Summary: Campaign 2016 shows the result of our apathy and passivity: two horrific candidates. The solution is simple. We have the political machinery bequeathed us, idle but still powerful. We know our peril as the Republic dies. We need only find the spark within ourselves that will produce action. Anger can help.
“Anger is easy. Anger at the right person, at the right time, for the right reason, is difficult.”
— Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, book IV, chapter 5 (slightly paraphrased).
“Telemachus, now is the time to be angry.”
— Odysseus. From the “The Odyssey” (film, 1997).
Our political leaders — both parties — flagrantly cuckold us, flaunting their allegiance to the 1% without even attempting to conceal it. We react to this ugly truth in a commonplace fashion, with the dreamtime (to use Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s concept). We pretend not to see. We pretend not to care. We tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter. We pretend amnesia, as if we don’t remember.
Just as spouses drift away from each other once their trust is broken, we less often work the political machinery of the Republic — not even voting. We have less confidence in its institutions and leaders. This response makes disaster more likely to happen.
There is another path. We can get angry. It’s not a solution, but a necessary first step to motivating Americans to become politically active. Appeals to logic and theory are insufficient. Anger is the key to arouse passion, and passion unlocks resources — people’s time and money.
The by-now obvious construction of a New America on the ruins of the old provides ample sparks to arouse anger. The bank bailouts rightly aroused anger that led to the Tea Party Movement. There is the diversion of Federal, State, and local tax dollars to the 1%, and their harvesting of the fruits of America’s fantastic productivity. There are a thousand other reasons for anger. You can list them.