Anger in the RNC
I watched all four nights of the delightful Democratic Nominating Convention and have felt compelled to watch the first two nights of the Republican Convention. I think I won’t watch tonight, because I feel that I’ve learned what I can learn from this version of Republicanism. I had hoped to some extent to be surprised by the Republicans, but I should have known better. They are furious in style, closed-minded in thought, and assaultive in strategy. All fueled by anger. Here is a bit of what Ursula K. LeGuin has to say about this incarnation of anger:
The racism, misogyny, and counter-rationality of the reactionary right in American politics for the last several years is a frightening exhibition of the destructive force of anger deliberately nourished by hate, encouraged to rule thought, invited to control behavior. I hope our republic survives this orgy of self-indulgent rage.
LeGuin’s entire piece on anger can be found in No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/12/05/ursula-k-le-guin-no-time-to-spare-anger/?mc_cid=c44d08c351&mc_eid=78661ca830(public library:).
Of course, this assaultive strategy is not only ego-defensive, it has an instrumental strategic purpose, which is to whip up the Right Wing base and anyone else who nurses great grievance in their life. It is no more open-minded than Fundamentalists of any stripe welcome individual thought or questioning.
It worked in 2016 because of grave miscalculation or even ignorance on the part of Democratic candidates and the DNC. Let’s be sure to vote and, to the extent that some of us can, work toward making sure it doesn’t happen in 2020. And beyond.