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.


alteroffreedom said…
Frankly, I am a little peeved. As an independent voter I think that the Democrats--okay the far left liberals anyway- are creating what will result in a backlash against the Democrats.

You talk code words? What about , "viseral", "mean spirited", "swirlling","sarcastioc"---did anyone use these to describe Joe Biden speech. Was it because we expect a VP to be on attack and we expect it to be men?

Why is it when a woman does the exact same thing as a male politician she is painted on unequal footing. These are same folks that basically called Hillary Clinton a "bitch" for being strong so why should we expect anyhting less from the far left blogs?

The role of VP is be the attack dog. Thats the distinction. No one cried fould when Joe Biden once said that Rudy uses 911 as "a noun and a verb" etc. Thats not "sarcasm"?

Liberals are always quick to cry foul when they think they are being atacked but act as if their behavior fits just nicely in the all the discourse of politics.

If people really do not think the left is an "angry" lot you really only have to evaluate the language the use and the tactics they engage against people that do not think like them or look like them or come from small towns apparently.

They are their own worst enemy as independents and conservative Democrats reject them.

Thats why Warner, a moderate leads by 20 pts and Obama is in a dead heat in Virginia----if the left keeps it up Warner may still win but Obama will certainly not here in Virginia.
Bill Garnett said…
I have fewer problems with the concept of attacking evil. I have fewer problems with the concept of debating ideas and policies. I do have a lot of trouble with cute personal attacks on one another. It is mean spirited, it is juvenile, and it appeals to our basest instincts.

While our country becomes more and more polarized, the rest of the world takes advantage of our silly quarrelling. And issues like diminishing reserves of fossil fuels and global warming are pushed off into some distant future.

I, like many, resent being pigeon holed – I consider myself more complex. I have many views and positions that would be considered conservative and many that would be considered liberal. And I find it disheartening that the term “liberal” would be so demonized as I feel in the context of the time and place they lived, many of our revered founders were in fact quite liberal. And I find it strange that so many who self label themselves as conservative, are actually so hypocritical when it comes to a real stewardship of our environment and our planet. Or when dissent and speaking truth to power gets a knee jerk reaction as being unpatriotic.

Historically it has been conservatives who were foot draggers when it came to racial equal rights, women’s equal rights, and now gay equal rights. Historically it has been conservatives who are resistant to new science and (by definition) to progress. In this regard I take a more moderate stand and as suggested by the poet Alexander Pope, “Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside”.

Those who roll their eyes at the documentaries of Michael Moore or the PowerPoint presentations of Al Gore are not just closed minded but disclosing a fear of peering into the future or of new ways of seeing solutions.

For you to make statements in absolute language strikes me as an unwillingness to see shades of gray. The real world is in a spectrum, and the temptation to paint one leaning of that distribution with the characteristics of its most extreme components is tempting, but hardly honest and seldom useful. It is divisive.
Danny said…
I like your writing
Alter of Freedom said…
The problem Bill is the "shades of gray" are not what are being thrust to the fore front by those in power from the Parties.

For example, what good does it do to tell voters that a candidate has to appeal to the "far left" in ordr to win the nomination and then move to the center in both ideology and policy to win the General Election. Its an admission that committing "political fraud" is acceptable to the mainstream.

In terms of the "labels" we deal with the hand we are dealt in this respect. People choose to identify themselves as either liberal, moderate or conservative and infact rarely does anyone call themselves socially liberal or fiscally liberal but do however use those terms to distinguish themselves amongst fellow conservatives.

I agree we are all complex, but do not feel that is the individual at fault here but the power structures of the apparatus in the Parties that we as a rule generally ignore until the shoe drops.

I vowed to be very skeptical of those who call themselves Deomcrats until they can provide me an explaination on how the actions of the DNC during the Primary and the counting of delegate votes and the compromise of the process was in any shape or form actions that are traditional Democratic ideals or values.

The Party has since 2000 embarked on a new course but I fear have left those of us who consider ourselves Virginia conservatives behind. I still have faith in the Virginia Party but not the National platform and feel I am not alone in that traditionally Virginia votes with the GOP in the Presidential elections but votes Democrat more time than not internally within the State.

Again, Democrats in my circle are still unable to explain why Mark Warner will win handily in Virginia, but Obama is now behind in the Presidential race here.

If they think the answer is solely racism, well they are frankly in a state of denial or more naive than any of us thought.

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