The one question I’ve heard more than any other about the current state of political rage is “Why is it so hard to engage in a civil conversation, let alone a debate, with many on the left?”
For just one example, many conservative speakers at what is supposed to be the bastion of free speech, a college campus, have had their presentations interupted, even cancelled, because of the intense anger, in some cases physical violence, that occurs these days should anyone present a different political viewpoint than the majority of the faculty, administration, and student body.
Having attended college in the late sixties during the serious unrest then, I can attest that the rage is much more intense than in that era.
And now that anarchists groups are being allowed to take over legal protests, it is far more so.
The anger now quickly turns to rage which, particularly on the streets, is allowed by local leaders to turn into a free-for-all of vandalism, looting, burning, and any and all other forms of destruction they can get away with including assaults on police–in yet another irony, who are there primarily to protect protesters.
What is tearing at the fabric of this nation just now resembles more an orchestrated revolution than a Constitutional redress of wrongs.
A lot of people concerned about this civic crisis, particularly as perpetrated on the streets after the peaceful demonstrators go home (those who don’t remain and cheer on the criminals), don’t even try to reason anymore with both perpetrators and participants in the mayhem.
They are saving their energy for November and keeping their heads low–even in far less volatile settings. At dinner tables, for example. At gatherings of family and friends.
The guest feature today from American Thinker (July 28, 2020) explains at least one answer to the question from the perspective of psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists. See also some words to the wise from specialists of another kind, below. –PBN
Are Leftists Literally Addicted to Hatred?
Enthusiasm and passion have been a hallmark of political action over all of history. Stating something strongly and with conviction gets attention and almost forces people to listen. But the last three years have seen political passion turn into an explosion of hatred and anger like never before. Why is this?
Psychologists say that anger arises when we have an unmet demand. Some angry reactions are reasonable, such as objecting to bad service at an expensive restaurant, or protesting against an injustice, but others are irrational, such as shooting a gun at someone who just cut you off in traffic.
We use emotions such as anger to help us survive in difficult situations. Scientists have found that all emotions cause neuro-chemical changes in the brain and hate and anger have a larger impact.
Jean Kim, M.D., a psychiatrist and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at George Washington University, writes, “Anger overrides all other moral and rational brakes in the brain because it originates from our primordial, original limbic system: the brain center of our most automatic emotions like fear and desire…. While anger feels good in the moment, it is in fact deeply illogical and destructive; it overrides all other moral and rational brakes in the brain.”
Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW writes, “The neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamines are released causing a blast of kinetic energy that can last a few minutes. In a counterintuitive way, feeling bad sometimes feels good. Like any addiction, anger can induce discharge of dopamine epinephrine and norepinephrine. The adrenalin rush contributes to a sense of strength and invulnerability… it creates a sense of aliveness.”
Constant anger and hatred can easily become an addiction. continue reading…
Knowledge is power.
The better we understand the opposition, the closer we are to real solutions in the courtroom, in the voting booth, on the streets, and in the mind–in which anger festers and rage consumes.
Words from the Wise, to the Wise
From famed strategist Sun Tzu:
It is more important to outhink your enemy, than to outfight him.
From famed writer King Solomon:
He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:32, BSB)
Carry on with tempered mind, calmed emotions, and focused spirit.