Misplaced American Anger

Groucho Marx famously quoted in 1954 on a radio show; ‘speak when you are angry—and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret’.  Looking at society today in the United States with the rise in violence and discontent it is easy to see that today’s generation is not heeding Marx’s advice.

There are a plethora of things to be angry about today; unemployment, housing market, rising cost of education, healthcare, continuation of warfare etc. With those serious issues, it brings to question why someone would become hotheaded on something as asinine as inability to join the US Army, when they themselves did not want to enlist. Current president Donald Trump tweeted on July 26th, 2017 to America ‘After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you’.

Screenshot of Trump’s Official Twitter Account

There was an obvious outrage from American citizens. However, it is interesting to note two points. The first being that President Trump wants to reinstate a previous policy that former president Obama had reversed. The second point is that Twitter is not indicative of policy. Trump tweeted something, he did not sign an executive order, yet. Fiscally speaking he is attempting to save the U.S. government between $2.4 Million to $8.4 Million. Granted, that barely scratches the surface of the $49.3 Billion spent on Military healthcare in 2014, effectively less than one percent.

Why the outrage? There are copious amounts of people that the U.S. military will not allow to enlist. Patriotic citizens with cysts cannot join the military. No Diabetic is allowed to serve their nation, no are those individuals that do not meet a specific weight, age, or height requirement. Where are the people protesting and raging against the establishment? Men that are missing both of their testicles or that have undescended ones cannot enlist. Women shorter than 58 inches tall, or anyone over 80 inches cannot proudly serve their nation, where is the outrage? Why is it that one issue is raised above all others? In a nation that as of June 2017 has a 4.4% unemployment rate and in 2016 had 564,708 people without homes and teetering on 1.4 million veterans at risk of homelessness does that one issue make your blood boil more than anything else?

It Political Science there is a school of thought on the definition of power. Robert Dahl’s theory essentially is that if you have two people A and B. If A possess the ability to control B than A has power. D.D. Raphael states that power is ‘the ability to make other people do what one wants them to do.’

Transgender US Army Reseve Captain Sage Fox speaks during a conference entitled ‘Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe’ organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Palm Center in Washington on October 20, 2014. Photo: Getty Images/AFP/Nicholas Kamm

Wikipedia states that ‘In social science and politics, power is the ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people.’ Though Donald Trump may be disliked by hordes of Americans currently, one has to understand that he is intelligent and knows what outcries will come from his Tweets and statements. Essentially, those that protest and run to the streets are giving President Trump power over them. There is a system devised to petition the administration. You can contact your representatives, even the White House to attempt to change policy.

Before the current outcry of ‘unfair’, there was recently another blood boiling issue in the United States, restrooms. The issue basically was that some people identify as another gender. The end result in one case is that Target issued a statement saying they are spending $20 million on single stall bathrooms. Interestingly enough, no one argues over which bathroom they are allowed to use on a plane.

Ultimately, it is a constitutionally protected right to speak your mind. However, there is a difference between speaking your mind thoughtfully, and using profanity and threats. Victor Hugo is famously quoted as saying, ‘strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.’ In lieu of being a keyboard tough guy, take a meaningful stance with a clear mind. Speak your words, rally your comrades and have a peaceful protest. There is enough violence and hate spreading across the United States, enough to make people consider how United America really is.

Anger breeds hate, and hate eats the individual up inside and can cause serious health issues beyond high blood pressure. Hate can cause stress which can lead to a heart attack. There is quote attributed to Buddha which beautifully illustrates this point, ‘you will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger’. It is find to get angry from time to time, just don’t act while you are still seeing red.


Jason Roth
About Jason Roth 9 Articles
Jason Roth is a journalist and analyst of US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA from a Prestigious University.

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