When it comes to emotions driving so much of our public discourse and individual decision making these days, rage seems to be all the rage. Anger and vitriol expressed face-to-face and online are often overcoming calmer, kinder, more reasoned voices, sometimes with harsh and even tragic consequences.
Last month, security officers at the Cincinnati Zoo had to kill a beloved gorilla after a young boy had found his way into the animal’s living space. Angry public outcry emerged from certain circles, with some even claiming that the animal should’ve been spared at the expense of the boy.
On June 12, a man apparently fueled by both homophobia and ISIS-inspired rage killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an Orlando nightclub.
Last week, a slight majority of British voters, many of whom were stoked by angry resentment toward immigrants and outsiders, voted for their country to leave the European Union. Now that the predictable and unsettling tidal wave of consequences has been triggered, many of the “leave” voters are asking themselves, what did I do?
And, of course, there are Donald Trump’s ongoing outbursts, which are calculated to whip up resentment and anger. They are the major reasons why this is the ugliest, most vulgar U.S. presidential campaign in memory.
Folks, it appears that the virulent anger we often see expressed in the comments sections of online news articles and commentary is now coming out from behind the keyboard and manifesting itself in very ugly ways. How ironic that all of our whiz bang technology is helping to take us back into a New Dark Age of humanity. We can and must do better than this.