Folks, Thanksgiving is here. Yet the election dominates the headlines and the opinion pages, and people’s conversations. It is clear that a LOT of people, on both sides, are panicking. It may be as serious a public health threat as COVID-19 – or seasonal flu! Maybe you have a friend or family member that exhibits these symptoms. Or… maybe you have some of them.
- Do you listen with trembling anticipation to the hourly newscasts about the latest vote counts and lawsuits?
- Are you fearful that no one may have won the office of Massa (POTUS) by noon on 20 January 2021?
- Are you afraid that Great-Aunt Agatha’s vote, on her mail-in ballot, might not have counted because she died before the polls officially opened on 3 November 2020?
- Are you afraid the mail-in ballot you got and dutifully returned, complete with its RFID chip, might have been spying on you while you dithered about who to vote in for dog-catcher this year?
- Are you sure that requiring a voter to prove who they are is suppressing the vote too much?
- Are you afraid your neighbor’s nasty little twelve-year-old may have hacked into your county’s voting software and THAT is why Beergut Joe Jones, with fifteen citations for exposing himself in public parks, is now on the school board?
- Do you worry that Venezuelan and Russian interference in the election might have been nullified by Red Chinese interference?
If you know someone who believes more than one of these things, they probably have Election Panic Syndrome, or EPS. (If they only believe or do one of these things, don’t worry. They are just paranoid. No bother.)
They urgently need intervention, and may require treatment. Very quickly.
Here is what you can do:
- Cut them off from ALL news and talk shows – PBS, Fox, TheBlaze, CNBC, BBC, and all. Even local news – the talking heads are like crack: go cold turkey.
- If necessary, change all their bookmarks on the browser to “cute cat videos”
- Give them a copy of the Constitution and get them to read it. (I realize sometimes you may be forced to read it to them.)
- Pull out some things (online or even better, hardcopy) about US history and elections in 1800 and 1804 and 1860 and 1876 and 1960. Show them how presidential elections have ALWAYS run perfectly smoothly and with virtually NO corruption. (I am being sarcastic, folks!)
- Teach them that there are many everyday activities that they can do withOUT getting government official permission, without Congress and/or the Legislature in session, with their governor in Hawai’i or Bermuda, and NOT DIE. Or even kill someone else.
- Help them learn that “hate speech” does not hurt, physically, mentally, or morally, those who hear it – even if others are possibly motivated to do something bad because of the words.
- Remind them that the planet Earth got by with having a President or a FedGov for close to 6,000 years. Life went on all that time. Amazing!
What kind of professional treatment? I suppose at least some of these things are done by professionals, but most can be done by amateurs as well. In severe cases:
- Either cut the cable for their internet and television/radio connections or program it to play ONLY Golden Oldies music where the hourly news is only about traffic and weather.
- Find children to entertain/bug them – preferably their grandchildren or someone else’s children.
- Advise them to breathe deeply, relax, and pay attention to other things, like their health and jobs and… I don’t know, bowling? golf?
The point is, this to shall pass. Really.
And in the meantime, maybe a few more people can recover from their Pandemic Panic AND their Election Panic, and have a very happy Thanksgiving Day – and even enjoy some Black Friday shopping!