Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why is America so angry?

Kevin Spacey points out that imagination is the strongest form of energy. He created the equivalent of Donald Trump in House of Cards.

If you get all your news from cable you might believe that Donald Trump has tapped into a vast reservoir of anger.
And there is plenty of anger. But there are multiple possible reasons. Despite what news networks report over and over it is not just anger that people have to get by on less money, assuming they have jobs at all.
Network polls don’t ask about many of the other issues driving anger.
Some of the people attracted to Trump may be angry that the Supreme Court has protected abortion and gay rights.
Polls show a majority support these rulings, but plenty of people are very angry. They would support reversing these decisions if their candidate got into the White House.
People also are angry that local governments have to pull people over and give them tickets because tax cuts have governments with too little money to provide services expected by these same citizens.
Parking tickets are eagerly issued, and cars towed. Owners sometimes have to pay $100 or $200 retrieve them.
Though it is not related to income, widely publicized killings of unarmed civilians by heavily armed police has angered some people, and not just the black community that is so often the victim.
Governments at all levels caved in to pressure from the Tea Party to reduce taxes at the same time we were fighting wars and expected to provide health care for wounded veterans. Many of these veterans are still waiting.
And Trump is not the only one benefiting from anger. Bernie Sanders is getting thousands of donations from people angered by what Wall Street did to America’s economy and neighborhoods. There is a widespread feeling they largely got away with it without being punished.
Sanders has been able to win some support by linking Hillary Clinton to the banks.
Usually being considered a socialist is enough to turn off American voters. Not this time.
Sanders won a surprise victory in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, at least partly because independents chose to vote in the Democratic primary and because some Democrats were detected voting in the Republican primary, for reasons that can only be guessed.
That Trump, who has ripped so many people off with his private businesses, some of which then declared  bankruptcy, is ironic. 

“The central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn't increased since the late 1960s. ... During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs (and) the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs."

Funny, journalists are often taught not to use that word. Never in my lifetime has it seemed so appropriate.
There is an expression in America, often used in song lyrics and movies: be careful what you wish for you may get it.
For followers of the Netflix series “House of Cards” everything Trump has done has already been done by Kevin Spacey.

1 comment:

  1. Americans are waking up to a new reality and it's not very pretty. For much of the 20th century they were the richest and most liberal in the world. That is if you ignore the genocide of the Native Americans and the indentured and enslaved. The world has gotten smaller and more competitive and while people were looking the other way, clever corporate types seized control of the money system and exported jobs to cheaper areas.The turning toward religious extremism in the governing bodies has also worked toward scapegoating the poor in society. First comes despair, then comes anger.