Corrosive, mad and frequently fatal, indignation is a great destructive force in human affairs, and just as often a wellspring of mirth and merriment. Don Watson traces this seemingly ineradicable emotion in a journey that takes us, via his forebears, Flaubert and The Sopranos, from the Old Testament to Donald Trump.
Trump's pitch had less to do with offering voters money and security than with offering them vengeance. He exploited the anger we feel when we are slighted or taken for granted, turning the politics of a sophisticated democracy into something more like a blood feud. He promised to restore dignity, slay enemies, re-make the world according to old rites and customs. He stirred indignation into tribal rage and rode it into the White House.
It was a scam, of course, but wherever there is indignation, stupidity and lies abound.