American Elephants


Anger Management: Everybody’s Angry! by The Elephant's Child

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Everybody is angry, or so we are told. The election is about a nation consumed with anger. That’s an easy diagnosis, if perhaps too facile. The debate last night would seem to confirm that diagnosis. The tag line to the debate was Ben Carson’s wistful “Would somebody please attack me?” (so I can have a chance to speak) Otherwise, it was obvious that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were thoroughly fed up with Donald Trump’s constant rude slurs and attacks, and gave him a dose of his own medicine. He was clearly unprepared for that.

Donald Trump, we are told, is conducting a “populist campaign.” But what does that mean? Merriam Webster simply says a populist is:

a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people

So I turned to Business Dictionary.com (which was the next post) :

In general, ideology or political movement that mobilizes the population (often, but not always, the lower classes) against an institution or government, usually in the defense of the underdog or the wronged. Whether of left, right or middle political persuasion, it seeks to unite the uncorrupt and the unsophisticated (the ‘little man’) against the corrupt dominant elites (usually the orthodox politicians) and their camp followers (usually the rich and the intellectuals). It is guided by the belief that political and social goals are best achieved by the direct actions of the masses.

I haven’t heard anyone talking about “the little man” in years. And yes, there’s way too much talk about “the working class” (vs. the leisure class?), the common people, the unwashed, the lower classes — that sort of thing. I have always thought of America as a classless society. I grew up very rural, and have always known people who were very poor, as well as people who were unusually rich. I didn’t know until recent years that was unusual, that most people grew up in neighborhoods were everyone was pretty much like them.

As far as Donald Trump representing the “common man” or “the little people”, Kimberly Strassel disposed of that theme in today’s column at the Wall Street Journal, pointing out that “Trump is the Ultimate Insider,” today’s must read, (paywall, or look on Google)

I’m not sure that the anger is not misdirected. President Obama has famously announced that he has a phone and a pen, and will attempt to make law on his own, since Congress will not cooperate. And he has been successfully doing exactly that. Many voters are furious with Republicans in Congress for not stopping him. And it is really the first time a president has so flagrantly violated the laws and the Constitution in ignoring the tripartite nature of our government deliberately, and  attempted to enact his own preferences in violation of public opinion.

There has been a campaign by Democrats to blame the police and policing for “mass incarceration” though that incarceration is to blame for a dramatically reduced crime rate, in order to keep the black community focused on “white privilege,” in particular and unfair treatment in general, rather than the dreadful unemployment rate in the black community, and the lack of opportunity, resentment which is supposed to make sure that blacks vote.

David Gerlernter wrote that the source of the anger is political correctness, where changed vocabulary and changed emphasis are changing our culture in ways that we could not have imagined. Who could have imagined that the government would demand that people be freely able to use the restroom based on what sex they are identifying with on that particular day. Or women in combat despite the objections of the military. Or that the military would be required to run the engines of war-making on biofuels because global warming. There’s some pretty strong evidence for an aversion to PC in all its forms.

There’s a lot of evidence for anger over our foreign policy, and the neglect of long term allies in favor of pandering to our enemies. We have given Iran everything it wants in exchange for some vague agreements they are already ignoring. Ditto for Cuba, and Obama plans to visit shortly where he will promise all sorts of aid in exchange for nothing at all — the mistreatment of the Cuban people will continue, as will the mistreatment or execution of dissidents.

A lot of small businesses have found themselves unable to compete with other businesses who hire illegal aliens at reduced wages. Workers at Disney were famously fired, but forced to train their H1B replacements in order to get the severance pay to which they were entitled. Those workers are testifying before Congress, but any resulting legislation will be a long time coming, and that’s a source of a lot of anger.

And of course you have the people enrolled in ObamaCare who have learned that the promise that “you can keep your doctor” was a bunch of hooey, and you will have to pay far more, and wait longer to see a new doctor that you may or may not like.


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