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Fri Dec 23, 2016, 11:42 AM

Axis

“Anger, he smiles,
Towering in shiny purple metallic armour
Queen Jealousy, envy waits behind him
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground.”
-- Jimi Hendrix, Bold as Love


Chronic anger is a disease. One of the symptoms is that it leads to divisions, as in when groups of angry individuals splinter into smaller and smaller sub-groups that are hostile to one another. This is what we are witnessing in American society today, just as it is spreading around the globe.

It’s happening in large regions of this country, and within states, communities, and neighborhoods. Indeed, it is happening within families. Chronic anger elected Donald Trump as the next president. One would have to be in full denial to believe that the nation is not experiencing a serious illness.

There are divisions between the progressive and liberal communities, which were brought to a head by the 2016 presidential election. If one were to read closely enough, one could even find evidence of this on the Democratic Underground.

Now, I’m not talking about the spontaneous emotion of anger. Closely related to fear, in the context of the brain and body, anger has played a role in human evolution. Rather, I am talking about chronic anger, which is destructive to both the individual’s brain and body, and to groups of people.

Chronic anger makes individuals and groups self-righteous. It brings about selfishness, and other forms of self-deception. And this is self-defeating. I can think of no better example than a statistic I heard reported, that some 14% of registered Democrats voted for Donald Trump. Safe to say that these were angry, rather than happy, people.

In this sense, anger and fear share many common characteristics. None are more important than their good and bad potentials: for if handled properly, they can produce the fuel required to achieve victory, or each can result in burn-out -- with anger causing a form of burn-out that the individual fails to recognize. Chronic anger exhausts one’s ability to think rationally and objectively.

In a healthy, well-functioning society, the chronically angry people are understood to have problems. In an unhealthy, dysfunctional society, those angriest of people are mistaken for leaders. Again, there is no better example than Donald Trump’s election. Yet, while this is easily understood by all, far fewer people seem capable of applying this same dynamic to smaller groups.

This allows for the angriest voices in communities to be mistaken for “speaking for the group.” There are two distinct dangers associated with this, the first being that it becomes remarkably easy for the group’s opposition to exploit. Almost without exception, for example, it was provocateurs (“:inciting agents”) who promoted hostilities in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s-’70s. They exploited the groups’ angers and fears to divide them.

This is not to imply that all the problems within the liberal and progressive communities -- or within the Democratic Party -- are the result of outside agitators. For example, we should take note of the fact that the republicans have won three of the last five presidential elections. Consider the number of republican governors that will be running states in 2017. And the large number of elections for the House and Senate that have been lost in recent years.

In that context, is it rational to think that more victories will be achieved by further dividing the groups and individuals that might form the party’s base of support in the future? Or might it be better to consider the possibility that the party’s leadership has some responsibility for the failure to win elections? Those appear to be our two options: either to engage in a puritanical orgy of finger-pointing and blaming others, or else taking responsibility for our own actions an inactions. It would seem worthwhile to consider which of those two options that the party’s leadership has taken since election day.

Peace,
H2O Man

21 replies, 3932 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Axis (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2016 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2016 #1
H2O Man Dec 2016 #2
democrank Dec 2016 #3
H2O Man Dec 2016 #7
Hekate Dec 2016 #4
H2O Man Dec 2016 #8
think Dec 2016 #5
H2O Man Dec 2016 #9
suffragette Dec 2016 #6
H2O Man Dec 2016 #11
suffragette Dec 2016 #13
H2O Man Dec 2016 #14
Horse with no Name Dec 2016 #10
H2O Man Dec 2016 #12
bhikkhu Dec 2016 #15
H2O Man Dec 2016 #16
kgnu_fan Dec 2016 #17
H2O Man Dec 2016 #18
Martin Eden Dec 2016 #19
H2O Man Dec 2016 #21
boston bean Dec 2016 #20

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 11:52 AM

1. Well said, as always, my dear H20 Man...

I can't really add anything worthwhile to your superb essay, except K&R.

