The language of resentment

Why do the people who want to lead the country act as though it’s a burden they’re forced to endure?

In her essay on yesterday’s All Things Considered, host Michel Martin says the language of politics isn’t anything like the language of more successful endeavors.

Contrast this with the language of invention. When do you ever hear people say, “Why didn’t somebody else invent the airplane, the smart phone, solar panels, the tea infuser, for heaven’s sake, so I didn’t have to?” We even have commercials featuring the tiny garages and attics where supposedly this inventing took place. We understand that discovery is a joy that can feel like a physical sensation.

Why, she wonders, does politics make its participants “so fiery mad, and not fiery glad” to lead?

How would they sound if they saw making the country better as something they had the privilege to do, rather than something they had to do?

The comments section isn’t horrible.

Says one:

The “why me” syndrome extends also into those who are inconvenienced by people working and fighting for change. “Why am I the one stuck in traffic while protesters march?” “Why do they have to be in front of THIS store, where I want to shop?” “Why are they complaining about police violence now, when there are other things?”

It was refreshing to hear NPR allow a show host to express an observation.

Here’s her entire piece.