America is addicted to outrage. Is there a cure?

America is addicted to outrage. Is there a cure?
Dan Crenshaw, retired Navy SEAL running as a Republican for TX-02. (Image: Dan Crenshaw, Facebook via DCNF)

[Ed. – Sure doesn’t look like it.]

Outrage has become the signature emotion of American public life.

People are so used to it … that they were pleasantly surprised when Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw of Texas declined to be incensed. He is the former Navy SEAL who lost an eye in Afghanistan and was mocked … for his eyepatch by a performer on “Saturday Night Live.” The insult called for outrage, in the usual tit-for-tat. But instead Mr. Crenshaw took it in good humor. …

People have been mad as hell for much of the 21st century, starting roughly with the stalemated Bush-Gore election in 2000, followed quickly by 9/11. Fundamentals have been changing fundamentally: marriage, sexual identity, racial politics, geopolitics. Outrage flourishes also because of the rise of social media — the endless electronic brawl — and because it plays so well on our screens. Cable news draws pictures in crayon, in bold primary colors that turn politics into cartoons. On the left, “stay woke” means “stay outraged.” Trumpians want to “lock her up” or “build a wall.” Outrage is reductive, easy to understand. It is an idiom of childhood — a throwback even to the terrible twos.

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