Overcome Election Day Angst

November 8, 2016


It’s frustrating, I know.

This election cycle has been especially contentious and bitter. The frustration is palpable and it too often manifests in nasty words and actions. Fellow-Americans shouting over one another, name-calling, defriending, and worse. Physical personal attacks and destruction of property.

It’s because we have to justify in our own heads the choice we make, whether to vote for one of the two less-than-stellar candidates, or to waste our vote, either by not participating or voting for someone with zero chance of winning.

None of the options feels good, so the normal human response is to vilify the other options. Unfortunately, that can include vilifying or deriding the people who choose the other options. And that causes not only divisiveness but also internal angst because we know our own choice is not great either.

It sucks when there are no great choices. It has the effect of making us feel helpless. When we feel helpless, we can begin to feel like victims. We start to blame others for “this mess” and we find comfort in sharing the woundedness we feel with people who blame the same “others.”

But we don’t have to feel like victims. Even though we don’t like our choices and could feel disappointed either way after the election, we can still take heart in some positives that seem to have been forgotten.

(1) We live in a country where we get to choose those who govern us. Hundreds of millions live in countries where they have no say in who rules them; who can take their property, their liberty, and even their body parts or their lives. We are blessed, not only at this point in time but also as compared to the billions who’ve inhabited the planet throughout history.

(2) Though it’s easy to consider the result (and the process) as evincing “moral decay,” the world as we know it assuredly will not end in the next four years.

(3) If we don’t like how the media report or influence politics, we can choose not to watch, listen to, or read the worst offenders and eventually they’ll get the message or go out of business.

(4) We can choose to wallow in the frustration of the helplessness we feel or we can make up our minds to change how we vote and change who we support. If we focus our politics not on getting what we want but on moving the country to where we are not so reliant on the government and government does not affect us so much, then when we have to make a choice between three bad options (you know it will happen again) the choice is not such a big deal.

Yeah, this election is not our best. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be.


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One Comment

  1. Cynthia sent this to me. Your words are an excellent summation of my feelings. Thank you. My mom and sister were huge Hillary supporters and I hope your words will help when they are ready to read them. 🙂


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