The Rationalist Papers (10): Look away

Are you tired of all this noise and suffering? I sure am.

I need a break. Do you?

Just a reminder: these Rationalist Papers posts are for the group I call the deciders: conservative, moderate, undecided, and third-party voters considering their choices in the 2020 US Presidential election.

I’m depressed. It’s depressing to see friends out of work, college graduates unable to get interviews, businesses I worked with shutting down. It’s depressing to see people getting sick and dying alone.

I’m tired. It’s tiring to figure out how to maintain social distance and mask up when I go outside. It’s tiring to conduct business by video. It’s tiring to worry why I haven’t gotten checks that were mailed. It’s tiring to worry about my family’s health. It’s constant, and it’s exhausting.

I’m distressed. It’s distressing to see political candidates shrieking at each other and naked anger on Twitter. It’s distressing to see citizens squabbling as if they have to choose which they support, police or Black people. It’s distressing to see America laid so low that people must gather in the streets to remind us what justice might look like.

I’m anxious. It gives me anxiety to see people wearing masks (some badly) as they walk down supermarket aisles. I’m anxious about whether the 2020 election will come off without enormous conflict. I’m anxious about the health of my parents, who I haven’t seen in many months.

I’m confused. Why did the President hold a party in the White House and not take precautions? Why is he being treated with steroids usually given in only the most serious cases — and then, if we are to believe his doctors, going home soon? Why is he shut up in a car waving to people and putting his Secret Service agents at risk? What is actually going on?

I’m beleaguered. The social media posts about politics are constant. The noise is incessant. The tweets are in all caps. Everyone on TV is shouting or shaking their heads; everyone in the newspapers is cluck-clucking and acting urgent.

How about you. Is this how you feel, too?

Take a break

You need to make a decision about voting. But if you feel as I do right now, that may seem like just one more impossible task.

I’ll tell you a secret.

Nothing that happens in the next month will make you smarter about the election. Both sides have “October surprises” planned. But we already know who this president is, and we already know who Joe Biden is. It’s really not that hard to decide.

Just ask yourself if you’re better off than you were four years ago. Are your neighbors better off? Is your country better off?

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

I’d like some different results. So I’ll be voting to change things.

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  1. We’re all tired, exhausted really, after 4 years of chaos. 2020 is the worst of course, but it was already exhausting before the pandemic. I’m hoping we can return to some form of rational normalcy.

    1. Agreed. This didn’t start with Trump but he has become the embodiment of chaos and destruction. Could use some boring. Could use seeing some kindness and civility ….and some statesmanship.