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Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful? – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful? That’s a question raised and discussed by Francis Menton in an article on his Manhattan Contrarian blog (“Why Are They All So Angry“), here’s an excerpt: It’s the defining characteristic of today’s progressive left: Anger. And it’s not just the rioters like Antifa, or the unspeakably rude people who confront administration figures in restaurants and gratuitously yell at them. Take a look at any of the new icons of the Democratic Party when they are speaking — for example Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Ilhan Omar — and you see them seething with barely controllable anger, if not outright fury. Same with essentially every left-wing commenter on CNN or MSNBC. And I’m just getting to the Democratic presidential candidates. Bernie

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AEI
Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful?

That’s a question raised and discussed by Francis Menton in an article on his Manhattan Contrarian blog (“Why Are They All So Angry“), here’s an excerpt:

It’s the defining characteristic of today’s progressive left: Anger. And it’s not just the rioters like Antifa, or the unspeakably rude people who confront administration figures in restaurants and gratuitously yell at them. Take a look at any of the new icons of the Democratic Party when they are speaking — for example Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Ilhan Omar — and you see them seething with barely controllable anger, if not outright fury. Same with essentially every left-wing commenter on CNN or MSNBC.

And I’m just getting to the Democratic presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders. Is there anybody angrier? Always, and about everything. For that matter, all the contenders who have broken out of the less-than-1% category are putting on a show of trying to out-angry all the others. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris. Anger must be what sells these days to the categories of voters they are pursuing.

My observation is that, at least for those of the progressive mindset, the less they have to be angry about, the angrier they become. You can’t look at the economic history of the United States over the course of my lifetime without seeing tremendous improvements on essentially every measure. You would think that anyone alive today, and having the privilege of living in the United States, would be filled with amazement and gratefulness. And many are.

But not the progressive left. Over there, they somehow find an endless supply of smaller and smaller and less and less significant grievances to be furious about. The more privileged they are, the angrier they are. Take the student body of an Ivy League university. That’s about as privileged a group as you can find anywhere in the world. And yet those people are furious beyond belief. Somebody has more money than I do! I feel “unsafe”! My culture is being “appropriated”! The “corporations” are “ripping us off”! The distribution of income is less than perfectly fair and just!

MP: In addition to the anger problem discussed above, I think it’s fair to say that many of today’s progressive left also havean entitlement problem and an ungratefulness problem” and all of these problems seem to be “spreading like a plague.”

Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful?
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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