In a new poll that asked Americans to comment on their anger issues, Republicans and white people reported being angry nearly all the time.
Perhaps stoked by hate-mongering organizations like Fox News and right-wing radio, a large portion of conservative white people said they got enraged over current events at least once a day, and many felt that they were angrier now than they were just one year ago.
Overall, 49 percent of Americans said they find themselves feeling angrier now about current events than they were one year ago. Whites are the angriest, with 54 percent saying they have grown more outraged over the past year. That’s more than Latinos (43 percent) and African-Americans (33 percent).
Seventy-three percent of whites said they get angry at least once per day, compared with 66 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks.
The poll also found Republicans are angrier than Democrats. Sixty-one percent of Republicans say current events irk them more today than a year ago, compared to 42 percent of Democrats.
The poll, while not exactly scientific, does reinforce earlier research that found white, conservative Americans feel they are more oppressed than any other group. Oftentimes, this anxiety is explicitly about not coming to grips with a black president.
Peter Brimelow, author of “Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster,” asserts that much of white America’s anxiety derives from living under a black president and changing demographics.
Diversity, he says, “is not strength.”
The Tea Party is a response to this emerging white fear. Conservative politicians, sensing an opportunity, seized hold of those anxieties and exploited them for votes. It was also impossible to contain. The hatred and fear-mongering on the right has turned into an uncontrollable inferno. The results are toxic new realities like Donald Trump’s popularity and – more recently – the armed takeover of a federally owned wildlife reserve by right-wing extremists who think paying grazing fees for their cattle is tyranny.
On the face of things, Americans should have less to be angry about. Conservatives may not like it, but the economy has roared back to life under Obama. More Americans have health insurance than at any time in history. Social injustices that have long plagued the country are finally being reckoned with. Crime, in large part, is down.
What’s left is the shrieking, hollow screams from pundits and politicians who desperately need you to stay mad. The Tea Party was an utter disaster, and many of its beneficiaries have been booted out of office by voters with a Tea Party hangover, but its initial surge of racist, xenophobic rage proved to many that “voting angry” is a legitimate – if pathetic – electoral strategy. And as America approaches its next election, it’s clear that they are madder than ever.
Feature image via Flickr