Perspectives: How can we help calm the national temper tantrum?

Composite image of stock photos, St. George News

OPINION — Childhood temper tantrums are an inescapable fact of life for most parents. As a toddler, our youngest boy was the undisputed family champion in this category.

In addition to wailing uncontrollably, he’d also stand on the very tip of his toes to fully assert his rage. His “tippy-toe tantrums”, as we came to call them, were the stuff of legend.

Sometimes, he’d get so caught up in his meltdown that, 45 minutes later, he’d suddenly realize he didn’t even remember what was frustrating him in the first place. Rationality would eventually return, the dark clouds would part and the sea would calm.

Today, we look back on those days and have a good laugh. Time and maturity have a way of putting most things into perspective.

This is not the case, however, with the national temper tantrum that has been going strong since November 9, 2016.

Like many people, I was astonished to see Donald Trump secure the necessary electoral votes to win the presidency over Hillary Clinton. The political class and its corporate media shills had worked so hard to convince us that he had no chance of winning, they were caught unprepared when he did.

All of their attempts to shame and frighten Trump supporters into submission ended up galvanizing them instead.

The disappointment and resentment felt by those whose candidate lost, is understandable. No one gets his or her way all of the time. The frustrated outcry that followed was expected, though many of us believed it would eventually run its course and subside over time.

We were wrong.

Two years later, each time it seems that the national tantrum is beginning to calm down, those shrieking the loudest are simply drawing another breath. They still cannot accept the reality that their expectations were not met.

As we’ve witnessed with the past couple of weeks of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the hissy fit is becoming worse. We’re supposed to believe that the current political passion play is the most important thing in the world.

But is it really?

Violence in the streets by masked revolutionaries and hounding and shouting down the political opposition publicly are becoming regular occurrences. Social media and popular culture are aflame with the white hot rage of the politically-obsessed.

When we get angry, we get irrational. This is why mobs are so vicious.

The real danger with this approach isn’t based on mere ideological differences, it’s found in the dynamics of anger, resentment and lust for dominion that are becoming our prime motivators. This destructive mindset can and does infect individuals across the political spectrum.

Whether the goal is identity politics, or simple partisan tribalism, the irrational desire to control others through the power of government violence is reaching a fever pitch. This is where one’s actions speak with greater clarity than words ever could.

Those who claim sacred victim status can be entirely uncivil, intolerant and unhinged to the people around them, without ever being held accountable for the bigoted filth pouring from their own mouths. Meanwhile, the rest of us are expected to walk on eggshells and to speak only those things we’re still allowed to say.

It’s one thing to try to persuade someone to join your cause and quite another to simply demand that they be given power over us because of their claimed victimhood. Such actions are not about correcting an actual wrong we might have done.

It’s about forcing people to beg them for forgiveness, validation and the very right to exist.

Does that sound like a brave or noble cause?

Worship of power and the desire to rule over others have combined to make modern politics a type of de facto religion. This particular religion is a very jealous and dogmatic one in which those who fail to show sufficient devotion are methodically targeted for destruction.

Though much of this is taking place on a national stage, there are things we can do right here in Southern Utah where we have actual influence.

The first thing we should do, as individuals, is to step back from the abyss and to carefully evaluate exactly what we’re trying to accomplish. This requires a willingness to be honest with ourselves.

What ultimately separates the wheat from the chaff comes down to whether we are willing to justify violence, including legal violence against others who aren’t harming anyone else.

I like how Kent McManigal puts it:

If you aren’t creating a victim through your actions — and being offended isn’t being victimized — those who oppose you are wrong.

If our goal is to simply dominate others, then agitating for violence against those who peacefully oppose us is definitely on the table.

On the other hand, if our goal is to promote principles or ideals that support life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then we must be willing to use higher methods than brute force.

That starts with being a decent person right where you live.

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events and liberty viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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17 Comments

  • bikeandfish October 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Editor,

    Heads up, wrong insert.

  • iceplant October 1, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    You wanna see the national temper tantrum stop???
    Ok then…
    Get rid of the temper tantrum throwing baby currently occupying the white house.
    Remember: your president was “helped” into his job. Facts and all.

    • Happy Commenter October 1, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Waaah waaah waaah! Keep crying frozen veggie.. You just don’t get it! You are exactly what the article is speaking about!

