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« Four more years is a lot of days | Main | Banging my head on the headlines »

Thursday, 08 November 2012

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Mannie Sherberg
I agree wholeheartedly with Ben: Our principles ARE better suited to human dignity and human happiness. But evidently a huge number of Americans -- around 60 million of them -- disagree. If we didn't know it before Tuesday night, we know it now: millions of our fellow citizens define "happiness" as wallowing in grievance and self-pity and rancor. Obama knew what he was doing when he said "voting is the best revenge." That was no slip of the tongue. It was his way of saying, "If you're filled with resentment against the well-off and successful, vote for me -- because I share your resentment. Vote for me -- and we'll get our revenge!" And hugh numbers of malcontents and soreheads and bellyachers and haters got the message -- and voted for him. That gave them -- at least momentarily -- the one thing they're temperamentally incapable of holding onto: a feeling of "happiness." As for "human dignity," many of these same kvetchers and faultfinders get a perverse satisfaction from their self-pity -- even though it's as undignified as anything can be. Feeling sorry for yourself is -- for some people -- a helluva lot more gratifying than feeling dignified. That's what's called the Oprah-ization of American culture.

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