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They’re Making us Mad

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I wrote a satire this week that got some readers going. For a moment there, they were afraid it might be real.

In “The Dream Police,” college authorities punish white heterosexual male students for things they say and do in minority students’ dreams. “Don’t give them ideas!” a reader pleaded.

It’s only because things have gone to such ridiculous extremes lately that such a cock and bull story can ring true, if only for a moment. Yes, for just that little blink of time, what should be funny becomes, well, rather frightening. We look at our leaders and decision-makers and can’t help thinking, “Whoa! They might really like to do that! That really might think they ought to regulate our dreams.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (I’ll bet you feel safer already) has recommended mandatory screening for depression for all Americans — yep, all 300 million of us. Like if, after eight years of Obama, there’s anyone who ain’t depressed.

Once they know whose mental health is not quite ticketty-boo, then they’ll know all sorts of useful information—like who shouldn’t be allowed to own a firearm, run for public office, hold a certain kind of job, be able to publish his or her opinions, etc. The knowledge will be there waiting for them when they decide to make use of it.

The steady drip-drip-drip of this kind of news, the awareness that our nation’s rulers are never more than a twitch away from subjecting us to every kind of hardship, cost, or threat we can imagine—think “amnesty,” for instance—along with the daily observation that they really do things like Obamacare and “gay marriage,” and whatever else it takes to put America face-down on the canvas—well, all this stuff is getting a lot of people kind of mad. It’s especially getting normal people mad: those who don’t belong to any cherished and protected minority, but who instead must foot the bill for all these follies and struggle to cope with the consequences.

They’ve gotten so mad, in fact, that even comfortable mainstream commentators like Peggy Noonan have begun to notice it. You wouldn’t have thought any noise softer than the Crack of Doom would wake them up.

Normal people are enraged against their leaders and their thinkers for screwing up the country. The fact that after a hard day of sticking it to America, the big shots can relax on the golf course with the president, or even hop aboard a private jet and wind up sipping sissy drinks at Davos in the shadow of the Alps, really doesn’t sit too well with normal people. One is inevitably drawn to remember Marie Antoinette and “Let them eat cake.”

So far Donald Trump has taken the lead in tapping into this deep, hot, burning anger. It propels his presidential campaign. Those candidates who try to remain oblivious to it are falling by the wayside.

Whatever happens with the politics, the anger is not going to go away. Why should it? The things that cause it, and the individuals who cause it, aren’t going anywhere. It’s going to grow more intense.

The people have a message for their rulers, for the smart set, for the big cheeses.

“You have screwed us for the last time, and we are not going to take it anymore. Stop trashing our country!”

Those who refuse to listen are playing with fire.



 

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