Democrats Agree on One Thing: They’re Very, Very Nervous

  
Via:  just-jim-nc-ttth  •  4 months ago  •  16 comments

By:   Sarah Lyall - New York Times

Democrats Agree on One Thing: They’re Very, Very Nervous
The past three years have not been easy for the political fortunes or the emotional health of America’s Democrats. To the extent they feel optimistic about anything, they have been waiting for the 2020 election in the way inhabitants of a storm-ravaged city might look toward the end of hurricane season — as an opportunity to restore order not just to their fractured physical world, but to their battered psyches.

Are they really? Well of course they are. There is an awakening taking place.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Why, then, even with the potential catharsis of impeachment proceedings against President Trump underway, do so many feel so awful?
“My big fear is that we are not coalescing around one candidate, and I don’t know in the end if there’s enough people who will come out and vote,” said Mac Macnair, a Democrat who lives in a deep-red county in rural Georgia. “Four years is as long as I can go, but eight years — we won’t even have an America left.”
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Ms. Macnair, a former teacher in her late 50s, was in Greenwood a few weeks ago to listen to her preferred candidate, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., speak in a college gym. She was excited to hear what he had to say. But she was still fretting about the state of the party, and the state of the nation, at the end of 2019.
On the one hand, of course, there is Mr. Trump, who set up camp in the deep corners of the American psyche three years ago and has remained there ever since, a larger-than-life-presence for supporters and detractors alike, the invisible guest whose existence can ruin a holiday meal as quickly as your cousin can utter the word “Ukraine.” On the other hand there is the vast field of bickering Democratic candidates, so many candidates that it can be hard to keep them straight, so many candidates that they seem at risk of canceling each other out and failing at the one job they are theoretically meant to do: win the election. Meanwhile, impeachment itself serves as nothing more than a Rorschach test of worry set to Robert’s Rules of Order.
“If they’re not going to get along, they need to keep quiet,” said Beverly Hall, 63, another Biden supporter at the Greenwood event. But beyond being happy about her candidate, she has watched and read a lot about the election, she said, and she does not feel great.
“This guy who’s on the commercials — Jim, what’s his name?” she said, referring to Tom Steyer. “I like what he’s saying. I like the issues he’s bringing up. But why are you spending $3 million on TV when you could be giving the money to Joe?”
Some people are suffering from general political angst. Others have specific qualms: a concern that their favorite candidate lacks that essential quality, electability; a worry that fellow Democrats will become disillusioned if their chosen candidate fails to get the nomination and will vote for a third-party candidate, or for Mr. Trump, or for no one at all — the “Bernie or Nobody” scenario.
A sampling of interviews with Democrats in different parts of the country reveals that worry comes in many forms. From Jobetta Hedelman-Beaver, 39, of Kennewick, Wash.: “I’m anxious about Trump. I’m super-anxious about him. I blame him for my high blood pressure.”
From Katie Matlin, 40, in Northbrook, Ill.: “My husband has major anxiety around the election. We actually cannot watch news coverage in our house because any news about Donald Trump triggers his anxiety.”
From the actor Robert De Niro, appearing on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”: “It’s like living in an abusive household. You don’t know what’s going to happen next, what crazy thing is going to happen next, what’s going to make you say, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
From David Kaye, 37, in Milwaukee: “During previous elections, I’d have a giant spreadsheet and follow every candidate. But it’s not fun anymore. It’s still just as important, but it triggers my anxiety, and sometimes it triggers panic attacks. I’m not following out of interest or a sense of fun, but out of a sense of not wanting our civilization to fall.”
How is this anxiety manifesting itself for Democratic voters as they look toward 2020?
Let us count the ways. Let us count the ways.
Fear of Candidate Overload
There are 15 Democrats vying for the party’s nomination. That is a lot, even considering that 13 others, most recently Kamala Harris, have dropped out of the race. The late-in-the-game entry of two additional possibilities — Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts — smacks to some of Hail Mary desperation at a point when the party should have gotten its act together by now.
“There are too many candidates, and too long a process,” said Susan Ramos, 55, a resident of Greenwood. “They need to put their resources behind one candidate and consolidate their power. ”
Toya Davis, 56, who also lives in Greenwood and is a onetime Republican who became a Democrat when Barack Obama was running for president, said that excessive numbers of Democratic candidates were cluttering the field and diluting the project.
“I wish half of them would just drop out,” she said.
Fear That the Democrats Won’t Rally Around Anyone
Ms. Macnair said that she felt particularly concerned by what she hears from younger Democrats. She mentioned a 30-year-old acquaintance who lives in Iowa and is a passionate supporter of Bernie Sanders.
“He said that young people wouldn’t vote for a Democratic candidate unless it’s Bernie,” she said, “and that he can’t figure out why any young person would vote for Biden.”
That sort of talk makes Ms. Davis hyperventilate as she recalls previous presidential elections and the spoiling presence of candidates like Ralph Nader and Jill Stein. She mentioned Ross Perot, and how he muddied the waters as an independent and then a third-party candidate in the 1990s. “It makes me very, very nervous,” she said.
Fear That Good News for the President is Bad News for the Democrats
The stock market is roaring. Unemployment is at a record low. The economy added 266,000 new jobs in November. Though these things are objectively good, of course, they are less good if you are a Democrat and you don’t want the current president to get credit for anything that might help him get re-elected.
Take Mr. Trump’s announcement in October that U.S. Special Forces had killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State movement. That could be considered positive news for the president, some Democratic voters conceded in interviews, except that Mr. Trump presented the news in such an unpleasant way, they said, embellishing his narrative with unsubstantiated details about Mr. al-Baghdadi’s last moments.
“Trump had to make a 50-minute speech about how wonderful he is,” said Jane Worm, 77, of Dubuque County, Iowa.
In Durham, N.H., Barbara Feldman, 68, said she was worried that Mr. Trump would capitalize on the incident to bolster his popularity.
“I do worry about his base, and his support, unless the young people get out and vote,” she said.

