-chief no matter what.

The Bush administration hung our brave soldiers out to dry. They lied to them, and they under-funded, under-manned, and under-armored the war in Iraq. They have cut veterans benefits. They have not allowed soldiers to quit when their original agreement has been fulfilled. Everyone from the foot-soldier, all the way to the top-brass has noticed these things.

Still, I agree. Angry Conservative-Republicans with guns are a lot more dangerous than irate Liberal Democrats with pens.

6:32 PM  

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