Anger and Politics

Years ago, and often since then, I said that anger makes smart people stupid. Unfortunately, it does even more to people who aren’t that bright or those who are willfully ill-informed.

That creates a considerable political problem, especially in a democracy, where there’s often little check on stupidity fueled by anger.

Yet, today, another indictment was served to Donald Trump, the man who tried in every way he could to overturn a fair election – an election called fair by Republican local election officials from coast to coast. Trump’s also been caught on a recording asking, indeed demanding, that the Georgia Secretary of State “find” 11,780 votes. The Trump companies were found guilty of 17 years of tax evasion. Trump was found guilty of sexual harassment and defamation. He’s set a record of over 31,000 documented lies or misstatements in his four years as President. And Trump’s repeatedly called Vladimir Putin a genius and a good man.

Yet today, he’s the front-runner to be the Republican candidate for President in the next election, and recent polls show he’s running neck and neck with Joe Biden, despite the fact that, legislatively, Biden’s accomplished far more than Trump ever did when President.

So… how is that possible?

It’s possible because the Republican base is angry – furious, in fact, with the Democratic “establishment,” so furious that Republicans in the House of Representatives seem to spend most of their time trying to find ways to “get” Biden, rather than deal with the nation’s problems, so furious that they pursue ways to ban abortion totally at a time when the electorate has shown in election after election that they don’t share that view, so furious that Republican politicians, even highly intelligent ones, either share that anger or fear to oppose it.

And that kind of stupid anger can destroy a nation, and those who spread that anger are made so stupid by their anger that they’re unable to even consider that possibility.

4 thoughts on “Anger and Politics”

  1. KevinJ says:

    Don’t forget that Trump likes to fuel anger, and did so even in his “businessman” days. I remember seeing a quote from him saying that it seemed to give him an advantage in deal-making, or something like that.

    Four years of him stoking rage from the Oval Office hasn’t helped. To say the least.

  2. Postagoras says:

    Newt Gingrich pioneered the use of anger to create a reliable Republican base, and it’s worked for decades now. It’s not new.

    Republican candidates don’t get re-elected by solving problems. Like Big Pharma, they realize that cures are not good for their bottom line. Much better is the continued anger. Another dose every day!

  3. Tom says:

    “… candidates don’t get re-elected by solving problems.”

    Why is it that the voters accept this situation? We do not accept second best or shoddiness and false advertising from businesses and professions!

    It seems to me that we citizens get what we allow salespeople to sell us. Why else are the people we have elected actively limiting our ability to change our minds and return the merchandise?

    1. Postagoras says:

      Well Tom, the problem is that the whole not-solving-problems thing is a winning electoral strategy and pretty much defines the desires of the Republican base.

      So it’s not “we citizens” who vote for these candidates. It’s the Republican base.

      All I can say is that it seems that the Republican base is defined by people who feel more strongly about what they are against than what they are for. So they don’t have a policy agenda except to be against the other policy agenda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *