Yes indeed, voters are angry. Media people, candidates, and pundits have been saying it for the past few months. They have reported it, as a phenomenon of the ongoing political campaigns. Some have reported it specifically as an effect of the Donald Trump campaign. Others report that it’s about resentment of big government. Somehow, they all seem to miss two essential points.
1. Voter anger is not new. The rage has been simmering since the late 1990s and has been escalating rapidly for the past few years.
2. Outrage is not only about the economy and jobs. Diverse population segments focus on a wide variety of aggravations and grievances.
Media outlets report anger as a headline, without acknowledging the breadth of issues behind it. Political reporters and pundits typically limit discussions to standard observations, often copied from one another.
What, then, are some of the real reasons for voter anger? Following are a few that are among the most prevalent: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Important note: The author does not necessarily agree or disagree with any assertion of the following section. The factors listed are not political statements for or against any candidate, party, or political leader. They are observations, derived from careful listening, and viewing material from multiple sources. _____________________________________________________________________________________
- Many Americans are angry that they cannot trust their leaders, and distrust most of the current candidates for President. Some are especially angry with the President, who promised ‘hope and change’ but under-delivered.
- Young people—especially college students and recent graduates—are angry at the excessive rise in college tuition, and the resulting mountains of personal debt that students must repay. The lack of post-college job opportunities further exacerbates their resentment.
- Black people—especially those with high expectations for the nation’s first African-American president—are angry that their situations have not improved during the Obama presidency. Many middle-class black people believe that the president’s actions indirectly fuelled riots in Ferguson and Baltimore; and created unhelpful actions by Black Lives Matter.
- Many Americans are outraged that the government does not enforce laws barring illegal immigration. They are further angry that “Sanctuary Cities” can flout federal laws by permitting illegal immigrants to remain.
- Workers who cannot find good paying jobs are angry that the government manipulates labor statistics to portray an artificial prosperity. When the President celebrates the statistics, rage and resentment increase. Workers are also angry that pay levels have remained stagnant for several years while large corporations have prospered.
- Many people angrily realize that the ballooning national debt is already affecting every American while elected leaders continue to imply that problems are far into the future.
- A growing number of women are angry that government leaders push for laws that affect their privacy and personal autonomy regarding sex and reproductive issues.
- Many voters are disgusted with the pervasive political correctness that comes primarily from California, New York, and Washington, but is forced onto all Americans. The Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage appears in many regions to violate religious beliefs for the sake of a politically correct minority.
- Those who pay attention to foreign affairs are angry that the administration has undercut America’s position as a world leader by failing to handle ISIS, by bungling the conflict in Syria, by permitting Russia’s aggression, and by mismanaging the post-Ghadaffi situation in Lybia.
- People are angry about the President’s nuclear agreement with Iran and believe that it ultimately puts the US in grave danger. Israel supporters are angry that the President has pursued an agreement with a Muslim country that has openly called for the destruction of Israel and encourages street demonstrators to chant “death to America.”
- The Affordable Care Act has driven anger among many Americans. The promise that the new law would permit people to keep their existing health insurance and to keep their current doctors appears to be a cynical government lie. Small business owners are angry that the law inhibits business growth, and forces businesses to downsize their workforces.
- Supporters of actions to fight climate change are angry that the government has no long-range plan to wean the country from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, people from coal-producing areas are outraged that the administration has taken actions to destroy the coal industry.
- Nearly all engaged voters believe that the government does not listen to them, and ignores the needs of the people.
The preceding list is far from complete. Nevertheless, it represents a broad view of reasons for voter anger.
My book “The Victory that Wasn’t” offers a fictional alternate history with a different kind of Military, and better outcomes for all Americans. It’s available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1GUL8oX