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11 Nov, 2019 18:00

Mainstream news makes Democrats mad as hell, but they keep coming back for more - poll

Mainstream news makes Democrats mad as hell, but they keep coming back for more - poll

Every day, Democrats are driven to madness by the news they watch, read and listen to. Even their beloved CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times make them hopping mad, a new poll has found.

‘Trump derangement syndrome’ is a phrase coined by the president’s supporters to describe the rage that the mere mention of Donald Trump’s name evokes in liberals. However, in the age of Trump, a new poll has found that the news really is driving Democrats batty with rage. 

Seventy percent of Democrats or those who lean Democratic told Axios that they read or hear something in the news that makes them angry once a day or more. Compared to five years ago, 74 percent say they’re more angry about news than before. 

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This anger doesn’t stop them tuning out, as 48 percent of Democrats say they watch news coverage about politics more often than they did five years ago, compared to 38 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of independents. What’s more, 78 percent of them tune in once a day or more to get their fix, even if it infuriates them.

Democrats rated CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times as their favorite news sources, with the Washington Post and NPR coming close behind. Given the tone of these outlets, it’s easy to see how their blood pressure could be raised. CNN’s 93 percent negative coverage of the president, MSNBC’s wall-to-wall ‘Russiagate’ theorizing, and the NYT’s anonymously sourced - and according to Trump, “fake” - reports of scandal inside the White House seem tailor-made to fill liberals with ‘fire and fury.’

While Republicans have an easier time digesting the news, with 57 percent feeling more angry than they did five years ago, both sides find that arguing with the other to be a “stressful and frustrating” experience. Only a majority of independents find hearing opposing views to be an “interesting and informative” time. 

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An angry, divided and polarized electorate is a recipe for civil war, some have suggested. University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds argued in a USA Today column last year that this new war is already “well underway,” while political scientist Thomas Schaller wrote that America is “at the beginning of a soft civil war.” Trump himself has warned of conflict should he be removed from office, and a Georgetown University poll last month found that 70 percent of Americans thought the country was near the “edge of civil war.”

Even if political discourse simmers down and such warnings fizzle out, anger is bad for health. The Mayo Clinic states that “ongoing angry feelings can increase your risk of health problems, such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, digestive issues, heart problems and high blood pressure,” as well as depression and relationship difficulties.

Distrust of political opponents too can shorten your lifespan, according to a Swedish study published last year.

With the future of the republic and even public health at stake, perhaps both sides should cut out the junk news and learn to relax a little.

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