Mad as Hell
People are angry. Or at least they are according to those in the media, who love recounting drama more than a fourteen-year old Twitterer. In the States, newspapers and TV anchors crow about the ‘insurgent’ Tea Party protestors ad nauseum, continuing to legitimize a movement, which supposedly wants smaller government but didn’t blink an eye at Bush driving the country into debt, as grassroots despite the essential financial support from shadowy billionaires who stand to make fortunes more from lowered taxes and deregulation.
Helped along by the over-caffeinated 24-hour news cycle, a frustrating forgetfulness has descended like fog down there (the United States of Amnesia, Gore Vidal has called it) as this midterm election has voters wanting to ‘punish’ the Democrats for not quickly-enough cleaning up the mess that Republicans left by…electing Republicans. According to CNN jabberers, party affiliation often doesn’t matter: an incumbent in the House or the Senate represents ‘Washington’ and the ‘status quo’ and voters just want to ‘clean house’.
Because they’re angry.
And we shouldn’t feel smug up here. The man who is currently at the top of the polls for mayor of Toronto is largely running on anger; anger over the disappointments of Miller’s tenure; anger over taxes and waste at City Hall; anger over the TTC and bike lanes. You could easily believe that this was a horrendous place to live instead of one of the best in the world. But when people have their baser instincts indulged they turn to leaders who act as angry as them.
We all know what it’s like to be angry. Getting into an argument with a friend or family member, you feel hot in the face, your emotions increase exponentially and hurtful words spill out of your mouth at an uncontrollable rate. Although you sense it happening, you’re unable to stop all logic and reason flying out the window.
It’s the right moment to pause, take a deep breath and remind yourself what’s really important. It’s not the time for making a sound and well-informed decision about who you should vote for and the future of your city or country.
Angry voting results in angry politicians; ones who would rather grandstand and shout than work with their opposition, and who will continue to tap into voters’ childish emotions rather than encouraging us to see something bigger than ourselves.
Being ‘mad as hell’ only leads to one place.