Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What Makes Anger Wrong?

With last night's US election results showing that the Democrats have taken the House and may take over control of the Senate, anger at President Bush, and the way the Republican party has operated during his time in office, seems to be a central issue.

Whether that anger is seen as good or bad likely depends on whether you like the results of this election.

To me the key to evaluating anger isn't whether you are angry or who you are angry at, but the character of that anger.

There's a huge difference between anger which motivates someone to volunteer to help those harmed unfairly (or to vote) and anger which motivates someone to murder a neighbor they believe to be a sex offender.

The second type of anger often takes its vengence on the innocent. That anger has no room to consider other perspectives and has no room for pesky ethics.

In many cases those who would be considered part of the radical right support violence against those they see as the enemy and see feminist protective measures as attacks on them. Their anger has them either ignoring or justifying men who murder their wives. And it has them ignoring or justifying men who commit acts of violence against abortion providers.

Those who oppose violence and who don't step over the line are frequently angry about violence, but when outsiders treat all those who display anger as if they are the same and tell everyone to make nice, they aren't going to be welcomed as voices of reason.

The generic advice to stop being angry shows not reason but ignorance.

Anger can be used as an excuse to cheer those who harm people who disagree with you or it can be used in a healthier way.

The choice belongs to each of us.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:08 AM   0 comments links to this post

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