Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Angry All The Time

There's a song I love by that name. Bruce Robison wrote it; it's a song about the heartbreak and loss of a divorce. It's quite possibly the saddest song I've ever heard. But it has a humorous second life for me, sort of teasing somebody who really should lighten up. You just sing the last line of the chorus, in the general direction of the sourpuss: "I don't know why you gotta be/Angry all the time." (This is definitely another one of those country songs Confirmation Sponsor Guy should listen to, and appreciate.)

Country superstar Tim McGraw recorded the song as well, but his voice is too clean to really make you believe him. Bruce Robison sounds like he's been crushed by life, and that's what you need for a song like this. Kelly Willis sings the background vocals, and you can almost believe she is the wife. Truly haunting stuff.

Anyway, I've alternately wanted to sing the last line of the chorus in the general direction of the angry electorate, and Ted Cruz. It's possible I'm just out of touch. It's also more likely that a great mass of the people is incapable of doing anything besides emoting.

I might chuckle to myself at the general ineptitude of a Mitch McConnell or whomever, but we could be in a golden age of governance, and people would say, "The establishment is out of touch." That's just what we say, like trained, talking golden retrievers.

Let's talk about what this is really about: whites. White people of a certain age don't recognize America anymore. There are too many people of color around. Blacks, Hispanics, whatever. And probably not working, they think. And snuck across the border, too. In my day, we didn't take handouts. And you could make it, if you worked hard. And on it goes.

And don't even get us started on Obama! The birther stuff wasn't just anti-black racism; it was amplified by the fact that he seems vaguely foreign. The truth is, though, Obama isn't any more or less a standard-issue Democrat. And where that is problematic is where it's been problematic since 1968 or so: abortion, sexual politics, rejection of traditional values as a social force, et cetera.

None of those problematic things has changed all that much. But we have changed. Some of us can't even see a picture of the president or the First Lady without getting angry. Not all of you can look me in the eye, and tell me that anger is for the aborted babies. Stop lying to yourself.

It would be different if we articulated our opposition to the prevailing ideas as part of a philosophy of what human beings are to do, and to be. But at the moment, the issues are just tribal markers, and the tribe is unhinged. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi? In the end,--even if most people don't want to say it--the whole matter is that they just aren't like us. We don't need respect, we don't need arguments, for the subhuman. This is the darkness of our hearts, this is the discomfort of who we are.

I need you to know that I seriously thought about joining the Democratic Party as of last night. John Kasich jokingly said some weeks ago that he was in the wrong party primary. What a sad commentary on the party of Lincoln, that such a kind man, such a human man, is out of place among us! I nearly want to cry at the thought of it.

Lord, have mercy!

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