On the EDge: The year of the angry voter

OPINION – I’m pretty sure 2016 will be remembered as “The Year of The Angry Voter.”

At least that’s the way it seems.

Everybody’s ticked off for one reason or another.

They’re angry with the president.

They’re angry with Donald Trump.

They’re angry with Hillary Clinton.

They’re angry with Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Martin O’Malley, FOX News, Megyn Kelly, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, CNN, the IRS, BLM, ICE, ISIS, the U.S. Supreme Court, gasoline prices, the House, the Senate, Chris Matthews and Rush Limbaugh.

Republicans are angry with Democrats, Democrats are angry with Republicans, and the Tea Party is angry with everybody.

About the only person everybody seems to look kindly upon is Pope Francis and that is because urban legend and social mythology has grown to such huge proportions, especially when it comes to all of the phony quotes attributed to him. Give the people time, they’ll be angry with him soon enough.

It’s almost like living in Philadelphia, where they would boo their mother on Mother’s Day if she struck out with men on base in the eighth inning of a tight ballgame.

What this has resulted in, of course, is a couple of guys – Trump and Sanders – who otherwise wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning the Oval Office knocking on the door.

There is no way either candidate would still be in the race if the voters didn’t have this major hate in their hearts for anything political, human or vegetable.

I mean, I thought the last presidential election cycle was unusually vicious.

This time around, however, the smoke is singeing the back of my brain as I see and hear a litany of sins – presumed and earned – rattled off throughout the day as the election goes through its daily news cycle.

I had the news networks on the other day as the run-up to the Iowa caucus took place. I felt as if I needed to take a shower after watching about three hours of this stuff.

I have a friend who has written a couple of books on Washington politics who is apoplectic over the Trump candidacy. I have another who has gone over the edge with vitriol spewing on Hillary Clinton. And, I know others who continue to tar and feather the president, who isn’t even in the race this year and is about to walk away from it all.

I can understand and applaud vigorous debate.

I respect passion.

But, I have no feel for people who are so stupid they don’t realize they are stupid – the afflicted who practice kneejerk politics and couldn’t generate an original thought or opinion on something as important as a presidential election.

It’s one thing to support party policy. That’s what politics is all about. And, you cannot separate it. Either you back your party’s platform or you spend your vote elsewhere. You can’t split your vote, offering some bits to the left, some to the right, and some to the dreaded center.

It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

And, perhaps that’s the rub.

You see, this is, on the whole, the dimmest roster of presidential hopefuls I have ever seen.

There isn’t a one who makes me feel genuinely at ease.

Politically, there is only one candidate who I feel remotely reflects my interests. I wonder, however, if he is actually electable. And, I hear rumblings about his staff that give me pause.

All of this has unnerved the voting public to the point where anything is possible this election year.

Anything, friends.

That’s why, even if I was using your money, I wouldn’t place a bet on who the next occupant of the White House will be. Besides, it is against federal law to place a bet on elections in the United States. But, if you could travel over the border somewhere, and wanted to lay down a few Euros, yen, or pesos, here’s the latest line: Hillary Clinton 5-6, Donald Trump 3-1, Marco Rubio 11-2, Bernie Sanders 7-1, Jeb Bush 20-1, Ted Cruz 20-1, Michael Bloomberg 25-1, and Chris Christie 40-1. As you can see, some candidates are already off the board. That doesn’t mean much, however, because there is a lot of ground to cover between now and Nov. 8 when we cast our ballots, and anything can happen.

So, there is plenty of time to get angry in case you are one of those who is still walking around with a smile.

Things have gotten so bad that I have seen several of my friends shut down their Facebook pages.

One of them left behind this message: “Goodbye, Facebook. My social media accounts are going dark permanently tomorrow morning. I will miss those of you I have reconnected with over the past several years, but the advantages of social media are now outweighed by the disadvantages, and it is no longer worth the psychological price I pay to be myself or express my opinions.”

Another expressed similar sentiments.

So, is this what we have come to?

Is this how we are supposed to treat each other?

I don’t think so.

But, I would like to know why you are so angry.

Drop a comment at the end of this column. Leave a comment on the St. George News Facebook page.

Please, don’t give me superficial stuff like “Obama sucks,” “Trump is an idiot,” “liberals/conservatives are stupid,” or anything else that is vague, vacuous, or simply the continuance of Mommy and Daddy’s influences or preferences. Point fingers only if you have verifiable facts to back you up.

I would also ask that you are respectful of each other and don’t take this off into the kind of political, cultural, religious tangents these sorts of discussions often take.

Coming up with the most caustic comeback doesn’t make you clever, smart, or witty. It just makes you look nasty and accomplishes nothing, so please, let’s keep it simple.

And, perhaps, we can learn a thing or two.

Or not.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.




Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • IDIOT COMMENTERS February 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    europe is having so many problems with all the muslim “refugees” they let in that they’ll be finding a way to get rid of them soon. we need to do the same with all of the illegals here. You people know that the US lets in some 250,000 “refugees” a year from muslim countries? muslim terrorism, i fear, is coming home to us in a big way real soon… R’s and D’s have failed us in gov’t, and will continue to do so. i have no answers there…

  • BIG GUY February 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I’m not angry but I am discouraged. Where have the moderates in both parties gone? The folks who could work out a compromise on difficult issues that satisfied no one but kept things moving forward? Today’s anger polarizes voters and enables politicians on the extreme left and right who will be unable to move the country forward.

  • NotSoFast February 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Great analysis of the anger all around us Ed.
    It’s hard to really understand. Somebody or (something) is making a bundle off the ‘it’s Not Me’, it’s ‘Him’ cry wolf lectures.
    It’s like being an American is no longer important like in days past. Follow the money, it’s under some strange rocks hiding
    under what ever tent you open.

  • Ron February 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    “Michael Bloomberg 25-1…” “As you can see, some candidates are already off the board…” Bloomberg wasn’t even on the board. Alright then…..

  • .... February 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Don’t forget about the angry Bundy supporters. !

    • Citizen February 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Don’t forget about the people who are angry at the angry Bundy supporters!

      • .... February 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

        Don’t forget about the idiot that thinks anti Bundy people are angry at the Bundy supporters . when all that Bundy and his goons did . was just give me something to laugh at !
        LOL ! I loved every minute of that circus. it was entertaining that’s for sure. It takes a real tough guy to invade the home of the defenseless spotted owl ! LOL ! ….ok go back to your room and admire your Cliven Bundy poster Ha ha ha ha

  • An actual Independent February 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I find the whole proccess discouraging. I miss the days when political rivals like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could talk and work out a solution that worked for everybody. O’Neil even spoke to the incoming House freshmen and explained to them that they had better support Reagan because he was responsible for getting them elected.
    I must be doing something right because when I lived in Boulder, CO I was branded a right wing warmonger–and when I came to So Utah I was brand a liberal.
    In reality, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I believe government should defend the border, coordinate projects that benefit everyone and cannot be done piecemeal (think interstate highways), help those who truly cannot help themselves….and otherwise get out of the way. I believe everyone should be able to pursue their own vision of the American Dream, but they should not expect anybody else to pay for it.
    Can we please have a candidate from somewhere who can earn my vote?

    • NotSoFast February 2, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Independent neighbor, most of what your saying, I completely agree with. They don’t have you in a certain basket friend.
      I just re-registered as a Non Affiliated- Independent voter. Lucky me! I’m missing out on the all the ‘We (want) need your Contribution’$$ to support this or that cause, in behave of some politician in (name your state) (name your party affiliation) e-mail spam. (I don’t even have to hit Delete anymore).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.