For many months now, the chattering class of talking heads has been telling us people in this country are mad. More directly, a lot of prospective voters are angry at nearly everything governmental, they say. Thus, the voices reason, that pent up anger is being turned to support for the most unqualified belligerent ever to run for president. Trump.
We’re repeatedly reminded this anger comes from feelings of frustration, disappointment and outright rejection of all things governmental. The rise - so far - in political influence of the far right is being offered as “proof” of this oft-quoted speculation. Trump - though he lies, cheats, lacks facts or ideas for improving our national condition - he’s become a lightening rod attracting every sort of angry condition being thrust on our national political environment. So we’re told.
Here - at the edge of the Pacific - my response to this “common wisdom” is that it amounts to a lot of conjecture, speculation and outright B.S..
The flaw in this widely accepted “theory,” is only a portion of the populace is “angry” and acting out - that the rest of us looking for sanity, leadership and exceptional quality in our next President aren’t unhappy, too. That we are content with things - accepting of how governmental affairs have been conducted - and are trudging along in a national attitude of peace and love.
Not by a long shot! A VERY long shot!
Like Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network,” I’m “mad as Hell.” And, as followers of the electronic musings in these “SECOND THOUGHTS” can attest, I’m not a dues-paying member of any right-wing fringe element. Neither, I’m happy to say, are most of my friends, most of my day-to-day contacts and regular correspondents who are equally as mad but who’ve not turned to supporting or accepting the aforementioned B.S.. Still, we ARE angry. We ARE mad! We ARE frustrated every bit as much as any Trump backer. And we’ve probably got more concrete examples for our angst. Here are a few raising my civic temperature:
## One Greg Abbott, governor of Texas. He’s launched an effort to call a constitutional convention to rewrite portions of our grand old document so states could refuse any federal government law or mandate states don’t like. This from a licensed attorney. Now, I’ll be first to say, being a law school graduate doesn’t give him any special intellectual prowess. But the doctrine of federal supremacy - over which an entire Civil War was fought - was settled many eons ago. He could, of course, have slept through an entire six weeks it was featured at the University of Texas. But this bastard’s serious!
## One Sam Brownback, governor of Kansas. His new Executive Order 16-01, “Protecting Kansas from Terrorism” attempts to block relocation to Kansas of refugees from “anywhere in the world” who present a “safety and security risk.” Which, to him, means all. For the rest of us, details of how to define or assure someone meets those two qualifications were, of course, not defined. Read “shut the borders of Kansas.”
## One Matt Bevin, governor of Kentucky, who, upon election, promptly killed the state’s Obamacare participation which immediately disenfranchised a half-million people who lost coverage.
## A U.S. Supreme Court that made Citizen’s United the law of the land. Also, the Chief Justice who said “states have learned their lessons, changed their procedures” and portions of the Voting Rights Act requiring federal approval of local voting changes “are unnecessary.” Since that decision, the legislatures of Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, North and South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi have enacted new laws disenfranchising voters totaling a million-plus. Wiped ‘em out.
## The U.S. Congress which has voted 59 times - 59 - to kill the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Would have become law were it not for a Democrat in the White House with a veto stamp. More than 12 million Americans could’ve been without health insurance.
## Louis Ghomert, Steve King, Raul Labrador, Darrell Issa, Roy Blunt, Jim Risch, Tom Cotton, Duncan Hunter, Michael Burgess, Pete Sessions, Don Young, Pete Sessions and several dozen more members of Congress who’ve repeatedly shown their existence along the Potomac is for no other reason than to remain on the banks of the Potomac and perpetuate themselves at the public trough they repeatedly decry. They offer nothing constructive, author no positive legislative improvements, complain bitterly about a system of government they were elected to run - if not improve. All the while depositing $175,000 a year from us. Plus-plus-plus.
I could run this on for a couple more pages. I won’t.
The point is, there are millions of Americans just as mad - just as angry - just as frustrated about government, about stagnation and bitterness in our political system as those the media counts as Trump voters. But the fact is, we who reject those voices of political lunacy, may be more deeply affected because we know why we’re “in the winters of our discontent.” We understand the failures. But we’re not ignorantly casting around for someone - anyone -regardless of qualifications - to solve our national issues. Our anger is because we know what’s wrong. We understand why. And who. We even have some serious thoughts about how to get back on track.
Trump is not the answer to our anger. More accurately, he represents the cause of it! A system - a political party - that can produce nothing more positive than that cretin is the result of previous elections when voters lashed out by choosing flawed candidates offering no answers to perceived wrongs at the time.
Like anchorman Beale, I, too, am “MAD AS HELL!” His next words were “...and I’m not going to take it anymore!.” Individually, none of us can make that a meaningful, serious threat. But - collectively and informed - we can answer what the talking heads tell us is anger from the right. We can express our own displeasure with conditions - doing so in a more thoughtful and informed way.
The ballot’s in your hands. Just how mad are you?