Nervous wrecks ‘R US

President* Trump,

We’re getting down to the wire, aren’t we? Are you a nervous wreck? It’s not very charitable of me, but I hope you are. Even less charitable of me, I hope you’re having all sorts of symptoms associated with being a nervous wreck, to include even worse than usual concentration, restlessness, sweaty palms, severe GI distress, racing heart, catastrophic thinking, and a sense of foreboding. In short, I hope you’re freaking miserable as you worry whether all of the shitty-ass cheating you’ve done will get you close enough to do some more shitty-ass cheating.

Personally, I’m on the verge of nervous-wreck-ness, but not quite there. I will say, though, that the house is far tidier than usual and thanks to Laura, the front and back yards are far, far tidier than usual. We’re both super intent on exercising control over anything and everything we can so that we can kind of, sort of off-set how out of control we feel waiting for the election results and whatever the fall-out’s going to be. I’m definitely grouchier than usual and quite a bit clumsier since I’m distracted and on edge. Plus, it feels surreal going through mostly regular motions, acting like things are mostly regular when people downtown have boarded up their businesses in case of post-election day violence.

Putin must be getting tired from doing happy dances – you’ve made his decade, haven’t you?

I’ve had to stop reading so much news the last few days, but I did read a couple of articles late last week reporting on polls indicating that about 20% of both Democrats and Republicans think violent protest would be acceptable if the election results don’t go their way. The articles unhelpfully note that the other 80% of both groups are basically in the “violence is never the answer” camp and argue that because it’s a relatively small proportion of the population that’s advocating violence, we aren’t on the verge of a civil war.

I have no way of knowing whether we’re on the verge of a civil war, but I do know that numerically, 20% of Democrats and Republicans is a lot of people. I can’t find a good site to nail down how many registered Democrats and Republicans there are (and I have no idea why Independents were left out of the violence is ok/not ok polling) so I’m estimating based on the number of people in the US 18 and over. I know this likely somewhat inflates things, but the number is 41.8 million people (209 million adults x .20).

Basically, I don’t get how it’s supposed to reassure readers that for every 100 of us, 20 of us think violence is an ok option, especially when gun storeowners are reporting that they can’t keep guns and ammunition in stock. It’s not as though the 20% of the opposing sides who are down with violence are going to check with their would-be targets to see if they’re cool with violence too so they can just fight it out amongst themselves. Last time I checked, toxic masculinity armed with semi-automatic or automatic weapons doesn’t operate that way – shoot first and maybe, if you have to, ask questions later.

Maybe I’ve crossed the nervous wreck line. I’ve been mulling these violence articles over for a few days now and feeling quietly freaked out about the worst case scenarios the numbers might suggest, so that’s probably well into nervous wreck territory.

I just don’t know.

It seems so damn far-fetched that we could violently blow up in response to an election. I so want to believe this is true. However, I think we have to consider that although it should be totally far-fetched that dozens of people driving pick-ups flying Trump 2020 flags would try to force a Biden campaign vehicle off the road and that you’d say you love Texas in response, it’s not totally far-fetched because both happened.

I think it’s going to be hard to sleep tonight.

May we be safe as we head into and through this next week.
May we be willing to be civil.
May we stop with the ‘might is right’ crap.
May we accept responsibility for the mess we’ve created and clean it the hell up.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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