Friday, June 17 2016 23:03 EEST
Robert Reich: An old friend writes - 'America is becoming unhinged'
USA, Donald Trump, Robert Reich, Hillary Clinton, presidential election, Republican haters, economy, inflation, conservative politicians,

Everybody seems to hate everybody else. What the hell is happening to us?

Robert Reich shared on Facebook

'An old friend writes: 'America is becoming unhinged. It's not just the mass shootings and gun-crazed violence. The vitriol and hatred I see are free-floating. Trump responds to 50 murders by triumphantly saying, ‘I was right!!’ John McCain says Obama was ‘directly responsible’ for the attack. A Georgia congressman asks people to pray for Obama's death. A Baptist preacher rejoices in the death of 50 gays and says all LGBTs should be lined up against a wall and shot -- and his congregation cheers. Fox News has a Sunday's worth of professional Republican haters and slanderers. Bernie-or-busters hate Hillary. Hillary supporters hate Bernie.'

Advice to everyone who feels we're becoming unhinged:

1. It's not nearly as bad as it looks. The media continue to sensationalize the rants of a minority of loud and hateful lunatics. The vast majority of Americans are decent, reasonable, and tolerant. True, Trump is still only six points down from Hillary, but that’s not because his bigotry and hatefulness has such strong support; it’s because many Americans still just don’t trust Hillary.

2. The economy continues to be horrific for the bottom 60 percent – whose wages continue to drop, adjusted for inflation, and whose paychecks are becoming less secure by the day. They’re angry and frustrated, and some of that anger and frustration is being exploited by Trump, conservative politicians, and right-wing broadcast demagogues to blame others (immigrants, Muslims, blacks, Jews). This is not new in history.

3. The Internet is creating communities of people who reinforce their own views and biases, and cuts them off from everyone who might cause them to question those views and biases. It’s also giving people anonymity – allowing them an emotional outlet in which they can say far crueler things than they’d say in person, or perhaps even than they believe.

None of this excuses hate speech and hateful acts, but it does I think explain what's occurring, and suggest it's not as bad as it sometimes looks or feels.'

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