Thank you!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 12:51 PM

2. Thanks, Buddy!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:29 PM

3. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.....as usual.

Thanks once again, H20 Man.

~PEACE~

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Response to democrank (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 05:21 PM

7. Thanks, democrank!

It's a good time for organizing. 2017 will be a hectic year.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:37 PM

4. Peace of the season to you, H2O Man

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Response to Hekate (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 05:23 PM

8. Peace to you, Hekate!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:39 PM

5. Great post. Thank you.

 

Last edited Fri Dec 23, 2016, 04:06 PM - Edit history (1)

Best wishes for the holidays.

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Response to think (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 05:32 PM

9. Thank you.

May you have a good holiday season, too.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:59 PM

6. People want to be heard, not ignored or taken for granted.

They want input and for that to be valued.

Yet it is harder to do that in our increasingly hardened bubbles. We share information that confirms our biases and ignore or blast that which doesn't. It's a very human way of operating. Yet, I think our leaders need to be able to push past that and find ways of inclusion that still include and strengthen our basic values. And part of that is taking a clear look at once strong and now fragile coalitions.

An example of that is in my state of Washington. We're viewed as a stalwart blue state, much as Michigan and Wisconsin once were. And the higher population in our bluest areas have kept that reality in our national elections so far. Yet the cracks in that have been there for a few years now and became evident when two of our 'Democratic' State Senators went from voting with Republicans to joining them in an actual coup of our State Senate in 2012. The Democratic Party here had supported them rather than cultivating other candidates who shared values of our state platform. The Party only finally censured them and withdrew its support after those two aided in the takeover of our Senate by the Republicans.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_Coalition_Caucus


http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/02/04/gross-disloyalty-democrats-censure-tom-sheldon/

The state Democratic Party has censured State Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, for “gross disloyalty” and “perfidious behavior,” and told the dissident D’s that they will never again get a dollar of support or access to a party mailing list.

Tom and Sheldon have teamed up with 23 Republicans to form a “Senate Majority Caucus,” and have begun to use a 25-24 majority in the Legislature’s upper chamber to overhaul worker’s compensation laws and pursue such goals as axing the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act.

In a resolution adopted by state Democrats at a weekend central committee meeting in Olympia, the party charged that Tom and Sheldon are denying the ability to pass progressive legislation to many Democratic State House members, and denying to the Governor and the voters of the State the ability to pass a budget that reflects Democratic values.”

The resolution also calls on the Senate Democratic Caucus to “officially and permanently expel” Tom and Sheldon from the caucus. The resolution passed unanimously.



One of them is finally out now, but one still remains and the State Senate is still Republican controlled.

The State House is split almost evenly, barely in Democratic control.

Meanwhile the county of Grays Harbor, which has been voting reliably blue for decades, voted for Trump, the first time since 1928 they had voted for the Republican for President.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grays_Harbor_County,_Washington

Grays Harbor County was one of the most consistently Democratic in the nation. Until 2016, the last Republican Presidential candidate to carry the county was Herbert Hoover in 1928[19] and the last Republican gubernatorial candidate to carry the county was Daniel J. Evans in 1964.[20] However, Donald Trump carried the county in the 2016 Presidential Election.



That county is not sharing in the tech boom that's helping to fuel a decent economy in the bluer areas here. Their economy is depressed and they feel their voices aren't being heard.

This is a short article, but it's hard for me to pick out just four paragraphs to highlight. It's worth the brief full read.

http://www.king5.com/news/politics/once-democratic-grays-harbor-county-gives-trump-a-boost/346538984

We need a targeted way to address this that still moves us forward. The reality is that when we move on from older industries, people in the areas that thrived from them will lose their livelihood and communities will shift loyalties if nothing is done to replace that. We can't just leave it up to the marketplace to respond. Corporations are an entity without feelings of care or compassion. We have to be more innovative and provide solutions that take the next step forward and include the input of these communities, while assisting them in being a working part of that solution. Maybe something like a jobs program that looks to upgrading old systems to new ones, like creating needed infrastructure for newer energy and communication systems. Maybe something that I can't envision, but hope our leaders could.

