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The politics of anger, not merely fear.

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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:55 AM
Original message
The politics of anger, not merely fear.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 12:09 PM by gulliver
I think we miss the real point when we think of Bushian/Republican politics as merely the politics of fear. It is primarily the politics of anger. When we imply that U.S. citizens want "safety" or are "fearful" we unintentionally demean them. They were afraid on 9/11, of course -- more afraid than they needed to be thanks to Junior's bunny-hopping around the country. But after 9/11 people were primarily pissed. They still are.

Formulations like "Bush has made us less safe" are duds. Yes, they strike a glancing blow at the fact that Bush has hurt U.S. security, but they don't hit the central targets for the angry folks: Failure to avenge, failure to enhance/restore U.S. power, failure to bring fear to our "enemies."

Get the angry people still in Bush's camp to turn their anger on Bush and his GOP Congress lapdogs. It's already happening of course. I just think we need to step on the gas pedal and take the country's security trust completely away from these criminally negligent buffoons. To do that, we have to deal with the anger that people are finally starting to share with us.

Bush and his GOP Congressional lackeys are not "unpopular" to use the euphemism. They are failures. They sold us a crock of shit. The voters are pissed and rightfully so.

On edit: It probably doesn't go without saying that I am not talking about riling the people even more. I'm talking about turning their anger on stupid acts of anger and false pride. Dems stand for real security, not knee-jerk, self-defeating acts of ignorant rage. But Dems have to assuage anger by converting it to U.S. success (real success) in foreign affairs and security.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think there is a strong connection between anger & fear.
Both are responses to perceived threats. Think of "fight or flight." Developmentally, fear is the earlier emotion, and anger is actually a secondary emotion that arises out of the same roots. Fear is an acutely uncomfortable state, but it is much easier to tolerate chronic rage, so people use anger as an escape from fear. In fact, I think some people become addicted to ther own "rage chemistry," which is one of the major reasons Limbaugh has such a large following. People who, if they looked objectively at the state of the world (and at their own powerlessness to even understand the forces around them, much less control those forces) would find much to fear, can instead lock themselves in on being angry. The Right Wing Machine specializes in feeding them things to remain angry about: Welfare queens, gays, sex, dirty words on TV, etc., thereby creating and supplying their anger addictions and keeping them from engaging in ansy sort of rational thought.

I have a friend who is a right-winger and a very angry man. He is quite intelligent, but is largely driven by his hate. He believes that he takes into account both sides of every issue, and I have challenged him by giving him various things to read. It is very interesting to watch him. He will start reading whatever I give him, and continue until he finds some minor thing--a turn of phrase, a positive reference to a politician he hates, whatever--and then he will launch into a huge diatribe about that person or topic and quit reading, thereby shutting off the incursion of unwelcome information. For example, suppose I gave him a piece on global warming. He might read about a paragraph until, say, he sees a reference to Al Gore. At that point he would begin raving about what a hypocrite Gore is, and soon he would be talking about how Kerry has three big SUVs and thinks everybody else ought to drive Priuses, etc. Then he would trot out some oil company propaganda that he heard on Limbaugh and either deny the existence of global warming or claim that it's a natural, cyclic phenomenon or whatever.

There is really no point in making any rational argument. It's not about rationality. It's about turning his fear into anger and clinging to the anger as a sort of opiate.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. You are absolutely right. Tell a Bushie he's afraid and you piss
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 12:36 PM by valerief
him off. Tell him he's wrong and hating the wrong person, and you might be able to redirect the anger. Bushies would rather be wrong than afraid.

edited to fix typo
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Anger can be a very positive thing.
I agree with you. We need to turn the nation's anger toward the Repubs. Not just Bush .... he's so 2000. The Repubs need to be the target. There are so, so many reasons to be angry at them.

Look at point six in this 'strategy' paper:

Pick a fight ..... any fight.

I could not agree more.
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. An oldy but perhaps not a moldy. . .
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