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To no one’s surprise, thousands flocked to the National Mall Saturday to see and hear Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.
There’s a lot of voter anger out there. On the other hand, there’s not a lot of ways or places to express that anger. Beck offered an outlet.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the likes of Beck, Palin, et. al. People are mad. They want action. They need more choices.
On the flip side, the left offers their channels for anger: Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, etc. But like Beck and Palin, Olbermann and Maddow offer a limited choice of options from a narrow point of view.
Both sides serve their own special interests. Neither side serves America. The angry voter is a resource for exploitation, not salvation.
There’s no doubt that serious, fundamental change is necessary in this country. America is a nation in deep trouble. High unemployment, we are told, may well last another decade. Recovery in the housing market is a far off dream. Our economy is floundering, the dollar is a joke on the international money scene and the nation is torn at the seams by dissent, discord and dissatisfaction.
We are no longer a nation united by a common bond. We are a nervous populace divided by anger. Those on the left blame the right. The right blames the left. The center blames both sides and all sides offer nothing but a return to their own perspectives as a solution.
Anger is too easily fueled by those eager to exploit. Anger creates great soundbites and headlines but produces little in long-term solutions. Anger deepens wounds that take too long to heal at a time when healing, conciliation and cooperation are necessary to achieve any real chance for success.
America cannot move forward as long at we are mired in a morass of hate, anger and futility. America usually stands tallest during tough times but these tough times have gone on for too long and are taking their toll on the national psyche.
Angry voters are urged to institute change by tossing out the old but sending the old guard packing does little to bring about that change when the new is nothing but recycled old. Barack Obama swept into office on the illusion of change when — in reality — he thrived by exploiting the same corrupt system of government. Democrats promised changes if they regained control of Congress and then installed two old-school pols — Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — as their leaders.
So can we expect the new crop of changers — installed by so-called “grassroots movements” like the Tea Party — to change the way things are in Washington? Can Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Ben Quayle and other favorites of the AstroTurf movement save America?
Not really. Even if all of them are elected, they will be a minority of freshman at the bottom of a very tall totem poll controlled by a system where seniority and old-school politics rule. Some will last only one-term (as happened with many swept into office by voter anger in 1980). Others will adapt and become part of the system they promised to change. The few remaining will become outcasts on Capitol Hill — shrill gadflys ignored by their colleagues and treated with disdain by the media.
In two years, unresolved voter anger — fueled by a lack of overnight change — will target them for removal from office in exchange for another group of change prophets.
Voters will lose. America will suffer. Only the Glenn Becks, Sarah Palins, Keith Olbermanns, Rachel Maddows, et. al will win because the only real goal was ratings, book deals and the financial gain that comes from duping the masses.