Election Anxiety

anx·i·e·ty

/aNGˈzīədē

noun

  1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Thinking back to the 2008 General Election, I remember feeling anxious and worried about what some of my friends said about then-candidate Barack Obama. The rumors, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories were more than I could stand. I remember thinking, where in the world did they come up with this?

Well, here we are twelve years later, and we are back in the same mode. It is tearing people apart. People are terrified, many for the first time in what may be a sheltered life. According to the Pew Research Center, media coverage of the Obama rumors grew tenfold over a few months before the election. From my knothole, we are seeing the same things today. Only now it is compounded by the pandemic.

The difference this year, I believe, is the politicians have mastered media manipulation. They know which buttons to push and when to schedule their announcements. When have we ever seen near-daily “pressers”? Which I believe are not legitimate news, but campaign events disguised as newsworthy.

We are now just 46 days until the General Election; we need to remain calm and question the campaign fodder. More important is we must turn out the Vote. I hear some say my vote won’t matter, or I never vote. Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to exercise their rights.

…that’s 30 for today.

Local Government & Public Agendas

During this pandemic, local governing bodies are on the publics’ hot seat more than ever before. With today’s technology, we can watch the city council and county commission meetings live. I find the public comment sessions most telling about the emotions of those who come to the podium. It is especially evident when the subject matter is masks, lockdowns, or school closures.

Fellow citizens, well-intended as they are, voice opinions based on gossip, social media, and articles they have researched. They speak of medical journal articles they have read and hold to be the final word, despite the testimony of medical experts earlier in the same meeting. Some cite media articles as evidence for their position.

These most vocal citizens gain the attention of those elected officials up for reelection this fall. They are politicians and may fall into the trap that the most vocal speak for the broader community. After watching many of these sessions, I believe they represent only themselves and maybe a few others.

Media coverage of these meetings tends to focus on the drama and outrageous statements. Some feel costumes will help their cause. Today, one woman upset with the commission found it necessary to conclude her comments by saying she recently took firearms training and purchased a gun. I believe this kind of rhetoric is harmful to our community relations.

Our society seems to be in a frenzy as we are facing issues previously unknown to our country. It’s left versus right, urban versus rural, and rich versus poor. Again, I’m, praying for a return to civility.

…that’s 30 for today. Stay safe.