The Angry Voter, Mad at the World
We freely admit that like many Americans, we are frustrated. From trifling loved ones, products and services that are supposed to work but don’t, a birth certificate that takes forever to arrive, a credit card that doesn’t, stalled careers and limited cash flow, our stressors are many. Of the three Power Ball tickets we recently purchase, not one digit matched any of the winning numbers. Still, we are not mad at the world. The 2016 Presidential election reveals something far different.
Steeped in public disenchantment the contest for the highest office in the land is characterized by the angry voter, who wishes for nothing more than to punch someone in the mouth. This is especially true of those on the right many of whom will forgive any political excess no matter how wretched as long as the candidate of choice channels their rage. Any with whom they disagree are despised no matter how unreasonable or counterproductive.
To some extent, we understand their sense of loss; their feeling of outrage. Our social order is indeed skewed, our institutions are dysfunctional and our political/economic/legal systems reward the undeserving, the vulgar, and the corrupt. All sides of the political spectrum surrender to political correctness and there are those on each side who believe that they and only they are entitled to America’s bounty.
Rather than speak truth to power the media is reduced to a nullity. Fascinated by sound bites and addicted to ratings, it reduces everything to the pabulum of “Reality TV”. If Kim Kardashian were running for office she too would be leading in the polls. More importantly, the media always misses the point.
Donald Trump is not the story. The story is instead those who support him. It is their dissatisfaction with everything, and his willingness to stoke and exploit their frustrations, hostilities and “isms” which explains his appeal. It is also that which makes Trump and what he represents dangerous.
We are therefore disappointed by the 100 black ministers who kissed his ring. And we are forever frustrated by what occurs every year on this, the birthday of Martin Luther King.
At virtually every MLK Dinner in the nation, beautiful speeches are given. Yet, they are received by those who are more interested in being entertained than moved to action. The standard for each keynote address is how many times the speaker can induce the crowd to shout preach. While not a damn thing changes.
And while hatred and violence may spark a movement or even birth a nation, they can sustain neither. Annoyance and irritation may foment change, but they can never win the peace or cement a society.
Pressure is a privilege and our challenges are but opportunities by which to find our better selves. We lose these prospects by succumbing to rage and hostility. There is no need to make America great again. America is already great. And there is nothing that we as a nation cannot handle. The possibilities are endless.
In conclusion, vote as you will. However, should our frustrations get the better of us, should resentment and hostility guide our political decisions, should those who are mad at the world prevail then we and the world will suffer.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum