Everybody in America seems angry about anything and everything and, sadly, that means anything is possible.
Hardworking Americans are angry that they can’t leave the grocery store without feeling the sting of inflation. They are even angrier at false political promises telling them that inflation is “coming down” when the only thing they see coming down are the balances in their checking accounts.
The majority of American women are very unsettled that a right they have enjoyed for 50 years to access abortion under the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision vanished overnight in 2022 because, although Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh threw around the phrase “settled law” during his Senate confirmation hearing, he clearly didn’t mean it.
Many college students are angry. They think “American colonial oppressors” are supporting the perpetuation of Israel’s war in Gaza. Many of their parents are angry that they went broke financing an education so morally bankrupt and devoid of historical context that many children may now need deprogramming.
Many of the wealthy are angry to discover that many of the same colleges and universities to which they have donated generously for decades might be among the most antisemitic institutions in America.
Many Black Americans are angry about continued discrimination in America.
In Washington, everyone is getting chippy — and that was before the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot videos were released. Now, there is name-calling, censures, pulling fire alarms, alleged elbowing in the hallways, and a stream of congressional retirements that might put a run on Social Security. But for the intervention of the octogenarian Democratic Socialist, Sen. “Sit down and behave” Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. “MMA Champ’’ Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and an opinionated Teamster leader seemed moments away from pistols at 50 paces on the cliffs of Weehawken.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his perceived antisemitic rants might cost him the loss of even more of his X (formerly Twitter) revenues. Perhaps he should be taking lithium instead of putting it in his cars. Conservatives are mad at TikTok. Girl Dads are mad at Instagram. Beer drinkers are mad at Bud Light. New Yorkers are mad at the Jets, Mets, Yankees and Giants because all of their pro sports teams are at the bottom of the pile. And, in Oakland, fans are mad at the A’s.
Undocumented migrants, crossing the border at a rate of 2 million per year, are mad that achieving the American dream is way harder than they imagined. And many Americans are mad that they have to pay for this realization, a reality they’ve been facing for decades.
Some migrants are so mad that they are headed back to their home countries, and some American celebrities are so mad that Trump might win the presidency again that they might leave with them.
They’re even angry all the way down in Argentina, where the new president-elect Javier Milei, a Trumper, according to Axios, has called Pope Francis a “filthy leftist.” That’s biblically angry.
Anger on the left, anger on the right; it seems we haven’t had this much anger since 1968, the last time the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago.
And, on the presidential campaign trail, we have two angry older men running for the Oval Office. One is almost 78 years old and spends most every day in a New York City courtroom, challenging and yelling at the judge and a court reporter. The other 81-year-old recent birthday boy is shuffling from one stage mark to another, tripping on his laces, speaking to reporters in often nonsensical non-sequiturs. With no end in sight, two political seniors soldier on, with the only thing propping them up being the hot air they blow toward each other. Former President Trump and President Biden are intertwined, opposing forces, each essential to each other’s existence and success within the political sphere, forming a symbiotic relationship that has defined politics. Notably, without one the other falls.
The only thing bringing Americans together these days is how much their respective partisans and the fast-growing trove of independent voters dislike the two men running for the presidency. This growing unpopularity is creating room for another candidate to pop in on each side, perhaps even at the parties’ conventions. The brimming animus to the status quo is even stirring the potential for a third-party candidate as an alternative to two of the least popular figures in modern presidential history. Americans are so desperate for an alternative, even someone like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has attracted support.
Arthur Finkelstein, the great political strategist, often opined that most elections, by their very nature, are rejectionist in nature. With Trump and Biden, there is a lot to reject, leaving former UN ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and a few others poised to assume the mantle of leadership. Let’s not for a moment rule them out. Somehow, in these unsettling times, it’s possible that one of these candidates may find their pathway to the Oval Office when no path was there before.
America is angry; be prepared for anything in the 2024 election.
Earle Mack, former U.S. ambassador to Finland, is a trustee of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith collaboration of corporate and spiritual leaders promoting “peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution,” as well as democracy and human rights as essential principles. He is a partner of the Mack Company, a real estate development and investment firm.
This article was also published by The Messenger, here: https://themessenger.com/opinion/with-americans-angry-anything-could-happen-2024-election-biden-trump