Take a Deep Breath, GOP Voters

Republican voters are really, really angry. They’re angry with the economy, angry with the government, and most of all, they’re very, very angry with President Obama. In fact they’ve been fuming since his election and especially since the passage of health care reform.

Republicans and conservatives are convinced the president is taking the country in the wrong direction. They sincerely believe the additional government spending taken on by this president—and before him by Republican George W. Bush—will wreck our country.

Fair enough. But the over-the-top rage of far too many GOP voters is unhealthy and likely to be counterproductive.

Angry Tea Party protesters in 2009. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/wstera 2

 

Let’s get some expert advice. Here’s the Mayo Clinic:

Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.

And the American Psychological Association:

Everybody gets angry, but out-of-control rage isn’t good for you or those around you…Anger can increase people’s–especially men’s–chances of developing coronary heart disease…Anger can also lead to stress-related problems, such as insomnia, digestive problems, and headaches.

And it can cloud your judgment as well.

Again and again, commentators have pointed out that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and especially former Utah governor Jon Huntsman aren’t appealing to Republican voters because they’re just not angry enough.

Romney has problems of his own, as this blog and others have chronicled repeatedly. But Huntsman is a consistent conservative, and he still hasn’t captivated the Republican base because he doesn’t share their rage against the president.

So, this group has turned to one after another unelectable “conservative” candidate: Donald Trump, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. Now it’s former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s turn.

Newt Gingrich? He’s more inconsistent than Romney is, and is completely a creature of the rotten-to-the-core Beltway culture the Tea Party detests. But he’s angry at President Obama, and he shows it and that’s good enough for many GOP voters.
 
Smart Republicans are panicking about his ascendancy, because he’s box office poison among the independent voters who determine elections. Even if unemployment were 10%, the president could still beat him handily. But for now, much of the Republican “base” just doesn’t care.

I’ll let the Dalai Lama sum it up:

…When such intense anger and hatred arise, it makes the best part of our brain, which is the ability to judge between right and wrong and assess long-term and short-term consequences, become totally inoperable.

Indeed. And we’re getting an object lesson right now that in politics, anger can kill.

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