      • KR567 October 1, 2018 at 11:07 pm

        LOL ! …..Yep

      • iceplant October 2, 2018 at 4:04 am

        Tick tock tick tock. Only a matter of time.
        Your president is a filthy criminal. It’s sad that you’re okay with it. Keep barking.

        • Happy Commenter October 2, 2018 at 9:30 am

          Hahahahaha! Trump’s the President and you are just a guy sitting behind his computer throwing a tantrum..Care to give us another example of your childishness?

          • iceplant October 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm

            Nice try, Mr. Pot.
            Calling the kettle black is typical of your kind.
            Do you deny the fact that every single intelligence agency in America has said that Russia helped Trump win?
            Are you okay KNOWING that your president is an agent of Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs?
            Do you care that your traitorous opinion will doom you in the end? Does anything matter to at all?

            Don’t worry, I already know your answers. You’re perfectly fine with it.
            Thank you for making yourself known. You only make it that much easier for smart folks to recognize evil. Cheers!

          • Happy Commenter October 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm

            Yes, I do deny the fact that every single intelligence agency in America has said that Russia helped Trump win because to this day every single intelligence agency has said there is not one shred of evidence. Only liberals believe in unicorns, frozen veggie, only liberals and they don’t really count!

          • 42214 October 2, 2018 at 10:59 pm

            I don’t care how Trump got elected or who helped him. I’m just thankful he’s President and Hillary isn’t.

    • Red2Blue310 October 2, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Hear, hear!

  • bikeandfish October 1, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Hyde’s persistent tantrum over the evils of identity politics is only the tip of the iceberg of his hypocrisy. If he wrote with any sense of irony this would qualify for the Onion.

    I wonder if he realizes how much he has in common with what he might call the “radical left”. At some point both wings stretch around so far that the extreme edges touch each other.

  • NickDanger October 2, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Well said as always, Bryan. No one is cool anymore. And I do mean “cool” in the traditional James Dean/Marlon Brando/Keith Richards way. The kind of attitudes we’re seeing now from the left would have been laughed off the national stage back in the 70’s or 80’s. Even the liberals of those days would never imagine that…THIS…would be where their vanity would lead the country.

    Is there no self-awareness from these people? I mean, it’s easy for an old guy like me to sit back and say, “What a bunch of clowns.” But they certainly don’t care what I think, and they take themselves soooo seriously.

    Where did we go wrong? This is, after all, our generation’s children, all grown up, politically naive as the day is long, and mad as hell about something.

    There just doesn’t seem to be anyone worthwhile the current generation respects. Hillary Clinton? I know her as a power-mad political opportunist with zero morals, a dedicated war-hawk, a corrupt fishwife who is quite possibly complicit in dozens of murders. But to the Millennials, she’s some kind of savior.

    I genuinely don’t get it. You’ve put it in better perspective in this article than I ever could.

  • Craig October 2, 2018 at 8:49 am

    The Democratic Party has split. There are still real JFK values Democrats who are sincere, good people. However, far too many, if not the majority, have become the socialist/fascists we see creating violence in the streets and on campuses, those who think it’s okay to harass people in public.

    These are the Brown Shirts of German history. They are dangerous because they are certain they are intellectually superior and have the right and duty to force the rest of us comply.

    The real, sincere Democrats either must regain control of their Party or create a new party. They are being smeared with the evil the others live.

  • Happy Commenter October 2, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The ones throwing the tantrums need to put their binkies back in their mouths and deal with life!

    • iceplant October 2, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      As if you’re anyone to tell others what their lives should be. Spoken like a true Repub. Tell everyone else how to live and if they don’t like it, they’re an enemy. Do yourself a favor, stop watching Fox, turn of Hannity and Limbaugh, and start to formulate your own opinions instead of regurgitating right-wing propaganda and outright lies. You’ll be glad you did.

      • Happy Commenter October 3, 2018 at 9:56 am

        I didn’t regurgitate any right wing propaganda. go back, look, You’re hallucinating again! Trump’s the President and you are just a guy sitting behind his computer throwing a tantrum..Care to give us another example of your childishness?

      • Happy Commenter October 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

        What hole is Trump on in that 24/7 golf game in your head?

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