Everybody’s angry. About Everything. Pick a topic, people are angry. This week it’s football, last week North Korea, or healthcare, or taxes, or how the rich school district is rigging the system so they get all the good players whether they actually go to the school or not. They’re angry at the ass in the other car that cut them off or they’re angry at the slow-ass they cut in front of because they couldn’t stand it one minute longer. They’re angry because Trump is president or angry because other people are angry that Trump is president.
I blame Trump.
Shocking I know, but hear me out. If there is anyone in the country who should be living the dream at this moment in time, it’s Donald John Trump. He’s rich; he’s married to, or had been married to, beautiful women, his children are successful, he well known, a celebrity in an age of celebrity, and he became president when very few people gave him any chance of winning. Isn’t that the American dream? And yet, he’s not happy; he is instead, angry; angry it seems at just about everything.
I don’t get that.
Because he’s not a traditional politician or a true Republican insider, he has the opportunity to do big things, grand things, however you choose to define it; completely change the arc this country is on, but America doesn’t do anger in any positive way. Never has and it never will. America thrives on optimism, whether warranted or not. It builds and grows on optimism, but when angry it turns inward and on itself. Name a single angry president we venerate; there isn’t one because we don’t. This country also thrives on unity, again, whether real or illusory, but not on anger. Trump doesn’t play to that and that’s too bad. For us and for him.
And because of that, you can’t be surprise at all the anger and angst, the pushing and shoving, and the perception that everyone is wrong except me or mine and we’re being put upon by everyone whose wrong or doesn’t agree with us. We feed off our leadership good or bad; that’s how we’re wired.
I know folks who are all for Trump and want him to do well just as I know folks who are repulsed by the guy and want him out of office and they can’t understand why the other side doesn’t see it as they do and that makes them angry.
It is at this point that many will bring up specific grievances, on both sides, that I’m ignoring when I express this view; grievances that unambiguously tilt the argument, and yes, there are many problems that are in need of attention, but if they require any level of cooperation, then being angry won’t lead to their resolution. Yes, that’s a generality, but we can get into specifics later. Tone matters. Need an example, look to Texas and Florida and how when the shit hits the fan, people respond; when there’s is real immediate need, people respond. Minus the few idiots invoking God’s wrath or making some asinine comment, what to do is clear.
Anger isn’t going to find those in need, clear away the garbage, repair the utilities and infrastructure, and rebuilt. Leadership does that; resolve does that. Positive, let’s do this together, the future is brighter than the past, the sum of us is greater than the division, rah-rah leadership matters, and yes, competency and commitment and a vision that’s inclusive matters as well, but anger won’t get us anywhere.
It just won’t.