In case anyone is wondering, I spend most of my day doom scrolling through social media and news sites, making sure that I don’t miss anything EXPLOSIVE about the election. Anything DERANGED. Anything ABSOLUTELY INSANE.
I know that, most likely, nothing will happen. In the 36 seconds since I last refreshed Twitter, nothing insane has happened. The world continues to spin. The campaigns continue to happen (for better or for worse). Time, despite our best efforts, continues to crawl along a second at a time.
I definitely didn’t do this in 2016. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as interested in politics then as I am now, or maybe it’s because I was a Freshman at Marquette and I had exciting things happening in my life. Now? We’re in the middle of a pandemic, I work from home, don’t get out of sweatpants most days, and most of my interactions are with my cat. Slightly less engrossing life going on right now.
The one thing that I do remember that I did as often in 2016 as I do now is check FiveThirtyEight’s electoral odds. For some reason, they offered me some comfort then. “Oh, Trump only has a 30% chance of winning? Great, that’s a number that I can sleep easy with.” Now, though, every time I check, the odds of a repeat victory are far too close. Sure, he sits, at the time of this writing, at a strong 12%, but that feels like 50 points too high.
What’s the best way to deal with this? “Live in the moment, don’t worry about what you can’t change, do what you can!” That’s great advice, except that the moment that we’re living in currently is a pandemic where the tenants of democratic society are slip sliding away, with increasing polarization and threats of violence. Not only that, but they took Charlie Brown off TV!
It’s not like I can talk to my coworkers about this either. They’re mostly in India, they’re focused on their world. Should I stop listening to political podcasts while I rock climb or go on walks? That would be good for me, but I feel like I need to consume everything, lest I miss some nugget of information that could possibly explain the outcome of the election.
This time next week, will we know the results of the election? Probably not. This is gonna take a while. I should probably pick up a hobby. Another hobby, aside from blogging. Because somehow, this is making me more anxious… I hear boxing is calming.