Duck! and Gather

Rahm Emanuel (2 of 4): Anger and Belligerence

Posted on: November 20, 2006

One consistent theme of that Chicago tribune article on Rahm Emanuel is that this is one angry fellow. Emanuel seems to be the leftist version of reactionary radio talk-show host Michael Weiner “Savage”. Both fellows seem to operate at only one-setting: that of anger and belligerence.

Anger and belligerence has long been the preferred style of the reactionary right-wing in America. From Mr. Weiner to Mr. O’Reilly, onto to Mr. Beck and Mr. Limbaugh, over to Ms. Ingraham and Ms. Coulter, anger, belligerence, ridicule, and vitriol seemed to be the only arrows in the quivers of the right wing.

Then along came Air America radio. Launched in 2004, the network seemed to be the misguided response of the left-wing to this right-wing assault. Mimicking their right-wing nemesis, the Air America hosts that I listened to discussed right-wing failings with anger, belligerence, ridicule, and vitriol. I felt this was misguided since what had always distinguished left from right was leftist compassion for our fellow man, for humanity, and for community. Air America did its best to blow up whatever was left of that distinction.

Mercifully, Air America filed for bankruptcy last month. Maybe this suggests I was right in my appraisal that left-wing belligerence is an oxymoron, and cannot fly for long.

But then along comes Mr. Emanuel to prove me wrong. Belligerence is alive and well in what passes as the left in America. In fact, belligerence now stands triumphant. After the midterm elections, the fire-breathing, insult-spewing, expletive-filled Mr. Emanuel is a hero to the formerly meek and moribund Democratic Party.

Well, I don’t know what this says for the future of America. Now that both parties have learned that anger and belligerence pays, what does that say about the country when it begins to realize that, as I have explained in the About page, “the money has gone too far”?

My hope is that anger and belligerence remains confined within the bounds of the hard-to-distinguish center of American politics (e.g. Democrats and Republicans). Here’s hoping that the far left (e.g. Greens) and far right (e.g. Libertarians), can recognize their common ground without resorting to belligerence. Perhaps this natural union can serve as the calm eye of the gathering American political storm.

for the money has gone too far

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