But they fade.
I lived through one myself, the anti-war movement of the 1960s. (I was a kid, but I was there.) Anger peaked after Nixon’s election in 1968, but it faded. He didn’t need to cheat to win in 1972.
The same happened with the rage of the 1930s, when democracy seemed about to crumble under the twin tides of communism and fascism. It happened in the 1890s with the populist movement.
Rage is a drug. You need bigger and bigger doses to stay high. That’s why Trumpian Republicans keep raising the ante, keep growing more outrageous. Democrats are socialists. No, they’re anti-American. No, they’re Communists! We should put them in jail. No, we should kill them, kill them all!
For both the infected and the infecting, it’s exhausting. In the end, it’s self-defeating.
How people leave such a moment varies. Some overdose and turn completely around. Some become casualties. Others simply walk away.
That’s happening right now. What are William Kristol and Joe Walsh doing supporting Democrats? So many COVID deniers are dying of COVID you’d think a few might take the hint. Mostly, people are taking off their MAGA hats like kids 50 years ago put away their tie dye. Republicans think this means they’ll become quieter Republicans, going for Trump-lite or Trump-like politicians. History says they’re wrong. Democrats were stained by the anti-war movement’s excesses for a generation. There’s a silent majority ready to do the same to Trumpublicans, anywhere from age 40 on down.
There’s a second reason to believe better times are ahead. Prosperity isn’t overthrown by revolution. I can find no examples of it. Successful political uprisings only occur against the backdrop of hard times. That’s why Republican media keep trying to convince us that things are getting worse.
Things aren’t getting worse. The economy is recovering. Inflation is global, not a product of national policy. America’s GDP last year came in at over $22 trillion, China’s at less than $17 trillion, and they have four times as many people.
Yes, the pandemic is a bitch. Yes, climate change is real. Yes, our mental health is straining, even in my house. A generation of young people has had its opportunities seized by their parents, who just won’t f’ing retire! But the inheritance is coming.
Technology isn’t going to let itself be dictated to. The clouds aren’t going to surrender to the bros. If you just want to get back to your life, you have the right idea. Your time is coming.
And if you’re talking about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out. “Don’t you know it’s gonna be, alright,” as the song goes.