What causes some Americans to be extremely resentful of those who are more successful
and/or more affluent than them?
A misguided sense of self-worth fueled by the strong sense of entitlement promoted by the populist government which is like that guy who smilingly looks you in the eye while pissing on your legs.
In other words, it's the poor education, lack of intelligent curiosity and blind faith in deities (secular as well as religious) whose Earthly representatives tell them they "deserve" better - without having to work for it.
Sometimes the resentment comes from actions by the more affluent that impact the lives of those with less/no influence. Sometimes it is not so much resentment as it is envy. All through my childhood I heard my mom talk about her cousins who "thought they were something." When I became an adult, moved to the state where one cousin lived, I found her to be my closest ally and one of the sweetest people I ever met. Much later when my mom was ill with Alzheimer's, I talked her through her resentment. My mother just wanted the opportunity to go to college like her cousins did. Another aunt told me about the childhood history. My mother and her cousin had a fight when they were kids. I'm sorry I kind of changed the direction.
I don't think it is resentment in most cases, though the language would certainly make it seem so. It is instead lack of opportunity most people resent and the sense of entitlement many of the most affluent exhibit that cause resentment.
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