Are you scared or angry?

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of opinion pieces and other articles that discuss the current political climate. I suppose that’s to be expected because the mid-term elections are looming large on the horizon and let’s face it, the last couple of years have been tough for most of us.

A large majority of us voted for hope and change because we didn’t like what we were seeing. We thought an ‘outsider’ could perhaps change things and right the direction of the country. Two years in, it seems that many hopes have not been realized and in fact, intense debate rages on both sides of the political spectrum.

Take for instance the eruption of what is loosely called the tea party. The thing about the tea party is that it is not an organized group with a centralized leader. It is essentially a spontaneous movement that has grown as people have become more aware of how bad things are or are becoming or have been for some time but they didn’t realize it (depends on what view you take I guess). But for whatever reason, a spark was ignited and many individuals came together for a common purpose. In essence to change the way things are.

Now a lot of mean stuff has been said of this ‘group’ although it’s hard to call it a group because really it’s a bunch of small groups that have a similar view. But for the sake of argument let’s call it a group. Anyway, so it’s been said that those involved are racist, haters, phonies, Republican shills, bigots, idiots, trailer trash, rich white people, astro-turfers, even the term terrorist has been bandied about. (Excuse me, ever heard of peaceful assembly?) But it seems that whatever names it or they are called it’s about anger, rage, hatred.

Personally, I don’t see it that way. I don’t see it about anger at all. Admittedly I am conservative and so see a lot in the Tea Party view that I can agree with but it’s not about anger or rage. I think it’s more about fear. It’s more about being scared. Of what you might ask. Well, a lot of things. Aside from the obvious problems of mortgage problems and difficulty in finding work, which tends to upset and affect everyone I think about losing what Americans by and large have always enjoyed. The protections of our form of government. The Constitution was written quite carefully amid much debate and deliberation and written in such a way that it (the government) could not easily ignore the will of the governed.

However, in the last two years we have seen that being circumvented. For example, regardless of whether you are for or against nationalized health care, the majority of Americans did not want it. At least not under the 3,000 page plan that was passed. Every poll showed that Americans were not in agreement with their representatives passing it. Thousands of people descended on Washington D.C. to make sure that message was heard, although after the letters, phone calls, polls and faxes I’m not sure how the politicos couldn’t have gotten that message. Clearly, since it was forced through by all manner of trickery and wheelings and dealings, it was a known fact that the public did not want it. Yet we got it. Prior to that and ironically after having campaigned against big government spending, our new president pushed through more bailouts. This was something the liberals went absolutely ape-shit against when Bush approved the first bailouts. Yet once in office, it was something that apparently not only made sense but needed to be done in spades. The second wave of bailouts positively dwarfed anything Bush had done. All in the name of spurring the economy. Which it didn’t. And again people were vocal, the public did not want it. But did anyone listen? It would seem that no they didn’t.

And the list goes on.

So back to the fear. Americans have always believed that they have a voice in what happens in our country and with our laws. What issues shall and shall not be addressed and/or handled by government. What are federal issues and what are state issues. But again, more than anything the voice. Each American is supposed to have a voice in what happens in our country, without fear of reprisal, consequences or ruination. At least that’s how it’s always been.

Now, not so much. Now it seems like no matter what we say, how many letters we write, faxes we send, events we hold, etc. our voice is being ignored. That the politicos feel so empowered that they can ignore us – that we are not the public allowing ourselves to be governed but rather the unwashed masses, the little people, the subjects of the new kingdom, once known as America.

And yep, people are scared. They are scared to death. And frankly I don’t blame them not one bit. Because it’s not just about whatever laws are being passed but the attitude of our ‘leaders’ that we don’t need to be listened to. That our voices are not valued nor important – and frankly we just aren’t smart enough to know what is good for us – so it is their job to decide that for us.

That is a scary prospect. Americans don’t want to become subjects. They don’t want to become serfs or servants – they want to be what they have always been – Americans. A unique concept and one perhaps that most of the world doesn’t understand and may resent. But America is like no other country in the world and from the beginning it was never intended to be – it was meant to be unique, original and different. It was intended to be a place where men and women could be free and pursue their lives in peaceful co-existence. And too many of us see that slipping away – recently at an alarming rate. So yeah, we’re scared. At least most everyone I know is scared – including me.

What about you, are you scared or angry? Or something else?

copyright 2010

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6 thoughts on “Are you scared or angry?

  1. I think I’m a bit of both – I am scared for most of the reasons that you listed. And I’m damned mad that these holier than thou ELECTED officials feel that they know better than we do what is right for us. The collective “us” that I hear grumbling sounds a lot like you. And to borrow a phrase from Sarah Palin,”How’s that hope-y change-y thing working for ya now?” For me, I didn’t have much hope, but the change I’m seeing is not one that I would have ever wanted for my country. Thanx for a very insightful, thought provoking post.

    Hey BSue!
    You know I read this commentary on the whole climate and the scared vs angry thing – I wish to heck I’d book marked that column because the writer did a much better job of presenting it. But yeah, I’m not having a love-fest over the changes I’m seeing either. Although I suppose looking at the bright side is that this much fast change has woken up a lot of folks and maybe we’ll get our shot at the whole hopey-changey thing, eh darlin? Thanks for reading, sweetie.

