THE ANGER MACHINE – By Davin Rosenblatt

I hear the refrain “Obama has ruined our country” quite often.  This coming from what appears to be very angry people.  I would even say scared people.  I don’t really see it.  I don’t think much has changed in the past seven years that is fundamentally different.  In fact, from what I can see, more people are working now and getting by.  I see attendance is up at the comedy venues I play. The housing market is doing better than it was.  Health insurance is up.  We are paying more but we paid more every year.  I don’t recall a year where we said well this is cheap.  But I am always open to new information so I asked what has Obama done to ruin this country.
I asked it on a Facebook friend’s page.  I was told about the gutting of the military (still the biggest by a lot), presidential executive orders, Affordable Care Act, open borders, enforcing immigration laws, appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State  who had a private server, allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons, etc., etc. etc.  If you know me, you know if I come to an argument I am coming with facts and documentation.  Maybe it is my legal training, maybe it is how I have always been but I don’t believe in arguing over things that can’t be proven.  That is why I don’t argue if there is a god or no god.  It can’t really be factually proven so you believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want and we’ll go in peace. However, laws and political actions can be proven and are documented.  I calmly refuted the various claims which can in fact be verified.  I was told they are all lies.  I said well if you don’t want facts then I have nothing for you.  And that is when the name calling and the assumptions came flying.  I left as there is no arguing with that type of mentality and irrational behavior.
I have a lot of quite vocal right leaning friends on my Facebook page.  I gave them the opportunity to show with proof what Obama had done to ruin this country.  I genuinely wanted to know.  I even gave an example of something he had done that was bad and has put us all in danger.  I did their work for them on one.  Not one person took the challenge.  And there it is.  They are angry.  They watch and listen to programs that tell them they should be angry.  That tell them who they should be angry at.  Tells them why they should be angry. It is the anger machine and anger is their security blanket.  If I can blame this person or this thing then it is not my fault.  I feel pretty helpless right now but as long as we get change at the top better things will trickle down to me.  I just know it.
I get it.  I was angry during George W. Bush’s presidency.  I was angry at gas prices as they were very high.  I knew he was behind it because he was an oil man.  Do I think his policies had something to do with it? Yes but there are also outside forces which are beyond a president’s control. So maybe it wasn’t all him afterall.  I was angry we were attacked when he had warning.  Could he have stopped it? Who knows but we should have been warned about the threat. I was furious about invading Iraq. I think most of the country joined me on that one with the exception of the most hawkish neo-cons. I voted Obama on the basis of change.  I wanted something different.  I got something different.  Most of it I like.  Still my daily life is not that much different due to anything that he did.  The target of my anger for the most part had tangible things which could be pointed to and with different choices our existence could have been better.  And I think that is what separates my anger at the time to what we are seeing now. Oh I had irrational anger in some instances I am sure but in others it was justified.  
If you are angry at our current leadership that is fine.  Just make sure you know what could have been done differently.  Make sure you understand what predecessors have done and the constraints that are in place.  Educate yourself.
If you refuse to educate yourself then all you are is a pawn in the anger machine.  The machine that uses you to feed itself.  The machine that distracts you from real fixable problems.  Oh it comforts you because the anger machine allows you to point your finger someplace else and relieves you of all responsibility.  Your life choices never come into question when you are being fed by the anger machine.  Your personal shortcomings never come into play when you dance with the anger machine.  However, if you simply follow the anger machine you will never be happy.  You will never take the steps to improve. 
Somebody else will let you down.  Your situation will stay the same or worsen. The anger machine will recalibrate.  It will focus your anger to the new target.  The anger machine will continue to fatten itself off of you and others just like you.  You are nothing more than a slave to the machine.  Or you can educate yourself.  You can try to improve your personal circumstance.  You can try to improve the lives of those around you.  You can be the light.  Where do you want to live your days?  Will it be in the shadows of the anger machine or will you be your own light and maybe somebody else’s?

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