Earlier this week, on the one-year anniversary of the election of Donald Trump as president, people in cities across America gathered to scream at the sky. Their impotent rage, which has been on display for the past year, manifested itself in impotent expression. But President Trump remains in office.
Small groups in liberal cities like Austin and New York showed up to join together to “enjoy a collective cathartic yell into the heavens about our current political establishment,” as the Facebook invitation stated.
The scream-fest came a day after a fairly good election night for Democrats. They captured the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey, and won a bunch of smaller electoral victories elsewhere.
Yet the anti-Trump protestors still screamed.
The screaming wasn’t limited to just making sounds into the air, either. There was some screaming in written form as well.
In the New York Review of Books, Nation columnist Katha Pollitt wrote a piece headlined “Year One: My Anger Management.”
Pollitt raged that she has completely fallen apart over the past year. She wrote that “my work seems trivial” and added: “I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump.”
Pollitt wrote that she wanted Trump voters to “have health care and child care and good schools and affordable college and real sex education and access to abortion and a much higher minimum wage.” But the Trump voters didn’t want her – actually, Hillary Clinton’s – offerings “if black people get to have it, too.”
This woman needs a doctor, not a column where she gets to wallow in her unreasonable anger and her bizarre projections. She is failing at the management of her anger.
The larger problem with the screamers and the ragers is that they have let an election that didn’t go their way take over their lives. Politics shouldn’t bring you joy or despair. It isn’t your friend or family, and unless it’s part of your job it should not be part of your daily life.
That politics has taken over everything – permeated all culture, to the point that people believe it’s normal to think and talk about it constantly – is more than a little unfortunate.
Elections will sometimes produce the result you want – but sometimes they will not. If we believe in the structures of our country and in the strength of our system, an election should not be cause for people to futilely scream into the air. If you find yourself signing up for a group scream, it’s time to do some re-evaluating of your life.
Some on the left say “Trump is different.” But anyone who remembers the George W. Bush years or earlier times knows this anger isn’t new.
“If you’re not angry you’re not paying attention,” went the decades-old bumper sticker.
This constant anger that is encouraged by some on the left isn’t healthy and it isn’t constructive. The better plan might be to pay less attention to what makes you that angry. And perhaps to work on screaming less in general, at the sky or elsewhere.