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Appropriate Rage

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers hits the nail on the head when he says that it is time for a different kind of rage. You should go read it, but I’ll give you a quote to whet your appetite:

Republicans lecturing the country about fiscal responsibilty, economic recovery, governing — or anything else, for that matter — would be like Mick Jagger lecturing Mother Teresa about excessive promiscuity.

I consider myself a moderate, but being a moderate isn’t about political party, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean being halfway between the Democratic and Republican parties. The Republican party of the last dozen years or so has been the party of corrupt, lying, disastrous wing-nuts. Or as Sullivan’s reader puts it: “Irresponsible, hateful, mendacious, sleazy, destructive – these words do not even begin to describe them.” They are the party that speaks with one voice — the voice of the immoral, greedy syndicates who bankroll them.

But my rage is not confined to the Republicans. My deepest rage is reserved for us, the Americans who have allowed these crooks to get away with their crimes. We the people who are so easily manipulated into into doing their bidding: even attacking the victims of their crimes (how can a country of immigrants blame immigrants for any of our troubles?). We who parrot the “political narratives” pawned off by the corporate-controlled mass media. We who boost the ratings of parasites like Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin when they shamelessly lie, and fill their bank accounts when they spew hatred. We, who eagerly vote for the same crooks who raped and pillaged us, like the hopeless abused spouses and partners-in-crime that we are. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

We despise other people’s dictators and tyrants, but only because our dictators and tyrants have found a better way to control us and turn us into mindless sheep.  I don’t even know if we can recognize when we are being lied to anymore, if the lie is packaged up and delivered with enough trappings of corporate authority.



  1. I sympathize with your rage. Keep fighting the good fight, though. The rest of the Western world looks at the us the same way you do.

    But I don’t know that we can really blame ourselves as a society, anymore. Democracy is hard. And it doesn’t always yield the most just, right, or logical results. Especially in the context of a laissez faire capitalist economic system.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Effis wrote:

    It’s like everyone lies now and when someone tries to be honest they are met with skepticism. Facts are doubted, and the most outrageous claims and conspiracy theories are believed. The world is upside down and everyone is out to either screw someone else to make a buck and look out for number one or they have completely lost hope. Well maybe not that extreme.

    I really do find it difficult to know who to trust. I’m not paranoid but it does seem like people have very little control over things that are beyond their grasp. It builds on the feelings of helplessness – and that kind of mentality is what politicians feed on.

    Maybe this era is a time of balancing, where things will shake out and the deception will fall away so that beautiful shades of grey begins to span between the duality of black and white. We won’t talk about us or them, rich or poor, right or wrong. Problems and solutions will be defined by how they meet everyone’s needs while the individual thrives also. Oops socialism again.

    I am pro-socialism because it is not communism and it does include democracy. Anti-socialism is destroying society. It is indeed antisocial.

    Perhaps rage originates from ignorance. Defeat ignorance by defining the problems, where do they originate from and who perpetuates the problem. But when people doubt and have no trust and lies are the common vernacular our society breaks down.

    We are getting there.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Mike wrote:

    I am reminded of a great line from one of the great Terry Pratchett’s novels: Making Money.

    “Tell people you aren’t going to rob them, and the people don’t believe you, tell them you are, and you develop a reputation as an honest man.”

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 7:35 am | Permalink