Rage against the machine

Posted: 4 January 2016 in Uncategorized


Apparently, Americans are pretty angry these days.

According to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey/Esquire poll [ht: ja], nearly half of Americans are angry, and no groups are angrier than whites and Republicans.

Overall, 49 percent of Americans said they find themselves feeling angrier now about current events than they were one year ago. Whites are the angriest, with 54 percent saying they have grown more outraged over the past year. That’s more than Latinos (43 percent) and African-Americans (33 percent).

Seventy-three percent of whites said they get angry at least once per day, compared with 66 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks.

The poll also found Republicans are angrier than Democrats. Sixty-one percent of Republicans say current events irk them more today than a year ago, compared to 42 percent of Democrats.

That’s pretty scary stuff. And it certainly explains the support for Donald Trump and his continuing lead over more mainstream Republican candidates.

But digging a bit deeper, in the Esquire presentation of the poll, there’s actually some interesting material.*


For example, 74 percent of respondents believe the gap between the wealth and everyone in the United States is growing. Only 22 percent say it’s staying the same.

And among those who say the gap is growing, they blame Wall Street banks and financial companies (18 percent), globalization and jobs going overseas (17 percent), and, perhaps most surprising, capitalism in general (17 percent).

Only 14 percent say white men are struggling to keep up, while other groups are moving ahead. Sixty-one percent oppose Kim Davis’s decision to refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the basis of her religious beliefs. And 78 percent think elected officials generally enact policies that favor the interests of the wealthy.

So, it’s clear lots of Americans are angry, and for good reason. But it’s not all clear their anger is being—or, even more important, can only be—appropriately reflected or represented in Trump’s campaign.

*Here’s a link to the methodology.


As it turns out, I’m pretty angry, too—at least according to the Esquire quiz.


  1. […] voters are clearly angry. At least it’s clear to me—for example, as reflected in the success of the Donald Trump and […]

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