    L,
    Annie

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  2. I’m neither scared, angry, nor surprised. I guess I’d have to go with the “something else” choice.

    While the current political situation is perceived to be very different, I don’t think that it is really that new.

    Hi Bob and welcome,
    So you’re in the something else column. Okay, fair enough. Any thoughts about changing anything or are you okay with it? I agree to some extent that a lot of this is business as usual but I think the difference is that in the past the changes were quiet and incremental – now, not so much. Personally, I think standing up and being counted matters a lot right now. And it can have an impact. Do you think so or think something else? I’m just curious – if you’d like to elaborate. Thanks for reading.

    Writer Chick

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    1. WC, I like your stuff, and thanks for the warm welcome.

      “Any thoughts about changing anything or are you okay with it? ”

      I’m not a dichotomy kind of guy. I’m not “okay” with “it” but at the same time, and realistically, I don’t see it changing as rapidly as the electorate has been programmed to think that it can be.

      That doesn’t mean I’m a total pessimist. I just doubt that it is possible to really change the political industry within a single, two, or even three election cycles.

      It takes longer than that.

      Well hey Bob, thank you – appreciate that.

      I’m not sure the electorate has been programmed so much as the media thinks it’s been programmed. But yeah, I agree – it’s not going instantly change over one election cycle. However, it could set things in the right direction – be the beginning rather than the end. I think truthfully, that anyone who is active politically today doesn’t believe it’s all going to be better on Nov 3rd. But I do think that many of us are hoping that some distinct changes will occur and that those changes may foster further change. Make sense? I mean you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

      WC

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  3. Hi Writer Chick,

    Referred here by Squawkbox, so I hope you don’t mind if I throw in my 2 cents.

    What about you, are you scared or angry? Or something else?

    All of the above honestly. Firstly, the scared part: not just for me but for our country and for my kids. I’m really scared that they’re inheriting a world worse than what they deserve. The deficit is something that simply doesn’t have to be. So yeah, that scares me, but it also angers me.

    It angers me that we have been complacent and uninvolved enough as citizens for things to have come to this point. I don’t mean that in a partisan sense. The entitlement mentality, to me at least, is just about as much a Republican problem as it is a Democrat problem. Ultimately, the problem beyond either political party is us though. And that leads me to the something else part of my answer.

    The anger has now pretty much given way to disappointment. I’m disappointed that the best we have been able to do with the greatest nation in the world is to create a mindless entitlement / consumer culture that seems to think that government can be all things to all people. It’s utterly ridiculous and it must be stopped sooner rather than later. We’re all complicit in it in one way or another, to some degree or another, me included. But I do believe we can change course. And that brings me to the final part of my answer.

    I’m optimistic. I believe we CAN change course because America is largely a center-right country with a firm foundation in optimism and a git-er-done attitude. I think the Tea Party movement is the living embodiment of exactly that attitude. Sleeping giants don’t sleep forever, and it’s about time this one woke up. Good morning, America.

    Hey Dude!
    No of course I don’t mind your two cents – in fact, I rather like it when people tell me what they think.

    I loved your answer because it was kind of all of the above with explanation. And you’re right, we’re all complicit in this problem. If nothing else we stood by as it happened and did nothing, or at least not enough to make a difference. Our bad, eh? But most of all I love your final paragraph we can change things and one voice can be heard. Right now, I suspect it’s our voice which is hopefully ringing in some ears. One way or the other I too think we can get-er-done.

    Thanks for dropping by and feel free to come back any time you feel like talking.

    Writer Chick

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  4. Put me in the “it figures” column. I am more concerned than anything. Obama and his sycophants have done a lot of damage. Even if the Republican’s take back the House and Senate the end of this madness is not over.

    If I was one to get into fear it is not because of Obama himself. What bothers me is the amount of people in this country that are convinced that socialism is the answer to our problems. I am convinced that this country is solidly divided into two camps. I dare say there is no middle ground. One camp wants smaller government and return to self sufficiency. The other group wants more government and believes in dependency on the government to solve all our problems.

    This situation has been coming for a long time, all the reactions I see from both sides just makes me say “It figures”.

    Hey Squawky!!!
    Yeah, okay, I get that. Of course the madness isn’t over – BUT – and it’s a big but, maybe just maybe we’ll have a fighting chance. I don’t think that a lot people think it’s just all about this one election cycle. I think that people have become increasingly aware of the fact that it took us a while to get where we are. And oh yeah, there’s going to be a lot of kicking and screaming along the way. I guess what I’m saying is that I think many of us are in it for the long haul.

    You may be right about the two camps. Entitlement vs independence. Maybe the good news is that those who opt for entitlement aren’t so good at putting up a fight. Although maybe I’m under estimating them?

    And you may be grumbling “it figures” out the side of your mouth in an effort to keep your blood pressure down – but I know that in your heart of hearts you’ll stand up and be counted – cuz that’s just the way you roll.

    Love ya you ol’ trucker you!
    Annie

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