The Consequences of Political Anxiety
Political anxiety is sweeping the nation. My experience as a psychoanalyst for three decades is that not only my generally anxious patients but the larger population has become so anxious about the choices before us that it is interfering with an ability to make sound choices. When a person is so anxious it’s not the time to make clear-headed decisions. Yet the time to decide is now.
The resilience to political debate seems to be declining rapidly as the weeks go by. Instead of words like reasoning, negotiation, tolerance of diversity, and collaboration, requiring complex thinking we are hearing descriptors that are without careful ideation like killer, fascist, crook, liar,
The common sense preparation for making a choice of whether to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump seems to have been lost. The gains of the last 8 years and what is needed to support the well-being of our total population have been replaced by derogatory statements not backed up by facts and science. Thinking has become shallow instead of deep and consequential.
As individuals and as a people we seem to have lost faith and trust in our candidates and replaced it with deep insecurity and a feeling of a lack of safety in our communities and nation. Simply put, with only a few days to go before the election, we have to “get a grip” on ourselves and think rationally and carefully. We need to renew our belief in our ability as a people to strengthen the rule of law and a conviction in the balance of our branches of government. Particularly the executive branch needs to be looked at honestly for what its functions are. The presidency is not about wielding power but the ability to consider the needs of all of our people in a global society.
We need to be humble and honorable when we vote as we wish our candidates to be. This choice will affect us for many years. With a well-formed conscience, your anxiety will lessen when you think carefully and intelligently before you act in the voting booth. Each vote, your vote, is crucial for our well-being, safety, security, and strength as a nation.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold.