Mad As Hell

Protester

Jerry Kiesewetter (CC0)

March 26, 2017

Wherever you turn, it seems like someone’s angry -- on Facebook and cable news, in street marches and congressional town halls. It would seem that we’ve entered a new era of increased hostility. But how did we, as a nation, get here? Is it possible we’re addicted to outrage? This hour, we explore the advantages and perils of getting mad as hell.

  1. A Lovely Day For A Tea Party

    Brendan Steinhauser was watching Rick Santelli on Squawk Box, listening to the CNBC editor’s now-legendary rant following the 2009 bailout of the financial sector that ended with his call for a “Chicago Tea Party” outside of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Steinhauser thought it sounded like a good idea, so he and other activists from Freedomworks did tap into that rage to organize the Taxpayer March on Washington in 2009. Reflecting on the moment, Steinhauser recalls how political anger was just one step toward what he hoped would be lasting political change.

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  2. Want To Be More Understanding? Get Angry

    Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett runs a lab where she studies emotions and says that if you pay attention, everyday anger can be a source of wisdom.

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  3. How 18th Century Philosophers Created Our Age of Anger

    Anger seems to be bubbling over all over the world today. Terrorist attacks in Europe, hate crimes in the US, and populist leaders everywhere spouting nationalist slogans that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable. Writer Pankaj Mishra traces the roots of contemporary political rage back to a surprising source: the 18th century Enlightenment.  

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  4. The Fury And The Calm of Harvey Milk’s Memory

    In 1978, in San Francisco, a terrible and famous crime took place.  Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials, was assassinated. Cleve Jones was a young activist and Harvey’s protégé, the man who would later create the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  What he remembers about that time is how the gay community channeled anger and grief into a night he’ll never forget.

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  5. Addicted to Indignation

    There’s a lot of vitriol out there these days.  Partisan sniping on social media, screaming matches on cable news, and early morning tweetstorms from certain elected officials. Frankly, it’s exhausting. And also infuriating, blood-boiling, and  maddening — so why can’t we let it go?  Could we, as a nation, be addicted to anger? That’s what science fiction writer and astrophysicist David Brin thinks. In fact, he wrote an open letter to addiction researchers and psychologists, asking them to investigate America’s epidemic of self-righteous indignation.  

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  6. Michael Eric Dyson's Message to White America: Get Angry

    Anger can separate us into partisan camps, but it can also inspire people to work together to achieve amazing things. Michael Eric Dyson knows this firsthand. His latest book “Tears We Cannot Stop,” reads as a call to action for many Americans. 

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