Stressed Out Over Election? You’re Not Alone


Halloween is coming up fast, and a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 52 percent of adults are “significantly” stressed out. But it’s not the ghosts and goblins that are doing it, it’s the human beings. It always is.

In a month that adds to our to-do list with candy buying, party planning, costume creation and home decorating — all set to the tune of a fleet of noisy generators relentlessly pumping air into lawn inflatables — we are afraid to turn on the TV because of (insert maniacal laughter here) our presidential election.

Yes, two human beings, chosen by us, are vying for the honor of leading our nation through the next four years. They are doing this because they love our great nation and have all kinds of ideas about how to make it better. They are promising to strengthen our ties with our allies and protect us from our foes. They are promising to guard our natural resources and our old people, while educating our young and taking care of our sick. What selfless individuals!

So why are we experiencing “heightened concern and frustration?”

Evidently, we do not perceive them to be selfless at all. In reality, we seem to be worried about their egos and, particularly, about the “wrong” candidate winning (“wrong” being defined as “not the person I want”). And that is because, instead of sticking to the issues, these two candidates have been attacking each other relentlessly for months. Their hatred for one another is so vehement that they cannot even bring themselves to shake hands, a fairly common courtesy practiced by humans from about the age of 10. So the rest of us ask ourselves, quite reasonably, “How can I trust this person to represent me? How will this person react to the stress of leading the free world when they have a ‘You are not my friend!’ mentality that does not allow them to shake hands?”

Well, fear not, worried Americans. I, the Sonic Boomer, am here to save you.

Here’s what you do, and I’m happy to report that the APA agrees with me on this: keep your distance from this ridiculousness. Know that you can afford to take a step back, because you have your vote, just like you always have. Don’t hold it against your friends because they are voting for the “wrong” candidate; just accept that they are entitled to their opinions; you’re not going to change their minds, and you do not have to listen to them. Don’t chew your lip, have some candy corn instead.

Take heart in the fact that there are a lot of checks and balances in Washington — you know that from trying to get anything done up there.

And you know what? Even though this is a very, very contentious election, you yourself deserve credit for caring so much about it. So do your friends. Did the media hammer you once for your “voter apathy?” They did not.

Good job, concerned and frustrated voters! Good job.