As author Michael Kimmel argues in his book Angry White Men, many voters feel “betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway.”
Where does reasonable anger at bad luck or circumstance end and irrational hatred begin? For historical perspective, a lesson can be drawn from World War II, when rage against the Japanese bubbled over following the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time, motion pictures, cartoons, and propaganda depicted the Japanese as buck-toothed, semi-human caricatures. No less a figure than General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command, told Congress at the time, “The Japanese are an enemy race. We must worry about the Japanese all the time until [they are] wiped off the face of the map.”
Even at the height of World War II, most Americans were outraged by such rhetoric. In a 1943 editorial, the Post lauded “the wave of indifference which greeted the recent effort of a small group of super-duper patriots to make the rest of us feel guilty for not hating the enemy enough.”
More hate, the editors pointed out, was not an answer to the world’s problems, nor would it lead the Allies to victory:
“Undoubtedly, there are plenty of reasons to hate our enemies. Those who know what the Japanese have done to captured soldiers and civilians could not exclude hate from their hearts if they wanted to. But this has not much to do with winning the war, and certainly nothing at all to do with making the peace.”
“We wonder why people deplore our lack of interest in hatred,” added Pacific-based Staff Sergeant Hobert Skidmore in an article published a few months later. Speaking for his fellow soldiers, he continued, “We know the quality of hatred. But charity is greater in us than hatred. [Anger] is not an abiding and continued feeling. It is the thing that makes a soldier in combat achieve the nearly impossible. But it must be controlled. An angry man has his guard down. He endangers himself and the other members of his ship, or plane, or gun crew, or foxhole. There is a word we have in the Army for a guy who is always filled with anger and hatred. It isn’t a pretty word.
“At the right time and for the right thing, anger is valuable. A continuing hatred isn’t worth a damn. Do our civilian law officers hate criminals and lawbreakers? No, they have contempt for them and arrest them and punish them. It is a very satisfactory and democratic solution.
“Hatred we know. We are fighting an enemy capable of hatred. They really loathe us and no fooling about that. They hate us with a blind fury: You probably have noticed that they are losing the war, will lose the peace, will lose something the people of a nation should never lose.”
It was pure fun and so well done last night as Saturday Night Live–you know, that show Donald Trump wants to see cancelled–did satire with the last debate. Alex Baldwin nails the look, tone, and smarmy nature of Trump to a tee.
Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Third Debate Cold Open” with Tom Hanks playing Chris Wallace: About women’s issues – “Hillary Clinton” (Kate McKinnon): “Listen Chris, I’m glad you raised this topic because what two better people to talk about women’s issues. Me, a woman who has had a child and has taken birth control and him, a man who is a child and whose face is birth control.”
On immigration — “Donald Trump” (Alec Baldwin): “I have a fantastic relationship with Mexico, OK? I have personally met with the Mexican president. I forget his name. I think it was something like Mr. Guacamole, I’m sorry, excuse me, Senor Guacamole. I also met his beautiful wife, Taquito and their twin children, chips and salsa.”
So I visit Hy-Vee for my flu shot yesterday and the lady remembers me from last year. I thought it odd when she mentioned recalling that I hated needles. All goes well and last night as I am about to get in the shower James asks what is on my arm? I look and there is a child’s band aid with Clifford the Dog on it…….so what is up with that? Was she tying to tell me something? Was there a coded message?
As you can tell from this post I am really ready for anything other than politics after this week.
Saturday I open my new coffee maker up– a Braun which I bought tonight–and wash it out and make java to enjoy with a book. A mystery about breaking into the New York Federal Reserve.
Elvis always wanted to work with a large orchestra and now with digital technology that sound is here for the world to enjoy. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has used their talents to make a second album of ‘The King’s’ classics sizzle. Enjoy one of them here and know there are many others like this.
Another powerful issue of The Economist with a most troubling international problem as the cover story.
Every week Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, finds new ways to scare the world. Recently he moved nuclear-capable missiles close to Poland and Lithuania. This week he sent an aircraft-carrier group down the North Sea and the English Channel. He has threatened to shoot down any American plane that attacks the forces of Syria’s despot, Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s UN envoy has said that relations with America are at their tensest in 40 years. Russian television news is full of ballistic missiles and bomb shelters. “Impudent behaviour” might have “nuclear consequences”, warns Dmitry Kiselev, Mr Putin’s propagandist-in-chief—who goes on to cite Mr Putin’s words that “If a fight is inevitable, you have to strike first.”
In fact, Russia is not about to go to war with America. Much of its language is no more than bluster. But it does pose a threat to stability and order. And the first step to answering that threat is to understand that Russian belligerence is not a sign of resurgence, but of a chronic, debilitating weakness.
As our special report this week sets out, Russia confronts grave problems in its economy, politics and society. Its population is ageing and is expected to shrink by 10% by 2050. An attempt to use the windfall from the commodity boom to modernise the state and its economy fell flat. Instead Mr Putin has presided over a huge increase in government: between 2005 and 2015, the share of Russian GDP that comes from public spending and state-controlled firms rose from 35% to 70%. Having grown by 7% a year at the start of Mr Putin’s reign, the economy is now shrinking
Russian interference in America’s presidential election merits measured retaliation. But the West can withstand such “active measures”. Russia does not pretend to offer the world an attractive ideology or vision. Instead its propaganda aims to discredit and erode universal liberal values by nurturing the idea that the West is just as corrupt as Russia, and that its political system is just as rigged. It wants to create a divided West that has lost faith in its ability to shape the world. In response, the West should be united and firm.
Yesterday at lunch I talked with a county employee about the state of affairs in this country. We agreed that the degree to which civics is taught in our schools or understood generally is awful. We also found it most troubling how the lowest common denominators have taken this nation to new lows.
The latest news headline in my feed this morning underscores both points.
Among Republican and Republican-leaning likely voters, 45% said they might not accept the election as legitimate if their candidate doesn’t win, according to a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll. It was also reported that 18% said they would definitely not accept the outcome. A majority of Republicans — 53% — said they would accept the results of the election if their candidate loses. An overwhelming majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters — 82%– said they would definitely or probably accept the election.
It all comes down to education and like it or not this nation has a large percentage of truly uninformed people who drag the rest of us down. That might sound harsh or even elitist. Too bad if it does.
There are many citizens–and I am one of them–who are sick and tired of the mentally lazy taking our country into places we have never been before. This election season is but one example of the embarrassment that has befallen us. The world looks to us for leadership–economically, diplomatically, militarily–and what they have seen for the past year is a segment of the nation too stupid to not understand or appreciate the basic foundations of even basic democracy.
At first I laugh at those who gather and rally for Trump but then it turns to embarrassment that this type of news video circulates the globe and others somehow will think these bumpkins are a reflection of all those who reside here.
I love those who have differing political opinions than mine as long as they are based on fact. But I can not countenance allowing this nation to drift away from sanity and reason due to the low-life types with their lack of education and bad manners.
If primary elections are generally considered a way to find the two major parties’ standard-bearers, consider that another departure from the norm in 2016.
Only 23 percent of U.S. adults see presidential nominee Donald Trump as the leader of the Republican party, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll. Forty percent see House Speaker Paul D. Ryan as the party’s leader — roughly the same amount as those who said they are not sure.
Even among Trump supporters, fewer than half see the presidential candidate as the party’s leader. Forty-two percent view him as their standard-bearer, while 29 percent of Trump backers see Ryan as the head of the GOP.