In another thread TexanOkie remarked that there are a lot of pissed off white liberals in Austin, TX. I've never been to Austin, but I certainly know the type quite well having grown up in western Massachusetts, a veritable bastion of angry white liberalism where the Republican Party is universally considered the root of all evil and social injustice. Maybe not quite, but there are enough people there who believe that America essentially operates as a vast right-wing conspiracy, and certainly more so with Bush in office. I’ve often observed liberal rage manifesting itself at the local level, where public officials are alternatively accused of being idiots or too corrupted by business interests to serve the common good. Ironically, liberals look to government to solve all their problems, but they seem to completely distrust government at the same time. Liberals love to accuse people of hypocrisy, probably only secondly to accusing people of being racist/prejudiced. Then there is the smugness and the “holier than thou” attitude embodied by such liberals as James Howard Kunstler, who basically says most American are too stupid to make the proper choices in their lives because we do things like live in suburbs and ride jet-skis and motorbikes.
Liberal anger can be in good part explained, I think, by defeat. The left has failed to win national elections and thus has failed to establish a liberal governing strategy at the national level. Liberals have not just lost, they’ve been crushed by the GOP ever since Reagan launched the modern conservative movement, which has led to the increased marginalization of liberal ideas. "Liberal", for much of the late 20th century, became a slur that implied you were weak, questionably patriotic, morally bankrupt, and certainly couldn't be trusted with taxpayer money. Wearing such a label, its no wonder why a lot of self-proclaimed liberals are so pissed.
On the flip side, conservatives aren't winning any congeniality awards. Conservative talk radio riles up listeners with daily diatribes about convoluted liberal plots, vile-mouthed Ann Coulter straight up calls John Edwards a "faggot" (and makes no apology for it), and religious right leaders blame abortionists for 9-11. Sarah Palin appeals to Joe Six-Pack (probably pissed off in his own right) with divisive rhetoric about "real Americans", presumably as opposed to those un-American liberals who are going to vote for Obama. Even at the heights of its power, the conservative movement seems to view itself as an underdog warrior fighting a culture war against the 1960s. And to sustain such a fight you need to stay pissed off.
As all this anger on both sides boils over as we approach election day, who do you think is more pissed and why? Liberals or conservatives?