Sarcasm Is An Indirect Form Of Anger
Behaviorists who study such things say that sarcasm is an indirect form of anger. If that is indeed true then the speeches at this year’s Republican convention, especially those of Romney, Giuliani, and the vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin dripped with that subsurface anger. But what are they angry about? Are they angry that the last eight years of Republican control has been so disastrous that they feel power slipping from their hands? Are they angry at a countrywide awakening that we are up to our collective asses in problems and its time for a change. Are they angry that regardless of who wins in November there is a mountain of debt that will have to be paid back by all of us – Democrats and Republicans.
I’m at a loss for an answer.
Just as “compassionate conservatism” in previous Republican cycles was a clever phase – it hardly is a way we remember the reality. And is certainly not a slogan continued in the current cycle. The current cycle seems to be about macho conservatism, a cheerleader rally about us versus them.
Lacking is any accountability for the last eight years. Lacking in the attacks on the intransigence of Washington is any acceptance that it was their party that was the intransient. And completely lacking was any spotlight on any Republican politician who shares the blame for that intransigence.
Watching the TV cameras pan across the Delegates, you are hard pressed to see a black face. This is a white party – a monolithic party and a party still obsessed with their belief that they are entitled and that they are never going to share that entitlement, especially under any “we the people” government mandate.
It is a grasping for constancy in their lives rather than consistency with their alleged beliefs. It is the play on code words like “liberal” and “effete” and “San Francisco” that belies any suggestion of intent on inclusion.
After November we will find that we all occupy this same country, we all live next door to each other, we all depend on each other – and as best we can, we will have to deal with the divisive, shrill, and yes, the sarcastic language that will still echo in our midst – and, most likely still, in our Congress.