What is "Everyday Rage?"
It is daily anger that festers just under the skin of frustration, a loss of control from feeling oppressed due to acts in this country that has stripped us of our money and our dignity. This was imposed upon us by the elite few who are out of reach of our laws, regulations and the American people. It is clear we no longer have jurisdiction over our economy publicly or personally.
What are the effects of this monumental loss of our savings, retirement accounts and loss of jobs? Has Washington even understood the disastrous impact on individuals who have loss their jobs and no ability to find a new job? I haven't heard much if anything about small businesses sustaining for more than six months as mostly do not have long term reserves?
What effects do these and other insults have on our populous? After research interviewing 50 different people and still counting, here are some of the "Everyday Rage: Contempt just below the surface":
Loss of healthcare availability
Expectations: Dim future, no anticipation that anything will change.
Competition: Can't compete with job market because no jobs
Success: Despair that there will ever be any future success due to experiences above.
Powerless to make any changes: This is where people begin to act out due to feeling so angry and powerless to do anything about their future
Ultimately we become a country polarized o those who still have jobs and those who don't?
What has happened to my America?
I recognize this as I have been in this situation however the economic slump of the 80's was not this bad. What I see today causes me not to recognize my America? I still do not trust this government to stand for me, nor do I trust that I'm being heard or that I even count to my state or federal officials?
Too much has happened to beat me down and I have to dig deep to try and turn this around.
When President Obama's inauguration was approaching I was relieved that the Bush Posse was finally kicked out. Yet, I could not gather enthusiasm for the new dawn that was coming to Washington. I still had residual mistrust. After all, it was eight years of chipping away of my trust and value as a citizen of my country.
I don't remember the moment that I began to fear living in the United States? It was most likely an insidious process. The experience of feeling like an enemy in my own country reminds me of a Philip Roth novel, The Plot Against America. In Roth's novel Charles Lindbergh beats out Franklin Roosevelt and is elected president of the United States in 1940.
Lindbergh negotiated a cordial accord with Adolph Hitler. Lindbergh accepted and admired Hitler's conquest of Europe which then created an atmosphere of anti-Semitism and bigotry in America. This became a nightmare for Jews and anyone who did not agree with the president and his administration. The country became polarized politically as well as racially. Those not agreeing with presidential policies was labeled instantly as a traitor.
I read that book in 2004. I had the uncomfortable feeling I was reading the history of the United States in 2005. Roth's book was supposed to be fiction, yet I shelved it under non-fiction.
The parallel to 2004 was uncomfortably close. We had a president that disregarded the laws of the land. He fostered divisions in the country and suppressed dissent of any kind. He allowed favoritism in his administration and permitted his military to make their own rules.
How did this happen? Why didn't we do something? Why didn't our Congress protect us from this law-breaking president? Where were they? Why didn't they protect us from our version of Charles Lindberg?
Our new "Outrage Fatigues"
Some things have not changed about Outrage Fatigue we felt during the last two years of the Bush Administration.
Remember how we were treated with a series of unbelievable and repeated insults that rendered most of us outraged over and over again. Dick Cheney outed a C.I.A. agent; the Democrats wimped out to the Bush war mongering administration and Mike Huckabee suggested staying indefinitely in Iraq as a matter of honor!
Is it any wonder we were all exhausted from these and a thousand other such outragious, immoral, selfish and illegal events that have assulated our sensibilities?
The abuse I feel now is a broader, more generalized sense of frustration and helplessness that I just don't matter anymore? I feel such a loss of security. I no longer have control over my own finances and future. I'm powerless to change anything.
The money I work so hard to earn is not going into my bank and retirement account. It's going into John Thain's $1.2 million office remodel and million dollar bonuses to the same people who lost all our money.
We certainly can't count on our government watch dog's to catch the burglars: Our own Security and Exchange Commission looked the other way for ten years when warning signs appeared that Bernard Madoff's investment scheme should have been investigated.
How do these people end up determining my fate and then do such a crummy job?
This order is disorder all around us. A female friend of mine who is the most laid-back, peace-loving person on earth succumed to road-rage last week. She lost most of her savings as the economy continues to tank. She said she was listening to the news about million dollar bonuses on her car radio as someone cut in front of her forcing her to slam on the brakes. She snapped and rammed into the other car, screaming at the other driver.
Geri Spieler is the author of Taking Aim At The President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot At Geral Ford. (Palgrave Macmillan)
Follow Geri Spieler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GeriSpieler