Jim Elliott

Earlier today I thought I would study up on Critical Race Theory—which I have to admit I know little about—but I made a typo in my search query and I entered “critical rage theory” by mistake. The search didn’t find anything, but based on that result I realized that I had this concept all to myself and could define it as I pleased.

This event came within half an hour of my having to install a new LED light bulb to replace an old incandescent bulb that had burnt out. It was one of those new, government-mandated bulbs that don’t come on immediately when the switch is flipped, and it annoyed me that I had to wait a half a second to see anything.

Of course, that was a much shorter time than it used to take me to light a kerosene lamp before I had electricity, but that was my choice. This wasn’t. I realized immediately that this was serendipity; that is, I now had my own Critical Rage, because the light bulb angered me, and therefore the US government angered me because it had compelled me to use the light bulb.

Look, I think I’m a pretty typical American; I want what I want, and I want it when I want it, no more, no less, no sooner, no later. I also want it all, and I want that right away (I think this is a Constitutional right and if it’s not we better get busy and make it one). But it was the light bulb that made me see the light, so to speak. I finally understood why many of us are so angry at the federal government; we are being forced to accept delayed gratification as our new normal.

I define Critical Rage Theory© as the accumulation of angers and discontents needed to reach a stage of critical mass big enough to topple our government and at the same time (entirely coincidentally, of course) make a lot of money for enterprising “influencers” and media networks.

In point of fact, I might never have become enraged about the lighting lag time between switch and bulb if it hadn’t been pointed out to me by someone who makes his money by pointing out such things. I might have been slightly annoyed, but I would never have thought to believe that it was somehow part of a plot to deny Americans our God-given right to immediate gratification. Because there is money in making people aware of what to be angry about, there are professionals engaged by news media to point these things out to the American public who might otherwise let matters slide. I am grateful to them.

Now, of course the entire issue about light bulbs is based on an even bigger issue, climate change, or global warming, or Armageddon, if you will. Charles Dudley Warner once said, after which his friend Mark Twain once wrote “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it.” No longer! By switching to LED-light bulbs we can make it cooler. By staying with incandescent we can make it warmer, and by skillful government regulation and manipulation of the light bulb market we can adjust the world thermostat infinitely.

It is important to never let a good source of anger go to waste. The goal is to monetize it. There are issues out there that no one has even considered to turn into cold hard cash. Issues are waiting to be discovered and angerized© so that the anger can be monetized: beauty treatments that do not work, get rich schemes that aren’t, and political promises that don’t deliver. But the key to these issues is what is the political effect of angerizing© these issues because that is where the real money lies. Why? Because politics is the source of all money and tapping into anger by politicizing it enables everyone to release and quantify their anger through their political contributions.

Critical Rage Theory©; identify the rage, angerize© it, monetize it, politicize it; a new economic structure is born! Engage the Rage!

Montana Viewpoint has appeared in weekly and online newspapers across Montana for over 25 years. Jim Elliott served sixteen years in the Montana Legislature as a state representative and state senator. He lives on his ranch in Trout Creek.