Monday, November 5, 2012

Nervous about the Election

Everywhere I go, people are confiding that they're losing sleep over the election. I didn't hear that four or eight or twelve years ago; in fact, I've never heard so many people blurt immediately that they're frightened about voting outcomes.

People I know, most of them conservatives, have a real fear of the implementation of Obamacare and its attendant tax and premium increases. They genuinely recoil at the thought of the fiscal cliff, which would devalue homes, cause businesses to go under, cost huge numbers of jobs and put our nation in jeopardy due to burdensome debt to such "frenemies" as China.

Many of my friends are religious Christians, who see the values on which our nation was founded--God-centric concepts that honor biblical direction--in peril. Foremost among these is the primacy of traditional marriage. I keep hearing in radio ads the term "homophobia" as a code for anyone who wants traditional man-woman marriage to stand as the norm. It would be an oxymoron for a gay person in my state of Washington, therefore, to reject the ballot measure approving gay marriage and dissolving all current Domestic Partnerships. Already, these partnerships are the legal equivalent of marriage, just by a different name, ie "everything but marriage." But should this measure pass, existing Domestic Partnerships cease, forcing presently registered gay couples to either marry or have no official status. What's a believing Christian or Jew or Muslim to do?

Many tell me that though they're not Mormon, they're fervently praying for the candidate who's dedicated 40 years' time and 20% of his money to furthering his good-neighbor-making faith.

Sleepless nights leading up to November 6. It's not just finances, it's values. It's not just style, it's competence. The conservatives I know see such a clear difference in principles and ability between the presidential candidates that they can't accept a loss.

I was disheartened about the Superstorm, not only feeling for the losses and hardships of those directly affected, but fearing its impact on the presidential outcome. I imagined copious views of a sympathetic president lifting photogenic children from the muck, with attention removed from his challenges in the campaign, especially questions about the handling of the Libya embassy terrorism. But now, a week after Sandy left its devastating mark on the East, there appears far more difficulty in rebounding from the storm, and so less savior-worship than expected (though a Libya coverup seems the exclusive purview of Fox News).

Democrats Are Different. I don't see the same kind of fretful reaction to this election among my Democratic friends. They're sleeping fine. In fact, some are so disenchanted with the present administration (for whom they voted last time) that they're sitting out the process all together. I predict a much-reduced Democratic turnout from four years ago. Many of these friends can't bring themselves to support Romney, but they also can't abide endorsing the disappointing Obama. That leaves the default of "skipping" this election, and feeling sanguine should others' balloting bring a change. The die-hard Democrats I know are mostly confident that they'll succeed, which leads them to relaxed nights, as well.

Still, most I know remain jumpy. My husband wrote The Odds Against Obama, a historical and logical look at election indicators that add up to a likely Romney victory. But even he is nervous, piqued by conflicting polls and signs. Until Wednesday, we suffer an undercurrent of uncertainty, the result of a heavy intuition that the results forthcoming will make more difference in our lives than any election outcomes before.


  1. I am encouraged by 3 things: Big crowds at Romney's rallies and small crowds at Obama's, the Redskins Rule, and that since 1860 a Republican has always won when a presidential election fell on November 6th. Silly reasons, maybe, but certainly intriguingly accurate.

    Romney exudes confidence while Obama is in sneering mode. Many are predicting a Romney landslide. I'm listening to that kind of talk.

    If you want some encouragement, hang out at Hillbuzz.

  2. Oh Diane- it is consuming our lives here. Funny but I would never bash Obama personally. ( like all the Obamalovers do to Romney) yet when I see the Obama lovers in public locations, they avoid me and can barely have conversation with me. The way I am treated recently makes me feel like I committed a crime, really weird. If Obama wins again, I dread having to listen to my husband complain again on a nightly basis about what a horrible leader he is. Hoping in a few weeks, months all the tension subsides.

  3. Well, I was royally wrong. You had it right, Diane Medved.