The professor who taught the first political science class I took spent much of the semester on his pet theory about how people will tolerate a surprising amount of oppression, but there is a limit and once you get past it, boom.
This was a long time ago, so he used examples like the Iranian revolution, where the Shah created such a corrupt, horrific regime that finally the people had enough and went full medieval, instituting a theocracy that’s been a thorn in the west’s side ever since.
I’ve been thinking back to those lectures by that funny little man in his bow tie over the last few years—the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the rise of Trump and Sanders seem powered by anger and frustration.
People are angry. Inequality is at the level of the robber barons, the middle class is under siege, rural America is wilting on the vine, and people of color are still dying at the hands of law enforcement.
At this point the anger is mostly constrained inside the political system, though it’s starting to leak out, like with the Bundy Ranch standoff and the Ferguson riots.
Obviously, the Occupy movement and the Bundy Ranch crew place the blame for their anger in different places, but both points of view feel in their bones that they are getting shafted. Shafted hard.
And it’s not getting better—the trend lines point to inequality increasing, for the downward spiral for rural people and the middle class to continue to accelerate.
And I think back to my old poli-sci professor and wonder where the limit is, at what point the levee breaks.
After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.
The Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and now Trump. America is angry.
Nic has never been more worried for the future of America.
The GOP base is searching for a new Evil Empire to fight.
Did you know the U.S. government is planning to invade Texas? Well, it’s not. Nic attempts to explain.
The Republic prints another sad editorial about net neutrality. Nic’s regard couldn’t be any lower.
The Arizona Republic prints a willfully ignorant editorial against net neutrality. It makes Nic unhappy.
Nic tries to understand why people choose to live lives of fear and anger.
The American voting system is stuck in a time warp. This makes Nic sad.
There are ways to fix the illegal immigration problem. They don’t involve yelling at children in buses. Nic explains.
Game of Thrones and The First Law Trilogy illustrate the different ways England and America are dealing with fading empires.
It’s way easier to be an extremist in America if you’re white.
The idea that both the left and the right in America are getting more extreme is false. Here’s why.
The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.
The Arizona Republic editorial board thinks the young ’uns are lazy.
If things are in balance, there should be Marxists.
Nic tries to understand the Tea Party. Predictably, it doesn't go well.
Nic immigrated to an America that looks to the future and uses science and engineering to make the world as great as possible. And then there's another America.
The harrassment charges against Cain and the sad kabuki theater of the Republican nominations.
Campaign season is gearing up in America and Nic has some thoughts on the endless primaries ahead.
Political news coverage in America tends to be abysmal. Nic explores why.