An 'Angry White Man' against Trump
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Angry white men are loving Trump. Despite trailing overall, one poll shows Trump leading Clinton 59–39% among white males with another showing Trump’s lead at 60-26%.
 
While polling of “white men who are angry” is scarce, intuition has this sub-demographic heavily in the Trump camp too. Even America’s Angry-White-Man-in-Chief Clint Eastwood is scowling for Trump.
 
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To be sure, I, myself, am an Angry White Man. I have been an AWM for about 5 years now, before which, I was an Angry (and Angsty) White Teenager and even an Angry White Baby. Yet seeing this Trumpapalooza among the AWM community is to witness one of the most toxic public health crises of our time.
 
Anger
 
To be a full-fledged AWM, one must be, above all else, angry. Anger is a complex and often misunderstood emotion. A word association of ‘anger’ or ‘angry’ brings back ‘rage’, ‘mad’, and ‘birds’, but primordial feelings of powerlessness often lurk underneath.
 
When validation and self-worth  —  whether on an emotional or societal level  —  so often relies on others, expressing anger is a mechanism to dealing with feeling wronged or invalidated. And in many ways, anger has been the catalyst for much needed change and progress in American institutions for equal rights and due process.
 
If anger was never expressed by individuals and groups, 21st-century America would resemble the more oppressive ethos of 18th-century America.
 
White Men
 
Just like any other group, AWMs have many reasons to be angry. Dashed expectations, rejections, and feeling left behind all cultivate a reasonable sense of anger, whether that be in relationships, careers, or general well-being. 
 
But AWMs have a tendency to express anger in viscous ways. Individually, AWMs are the primary committers of acts like mass shootings and suicides in America. Explosive and tragically misdirected, such acts end up hurting everyone, while providing little understanding of what really is going on in the minds of AWMs. 
 
 
The Great Enabler
 
Politicians who express anger are shown to gain more support than those who show sadness or guilt. But Trump goes above and beyond  —  substituting a white sheet with a golden tan in his vitriol. Telling a story of us vs. them  —  whether “them” be foreigners, minorities, or women —  Trump is fermenting a dangerous environment by giving AWMs a sense of powerlessness in the present and laying claim that he is the one who can return that power in the future. 
 
Such victimization lays the seeds for the type of hate based on deep-seated prejudice demonizing others. As Trump’s support becomes increasingly clustered around AWMs, “Make America Great Again” is less a motto to resolving our underlying helplessness and anxieties but to return to a perceived morally superior AWM-centric society.
 
12 Angry (White) Men
 
When faced with group powerlessness, AWMs need a leader who can better harness that anger in more productive and healthier ways. So instead of channeling our inner Clint Eastwood’s and Donald Trump’s, we should focus on a different role model  —  Juror #8. 
 
In 12 Angry Men, AWMs are in the seat of power  —  that of jurors  —  deciding the fate of a man charged with murder. Juror #8 (played by fellow AWM Henry Fonda) stood up for reasonable doubt  —  not quickly laying blame and judgement on others  —  but seeking to better understand the truth.
 
Instead of harnessing anger towards prejudicial acts, Juror #8 and the rest of the AWMs did not blow up the system  —  they learned how to use it for their own sake. 
 
Is there reasonable doubt in Trump’s words? Perhaps what Trump is saying is neither the actual source of our anger nor the solution to our problems. We all need to take a step back. There is strength in vulnerability, admitting that our anger and frustrations cannot be reduced to a sound bite.
 
Maybe that reasonable doubt still leads to supporting Trump. However, that certainly is not the case for this angry white man.
 
Ben Koltun is a young professional in Washington D.C.
The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.