I saw a couple of things this past weekend that gave me cause for pause. The first was the comments section attached to a New York Times story about a potential split in the Republican party. A lot of the comments were packed with bigotry, hate and good old fashioned nastiness. Party affiliation didn’t matter, proving ignorance is an equal opportunity quality.
The second was the Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati NFL playoff game. The game was filled with hard nosed football, as would befit that long term rivalry. There were penalties galore, some of which were totally stupid. The Bengals fans, frustrated with the play of their team at home, threw debris at Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger as he was carted off the field after an injury. The online comments after that game were vitriolic to say the least.
Politics and sports are two topics that will most definitely get people all riled up regardless of affiliation. Even so, these incidents are indicative of a crap ton (that’s a technical term) of underlying anger that seems to permeate a lot of our society these days. It seems that everybody is angry about something. Some of the anger may be justified, some not so much. What worries me is that something really big will happen that upsets a significant portion of the country. What will happen then? Will we maintain civility and self-control, or will the pot boil over?
It seems that I am not the only person who has noticed the anger uptick. From the political website The Resurgent:
“There are absolutely… real things to be upset about. There are things to be righteously angry about. But not everything.”
Mr. Erickson is absolutely correct, and the above should apply to other things besides politics.