The Anger of the Public Is a Fire, and You’re Not Supposed to Play with It
Excerpt: On Thursday night, former ESPN reporter Chris Martin Palmer tweeted, “burn that s*** down” in response to an image of a building in flames. (It was low-income housing, but Palmer didn’t know that at the time.) By Sunday he fumed, “They just attacked our sister community down the street. It’s a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back. Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.” Once an angry mob develops its taste for destruction, it quickly loses its interest in drawing distinctions. This is why you’re not supposed to deliberately add to existing levels of public anger, why you’re not supposed to see stoking the rage of your fellow citizens as a useful political tool, and why you’re not supposed to pour metaphorical gasoline on the fire. Angry people are not thinking people.