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Dear Christine, Consumed in Commerce

| October 10, 2016

ccc 2Dear Christine, 

 I’m not one to normally have issues that would put me in a position to ask for help however I’ve begun to think my husband and I are becoming unhinged. Every morning we wake up, turn on the cable news and find out the latest on this crazy election. In the evening we get home from work and the news channels go back on. We both check constantly on the latest polls and have become consumed with the outcome to the point that it’s making us both a wreck. We’ve tried to unplug unsuccessfully.  To be clear, we are terrified of a Trump presidency. I know it’s only 30 more days until this will be all over but what can we do in the meantime to stop being so stressed out?

Regards, Consumed in Commerce

Dear Consumed in Commerce,

nyer-trump-coverYou have a lot of company this election season!  Having just watched the second debate, both sides have strong feelings and couldn’t restrain themselves from applauding and cheering several times. 

Our country is at a crossroads and voting will make the difference in what direction the United States will go.  Both sides are frightened of the country the other will create, rightfully so. 

My sister-in-law, Jane, chopped onions while making rice and lentils, saying “it would be too much to sit idly by knowing the fate of the nation is at stake.”  She’s right.  It’s important to take action and do whatever you can to create the world you want to live in.  Watching debates and polls on line and TV passively, or just yelling at the monitor, will drive you crazy.

Personally, I wonder how valid polls are these days.  “Polling is very difficult these days,” said Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College.  “It’s hard to get a representative sample of Americans to take a survey online or by phone, and even if you do get a good sample, it’s difficult to tell who is actually going to turn out to vote.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36947558 So, as we close in on the election, the polls should become more accurate.  We all will see on November 8, 2016.

Keep in mind, also, that democracy is very messy.  In fact, Churchill’s comments on this form of democracy is famous:  “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”  Winston Churchill, 11/11/47, quoting an unknown predecessorhttps://richardlangworth.com/worst-form-of-government

If you truly want your candidate to win, make your voice heard through your actions.  Volunteer for the campaign of your choice in making phone calls, registering voters, talking to friends and neighbors about your concerns.  I was at the Sprint store yesterday getting a new phone set up, and in the couple of hour I was there, I had a long conversation with the Iraqi American woman assistant who told me she isn’t going to vote because she doesn’t like Trump or Hillary, and besides, she’ll be on her honeymoon for the election.   I spent a lot of the time talking to her about the importance of exercising her right to vote and make her voice heard.  Another assistant working, when I asked him if he was going to vote, loudly responded:  “Nope!” Both are millennials and neither feels their vote counts.  But it does.  Some elections, you have to pinch your nose closed with your non-dominant hand, and color in the little circles on the ballot with your dominant hand!  And if you can’t vote in person, go sign up for an absentee ballot. 

A lot of people joke, though for some it’s probably serious, that if Trump is elected, they are moving to Israel or Canada!  In fact, there is a tongue-in-cheek website that will help you decide what country you should move to: 

https://www.crowdpac.com/surveys/if-trump-is-elected-where-should-you-move?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=survey-trump-move

I will share an article I read in the New Yorker magazine that helps create a larger context for this election.  “Does Trumps Rise Mean Liberalisms End?”  http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/does-trumps-rise-mean-liberalisms-end  It may raise more questions than answers, but it is through provoking.  (I will share this on FB in a comment to make sure you can use the link.  It doesn’t seem to work).

To conclude:  Do what you can to take care of yourself, your loved ones and your life.  Keep getting a full night’s sleep, eat healthy meals, exercise, go to work, and do whatever you can to support your candidate.  Talk to friends, strangers and neighbors.  Try to stay in the present, where the election has not yet occurred.  Vote.  And then, watch the election returns with those you love.  Then, hug each other tight! 

Christine Cantrell, PhD

Psychologist 

PS  If you have to look at polls, then take heart and check out Nate Silver’s 538 website.  He answers reader’s questions and explains the trends he sees.  Check out his article:  The Bottom Could Fall Out for Trump, written on 10/8/16, well before the 2nd Debate. Silver writes:  “Now for the uncertainty part. As I said above, “this will probably hurt Trump” is a much better prior than “we don’t know what effect this will have.” But for now, I’m only willing to make a prediction about the direction (bad for Trump) — we’ll wait for the polls to measure the magnitude.”  Anything could happen, but Silver claims the odds of a Trump defeat are realistic.   http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-bottom-could-fall-out-for-trump/.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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