Wednesday, October 05, 2011

On Political Anger

Americans are very angry. A recent poll (which I cannot find again) lists the percentages of voters in various groups, from Tea Party to DFHs, who are very angry. The reason I looked for the poll so hard is that the percentages are not that different. But for some reason the media has decided to take the Tea Party as a symbol for political anger in general. Singling out that group means that all the other anger is ignored and that the focus on articles slants towards the goals of the Tea Party.

An earlier poll I did find gives some breakdowns, though it doesn't have Tea Partiers as a separate category:

The ebb-and-flow anger is usually pretty predictable. People are angry when their party is not in power. But something different seems to be happening right now: a general anger or frustration, touching on almost everyone.

It's high time for a different kind of study to be made, one which asks in detail what it is that people are angry about. Is it the economy? The gridlocked government? I would love it if someone peeled back the layers, starting from the media treatment of issues, the birth of the partisan news corporations and the way debates have become more extreme all the way to the basic questions concerning the type of society people desire.

Not going to happen, of course.