I always carry a lot of anger. Enough for two or three people, at least. Over the last decade or so, I've had a lot of help working on it. From family. From shrinks. From preachers. Part of it's good -- it makes me funny. Most of it isn't.
There are several reasons for my being as inherently angry as I am. (Nothing to blog about.) And when anger comes out of me, I've learned to pay close attention.
One thing I've tried really hard to do as I get older is to stop directing the anger at the wrong objects, and to try to understand the real causes. I don't always succeed in putting my finger on them, but at least I figure out pretty quickly that most of the immediate triggers of the recurring storm of negative feelings aren't really the causes.
So as I pass through the Rage of the Bush Re-election, I've been asking myself some questions. Why am I so upset? Because Kerry lost? Actually, no, that was just the trigger. From the outset, I said he couldn't win, and I was right.
What I'm angry with are the political parties -- both of them -- and especially with George Bush and Dick Cheney. I despise what they're doing to this country. Words cannot describe the rage. Not so much with Iraq (although that is such a sick joke) as with what's happened within our borders. The police state. The "ownership society." The social injustice. The fiscal bankruptcy. The hypocritical Bible-thumping. The mindf*cking. The apathy toward all of the above.
For the last several months, all of that anger had been pushed down. As with most elections, by the end of the campaign I had channeled that white heat into advocacy for a candidate, and fervent hope for an outcome. It was a relatively constructive channel for those months.
But that stagecoach turned into a pumpkin at 10 p.m. PST on Tuesday, when Ohio was called for Bush. Suddenly there's no positive way to translate the revulsion I feel for what we as a country are becoming. There's nothing to work for, not for quite a while. And there's nowhere to escape.
And so it is that several months' worth of repressed anger emerges. Am I mad that Bush won? No. I'm mad that he exists.