The Democrats have apparently discovered the fountain of political youth: rage. Speaking last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), a crazed elderly loon recently spotted wandering around the country shouting about wealth inequality while closing on a second vacation home, stated, “You should be angry. Take your anger out on the right people.” Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, speaking to Politico, explained: “If we only turn that anger inward, I fear we become the permanent part of opposition. Over the next couple months, we’d better get our act together.”
The Democrats are late to the game. During the 2016 election cycle, Republicans expressed their anger routinely and richly. Trump himself cultivated that anger. As Ian Tuttle rightly wrote at National Review in 2015, “Many conservatives are having their Howard Beale moment: They’re mad as hell, and they don’t want to sit down and take it anymore.”
Now, anger is nothing new in politics. Anger has dominated political discourse since the times of the Bible (ask Moses how he felt about a stiff-necked people seemingly ready to throw him overboard every few weeks). And some anger is justified. If you are angry at corruption in Washington, D.C., you have every right to be. If you are angry at a heedless leviathan grasping at your wages, that anger is justified. Even if you channel that emotion in the wrong direction, we can at least understand the anger.
But something new has happened to American politics in the last few years: Politicians have realized that the simplest path to power is to humor everyone’s anger.