Why are Americans so angry?
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9919) 5 years ago
“Why are Americans so angry?”
By Vanessa Barford
BBC NEWS
February 4, 2016
http://www.bbc.com/news/m...e-35406324

I would add, because we no longer talk about the issues of the day. We go CAPSLOCK at the drop of hat.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17328) 5 years ago
The only one that makes me mad is No. 3, Washington. I would narrow that down to one of three of the branches, the legislative. We elect these jokers and they cannot perform their duties. And idiots that the voters are, we continue to vote in extremists on both sides who have no intention to compromise, in order to keep the country functioning. That pisses me off.
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Posted by Exalted Buckaroo (+249) 5 years ago
Do you feel angry, Hal? Are you angrier now than you were at this time last year?

I can't say that I am. I may be frustrated at the snail's pace of progress in some areas, yes, but angry or very angry? No.

As one who has thumbed halfway across the country once and driven it several times, I'm usually struck by the resilience, optimism, and congeniality of the man on the street.

Maybe circumstances are different now, but I doubt it. Nevertheless, it is an election year and the dozen or so candidates hoping to sell us on their presidential skills have learned a powerful lesson from the world of commerce, namely, that fear is among the strongest of motivators. So, it's no surprise that news organizations, including the BBC and other commercial interests profiting by our attention, are all too happy to deliver the pitch.

I try not to loiter in the market for too long.
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Posted by Brandy Allen (-2410) 5 years ago
I think things like the global implementation of the couldhoven-kelergi plan makes people very unhappy.

Did you hear that the pope kissed Putin's ring? What a plan they have?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17328) 5 years ago
Yeah, I was sitting at the bar the other day having a cold one, and we were talking that spring training was starting soon. Suddenly one of the bar flies said, " What do you guys think about the global implementation of the couldhoven-kelergi plan?" Next thing you know, fists were flying, people were so pissed off.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9919) 5 years ago
>> Do you feel angry, Hal? Are you angrier now than you were at this time last year?

Personally, I think life is pretty good for me and mine. I do see a lot of people I know facing challenges – I see government and society dropping the ball, but I am not so much pissed off as seriously concerned and hoping for solutions.

I do see a great deal of anger out there – and it’s not just internet noise. When I speak with folks face to face the anger is there. And for some the anger is so strong they are not thinking rationally.

90 percent of what’s angering and alarming folks is nothing new, the details change, but the themes remain the same. Over the years I’ve saw: the Cold War, Missiles in Cuba, the Domino Theory, Mutual Assured Destruction / Nuclear Winter, energy crises, recessions, inflation/stagflation, Race Riots, campus protests, etc & etc all play out. Most of today’s “issues” aren’t much different.

The one issue today that I thinking pretty troubling is income distribution, but it wouldn’t take much to ease that a bit without going Kremlin, if we’d put our minds to it. Climate change is damned troubling – troublesome in my backyard and worldwide. But if I think about that one selfishly, I know that I’ll be dead before it gets horribly bad (yeah I know, passing the buck).

It’s the remaining 10 percent of issues that need to be dealt with. We need to have governments that deal with the minimums necessary to keep the ball rolling. We need to talk and listen to one another and work on moving forward. It’s as simple as that.

So no I’m not angry . . . damned concerned. But it’s concern tempered with a historical perspective, we’ve been there and done that before and the odds are pretty good we’ll pull through this one and do it all over again down the road.
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Posted by Joe R. Whalen (+220) 5 years ago
I've been thinking about this issue, Hal, and I've concluded that from every corner of grievance this high fever afflicting the republic is over a breach of the social contract. Remember that Hobbes (Thomas, not Calvin) observed that, absent the rule of law or political order, our lives were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" and destined for "a war of all against all", an outcome that is serious, if not unprecedented.

As a case in point, while on a walk from Riverside Park yesterday afternoon I topped the levee near the pumphouse and noticed some guy pouring fuel over a large cardboard box full of shredded paper in front of his pickup parked on the river bank.