I don't have the answers and I'm not sure I even expressed what I am seeing and feeling clearly enough. But I look at what is happening here and think of what happened in Wisconsin and I worry that not enough is being done at the state level to keep us from that path. And if we go in that direction, it won't help our national situation.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 06:44 PM

11. Very well said.

I really appreciate your contribution to this thread. There is definitely good reason to start replacing many of the elected representatives at the state and local level, as well as in DC.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 11:36 PM

13. And I very much appreciate your return. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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Response to suffragette (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 12:58 AM

14. Well, thank you!

And a happy holiday season to you and yours!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 05:34 PM

10. Perfect.

I've been very angry....I should change that.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 06:53 PM

12. Hello!

There's a wild rabbit living under my front porch. It's fun to watch her run around the lawn. Mornings when I take my dog out, she's frequently consuming whatever food he left on the ground the day before. That and the apple cores I leave out.

I also get a kick out of watching three deer that come by each morning and evening. Earlier in the week, one strolled up to some of my windows, and trimmed some of my rose bushes for me.

When I watch the field and forest community like this, I think everything will turn out good. At the same time, I know that lots of living beings who are not human beings are counting on us to use our best efforts to protect the living environment.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 01:35 AM

15. Who teaches you anger and hatred - that is your enemy

How do you defeat your enemy? You stop listening to him.

Two simple things, anyone of any intelligence should be able to understand and practice.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 09:40 AM

16. Very good.

Your post reminds me of part of Malcolm X's speeches on, "Who taught you to hate yourself?"

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 10:17 AM

17. Thank you, H2O Man.

The very last three sentences of this story gives us a lesson we may need.



Holy Rage: Lessons from Standing Rock
By Louise Erdrich December 22, 2016

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/holy-rage-lessons-from-standing-rock
[link:http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/holy-rage-lessons-from-standing-rock|




Peace

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 11:04 AM

18. Outstanding article!

I think that a primary reason for the corporate media's failure to report on Standing Rock is that the more people were exposed to the Truth being communicated there, the more they would find real leadership in their own communities.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 11:49 AM

19. If anger cuts both ways, why does it benefit Republicans but not Democrats?

It seems that chronic anger can be exploited by an unscrupulous demagogue, which explains the success of Donald Trump.

I am not suggesting that Democrats elevate unscrupulous demagogues to leadership roles. Down that path lies madness and ruin.

While we each must confront the chronic anger within ourselves and also within our larger groups in order to develop effective strategies for moving our country forward in a positive direction, we need to understand that chronic anger will continue to be an unavoidable aspect of the political landscape. Any successful strategy must take that into consideration and have a goal to not only win elections but to lessen the endemic chronic anger by addressing the root causes of it.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 04:49 PM

21. Very good. Thank you.

“Every tyrant knows that if he can get others to focus their hatred on some other person, they will soon forget their own low level of being.”

That sentence, from one of my letters from Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in 1978, sums up how Trump won the election pretty well. It wasn’t only the chronic anger of republicans that fueled his victory. The angers and resentments of large segments of the liberal and progressive communities definitely played a significant role.

Certainly, those who voted for Trump believe that they “won.” I’m confident that, in a relatively short time, many of them will realize that they’ve been played. Still others will ingest another dose of that chronic anger, feeding an addiction that convinces them they are on the winning team.

Some of the liberal and progressive communities are apparently still very angry. We should be patient with them as individuals. That can include conversations about the current socio-political reality. But I don’t think it should include arguments.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2016, 11:53 AM

20. One side offered uplifting hope for all, the other fear and hatred.

We see which side won.

Pitifiul, and dangerous.

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