Bipartisan Anger: Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

12 07 2010

(Comparing Britain’s fall from supremacy on the world stage, to America’s now)

“. . .America in 2010 hasn’t reached the self-deprecating Monty Python stage yet, but it’s not much of a stretch to see in Glenn Beck’s tirades, Lou Dobbs’s anti-immigrant screeds, and Sarah Palin’s faux nostalgia for the sunshine days, the nastiness and anger. . .
The offsets that used to restrict rage’s reach have started to break down; the walls sealing the anger off to a specific community or locale, or around a specific issue, have started to crumble. As a result, rage is becoming an ideology unto itself.”

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
July 11, 2010
Look Ahead in Anger:
Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

By Sasha Abramsky

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3 responses

12 07 2010
Crimson Wife

Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

I do see a spread of paranoia beyond the Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh listeners to conservatives who in the past would’ve dismissed that kind of talk as “rabble rousing”. This weekend I had to listen to a bunch of highly educated businessmen have a serious discussion about how the riots in Oakland (30 minutes away by car) over the BART police officer shooting trial verdict show the need to buy a gun to protect one’s family against the coming civil war. I wish I were making this up, but sadly I’m not 😦

12 07 2010
JJ

Hey CW — our resident Brit on the parent-directed education discussion list tells me this is simplistic and made a good case for more nuance, but in the end wrote that his country of origin has been and is “still riven with a subterranean fury at the hand dealt it by recent history.” That’s what I hear every day in every way here in the South, and in Sarah Palin’s world view, Rush on my radio and in my own family members’ unguarded and misdirected moments of inchoate rage at their lot in life (as you put it, I wish I were making this up but sadly, I’m not.)

12 07 2010
JJ

Seems to me THESE are folks most entitled to be angry, but they are “just grateful to be getting by:”

The LaRochelles are two of the nearly 2.4 million Americans who are seriously delinquent on their mortgage payments, thanks to plummeting property values and lingering unemployment. And according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit research and policy group, as many as 9 million homeowners could go into foreclosure in the next two years.

Luckily, the LaRochelles still own their double-wide mobile home in rural Georgia, which will keep a roof over their heads for the near future while Debbie takes care of her ailing parents full-time and David searches for a new job. But he says the loss of their former middle class life hasn’t been easy.

“I’m living about as cheap as you can live,” he said. “I was used to stopping at the grocery store and buying whatever I wanted to buy, walking into hardware stores or Home Depot and getting whatever I wanted to get. We’re definitely not middle class anymore. There basically isn’t a middle class here — there’s wealthy landowners that were raised with it, and the poor people who do everything. It’s like going into a Third World country.”

Despite his frustrations with Wells Fargo and the pain of losing his house and job, LaRochelle says he and his wife are just grateful to be getting by.

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