I’ve seen enough presidential campaigns now to notice a couple of trends. First, they keep getting uglier and uglier. That’s to be expected, unfortunately, with the growth of so many media outlets, thereby shrinking the pool of available eyeballs. You either have a loyal fan base grown through consistent, solid content (i.e. FoxNews) or you sputter and lurch from sensational story to sensational story, hoping to be right more often than you are wrong (CNN, et al). The second trend is more subtle, and it has been on the slow rise since the Tea Party movement came into existence. It’s anger on the Right that is focused in to action.
Now, ‘Anger’ as a concept on the Right is very different from ‘Anger’ on the Left. When the Leftists get angry, they march, scream insults, make up catchy signs and even, on occasion, break things, start fires and possibly kill/maim others. When the Right gets angry, it’s more like a slow-rolling boulder – starts out imperceptibly until the next thing you know…well, you know what happens. Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders get rolled over.
The other key difference is that the anger on the Right comes from a different place entirely than the anger on the Left – and this is really the most important difference. The anger on the Right comes from actual personal experience, not a hypothetical or perceived slight, as on the Left. For example, when people march carrying signs about “Equality” or “Black Lives Matter” or whatever other cause celeb their focused on – it’s not because they themselves have encountered this issue (for the vast majority) but rather they’ve been told by so-and-so that it happens, or they’ve seen it on CNN or they’ve been told by some Leftists actor or professor. Their protests, while loud and vitriolic, are largely hollow. When you single out individuals from the herd mentality, they are unable to voice their concerns in anything other than slogan-esque verses…..Love Trumps Hate, yo.
On the Right, it’s the exact opposite. It comes from real difficulties they’ve seen or experienced first hand. Inability to find a job. Long waits at the ER. Crushing healthcare costs. A stagnant economy. A nation that is more concerned with social issues than it’s own security. Mirroring today’s youth that are more focused on social media than actually finding a job. In fact, the horrifying reality that many of these lost youth actually believe that their social justice activities ARE their job.
The anger of the Right may not be as spectacularly visible and loud as the Left, but I would argue it has always been more effective. We’re the more focused group, the more likely to put our efforts towards solutions and certainly, without a doubt, the more likely to find common ground in our differences. That has always been our way, and except for the hard left turn of the Obama years, it’s been a good strategy. Unfortunately, that turn to the left has necessitated the growth of the counterpoint to the ‘Social Justice Warrior’ on the right – and that is the Trump administration.
Simply put, the growth of Trumpism is a direct result of the Lefts emboldened approach to issues during the Obama administration. A “go it alone’ mentality that said they were the clear moral force and therefore did not need the blessing or approval of the Right. Now that the proverbial shoe is on the other foot, they are not so happy. So, what do they do? They take that ‘Anger” they like to use and they march. March and chant and burn things and break windows and mostly just march. But again, it rings hollow. Especially when they’re marching about things that the Trump administration hasn’t even moved on, such as LGBT issues or racial issues. Or when they are advocating against a TEMPORARY ban on travel from seven countries that none of them would ever set foot in, for fear of death (or worse if you are a woman or a Christian or a homosexual). Hollow men and women, all.