Evidently, this white trash P.O.S. couldn't be bothered to use his own garbage cans or get to the landfill on Saturday so he thought it'd be okay to drive into the riparian zone, dump hazmat, create a fire hazard, leave an ash pile, and create a choking smoke stream for the rest of us to enjoy not 30 yards from a city park where he wouldn't have dared do the same thing. Why would that be?

Five minutes downstream, I watched two ORVs running between the river and the high water mark and then avoided people too lazy to exit their vehicle, walk or bike the levee, or keep their dog(s) on-leash or observe a reasonable speed. I've walked past obscenities sprayed on the public bridges, deer carcasses tossed by poachers over the embankment, trash scattered along the road for Keep Miles City Beautiful volunteers to pick up once a year, and slash left by operators dropping trees in the woodland. These vices point to a broken social contract and a vacuum of political order. An otherwise peaceful walk by the river found me swimming the angry tide. For a moment, I even empathized with landowners resisting stream access by the general public.

Miles City attracted me as a place I once described as "uncommonly courteous" to friends and family. Now I'm repulsed by what is becoming a no man's land of the commonly discourteous and it angers me.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9919) 5 years ago
Joe,

It does seem that such things as courtesy / manners, respect, civil discourse, civic pride & responsibility are at risk in our society. And it seems that they are disappearing at an increasing rate with each passing year.

Perhaps it’s just that I notice it more now than I have in the past. Maybe it’s just grumpy old fart syndrome kicking in as I age.

But I do think there’s something to all of this. I wonder if it is because certain segments of our people appear to feel increasingly marginalized and disenfranchised. Is it driven by economic factors? I’m inclined to think that is a big piece of it.

It seems logical to me that if you don’t feel you have some ownership in your community, country, and society then it would be damned hard to go the route of respect and civil engagement.

I know it’s tempting to blame most everything on the internet and the media, but that’s just taking the easy way out.

Of course going CAPSLOCK is also taking the easy way out. And "we" seem very eager to hit the CAPS at the drop of a hat.

But I do have to say I know and meet quite a few young people out there who show a great deal of promise when it comes to being engaged – and not all old farts are grumpy, so I suppose there is still hope.

I waffle back between thinking we’re going to heck in a hand basket and thinking it’s just a temporary phase and we’ll get over it.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17328) 5 years ago
Joe and Hal, I will remind you that half of our population has an IQ below 100.

By definition.

I take comfort in that.
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Posted by Joe R. Whalen (+220) 5 years ago
If the abandonment of civility and/or democratic process were limited to the impoverished and/or uneducated, I might agree with both of you, but I'm not finding evidence of that. What I'm seeing is a frustration across-the-board with process and, more specifically, the effects of the growing gap between the responsiveness delivered through the private sector vs. the requirements of due process within the public sector.

Under the political social contract, we sacrifice the chaos of absolute liberty for the stability of political order under rule of law. A commercial social contract has since evolved in which give up absolute privacy, among other things, for instant gratification. Too often, the two principles work at cross-purposes and one or both are abandoned out of expediency, frustration or both.

In the example of the levee outlined earlier, even though it's reasonable to expect some means of enforcement of state and local laws, the area between the Tongue River and the crown of the levee falls under so many jurisdictions it's difficult to know which or, perhaps, if all would have a hand in the prosecution/enforcement against the next hooligan who finds himself axles deep in the sand while trying to cross the river in his pickup.

As a result, no agency demonstrates the political will to enforce the laws we expect in the name of public order; hence, the term "no man's land", the breakdown of the social contract, the ongoing abuse, and hot tempers. We don't need to travel to Ferguson, MO. or Burns, OR. to watch this kind of dysfunction in action.

I'll yield to anyone else who wants to engage grievances within or from the private sector. The FBI/Apple tussle is interesting.
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