It might seem crazy what I’m about to say, as Pharrell Williams sang in the “Happy” song, but I am another happy guy, which is just as irritating in its own way.
Sadly, I am a happy but lonely outlier. A poll announced earlier this month confirmed what we already knew – that Americans are in a growing state of rage.
The poll was called the “American Rage Survey” and was a joint project of NBC News, Survey Monkey and Esquire.
The pollsters questioned 3,257 adults in November a few days before Thanksgiving.
A naive person might suppose that people would be feeling more grateful than usual around Thanksgiving but outrage takes no holiday.
The poll found that 49 percent of Americans feel angrier now about current events than they did a year ago. White people were the angriest, 54 percent of them more outraged than last year, compared with Latinos (43 percent) and African-Americans (33 percent).
Among political groups, Republicans were angrier than Democrats, proving again that the GOP stands for Grumpy Old Party.
What is wrong with me that I am not mad? I certainly feel the odd man out. I am a white man who until recently was always registered as a Republican before finally overcome by shame. (It helped that I moved away and had to re-register to vote.)
I sometimes get angry, but overall I have been happy living in America where the opportunities for political humor are so rife. Although everything is far from swell, I believe in the nation’s exceptional ability to muddle through every adversity no matter who is in charge.
Of course, I was a liberal Republican, which meant that I also had to endure much loneliness. Orphans in the poorhouse on Christmas Eve did not feel so isolated.
Will Rogers once said: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” I said: “I am not a member of any sane political party. I am a Republican.” Ah, those care-free days of shutting down the government, American rage in action to no effective purpose.
But it’s just as well. Most of us should be unaffiliated. George Washington was right. He warned of factions – parties, we call them – and we now know they lead to nothing but anger and disappointment.
Sometimes I will reply to a disgruntled reader and say: “You know, if my politics made me as bitter and unhappy as yours, I’d get a new sort of politics.”
To believe that politicians will end up doing what you want them to do is to make a date with severe disappointment. You might as well be a Cincinnati Bengals fan and expect your team to go the Super Bowl.
This nation has way too much politics going on way too much of the time. No wonder way too much anger exists. Politics is too often a monkeyshine’s joke. My fellow Americans, laugh already, don’t rage. It may sound crazy but it isn’t.