Fear of … Politics
For the last three years, therapists have reported an increase in patients who say that almost anything having to do with politics is making them uneasy, angry and hopeless, a condition that Jennifer C. Panning, a psychologist in Evanston, Ill., has christened “Trump anxiety disorder.”
In a survey of 3,617 American adults released in November, the American Psychological Association found that 56 percent said that the 2020 election was a “significant stressor” — as opposed to 52 percent before the 2016 election.
“It depends on what side of the aisle you’re on, but for many people there’s the question, ‘What is going on with this country that someone can get away with so much?’” said Dr. Mary Alvord, a therapist in Maryland who teaches psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
In Athens, Ga., Dr. J. Kip Matthews, a therapist who sees both conservative and liberal patients, said that the mean-spiritedness, tribalism and uncertainty of the political discussion was causing anxiety on all sides. “It forces you to think, ‘Do I hang on to my values and beliefs, or do I change them?’” he said. “Change is very stressful for people, and more often than not you just double down on what your original beliefs were.”
Dr. Barry A. Farber, a therapist and professor of psychology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, last year compiled a series of papers called “Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: Politics and Psychotherapy.” (The title was inspired by a 40-ish male patient who told Dr. Farber that he was disgusted both by the Republicans, for their mean behavior and “callousness,” and by the Democrats, for their “endless political correctness” and “absurd naïveté.”) In the papers, fellow therapists described how politics has become a dominant theme in their sessions with patients, stirring up old traumas and new terrors.

“There’s something about the ongoing saga of President Trump that hasn’t gone away,” Dr. Farber said. “This isn’t an event so much as an ongoing occurrence, something that feels life-changing, something that has changed the country in ways that has implications for the way that people live.”
Supporters of the president, Dr. Farber wrote in an introduction to the compilation, are suffused by a “Why can’t all those liberals just accept that fact that he won?” resentment toward Mr. Trump’s critics. As for liberal Democrats, who make up the majority of his own and his colleagues’ patients, they have gone through a fairly consistent trajectory: shock at Mr. Trump’s election; a period of waiting to see what would happen; and then the realization that, as he said, “this wasn’t going away.”

Anxiety as Motivator
Dr. Alvord, whose parents fled Russia as children in the 1930s and who grew up in Queens, not far from Donald Trump, said that she, too, had been unsettled by the events of the last three years.
But she said that the “black cloud” of depression that descended on so many of her patients after the election has given way to something else.
“I hear people saying, ‘I don’t want to hear the president speak because it unnerves me so much,’” she said. “But the good thing about anxiety is that it can have an activating and motivating part to it. I lead people to a discussion of, what can you do.”
One thing it has done for Ms. Macnair, the Georgia resident: it has made her more sensitive to the concerns of her neighbors, rural Republicans who fly Trump banners alongside the American flags outside their houses. She would like her fellow Democrats to nominate a moderate candidate, she said, so that Republicans won’t feel as alienated from or terrified of that person as Democrats feel about Mr. Trump.
“Frankly, it breaks my heart and crushes my soul that people are so divided in this country,” she said. “I try so hard to find common ground on issues we can find common ground on.”


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Just Jim NC TttH
1  seeder  Just Jim NC TttH    4 months ago

Can you hear that? That is the sound of a back up alarm going off.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2  r.t..b...    4 months ago

from the seed...

"She would like her fellow Democrats to nominate a moderate candidate, she said, so that Republicans won’t feel as alienated from or terrified of that person as Democrats feel about Mr. Trump."

If we have come to the point where we are 'terrified' by a candidate, as a glance at any thread posted here will attest, we have already lost, no party excluded. The evidence is apparent that we have lost when the means to assess information, to cogitate an informed opinion, and an opportunity to express a dissenting thought is immediately dismissed on purely partisan grounds.

We are treading dangerous waters and may all drown in the effort to save ourselves and in the effort, pull everyone else down in the partisan whirlpool that is currently swirling the drain. If we would just stand on the solid ground of our common principles, we would realize we are thrashing about in shallow water.

Stand up, shut up and realize we are all in this together...unless, of course, you just don't give a fuck because a point is to be made, and god damn it, I will make it. (comment not aimed at you, Jim, but to everyone who thinks their partisan hackery means a whit)

 
 
 
Ronin2
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  r.t..b... @2    4 months ago
If we would just stand on the solid ground of our common principles,

You ask all of the eligible voters what those "common principles" are, and you will get a different answer from each and every last one of them.

Stand up, shut up and realize we are all in this together

Sure we are all in it together. Right up until the point the opponent's candidate looks like they might win. Then it is "Not on my watch! Damn the consequences, time for the lesser of two evils?" If our candidate doesn't win anyone that went 3rd party is to blame; and will be derided for their betrayal to the two party system. Welcome to our broken two party system.

This is coming from someone that campaigned and voted for Gary Johnson last time around. Given Hillary's and Trump's unpopularity, general corruption, and abrasiveness; 10% of the vote to get federal funding for the next elections shouldn't have been too much to ask.  It didn't even come close. Instead I was blamed by those on the left, several now former friends, for not voting for Hillary. Their evil didn't win, and I was to blame.

Good luck in overcoming that. I am thoroughly convince another country could attack the US now; and instead of coming together it would start a civil war with those out of power blaming those in power. We are very close to that now. All it will take is the proper spark for extremist morons on either side to be lit.

 
 
 
loki12
2.1.1  loki12  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1    4 months ago
This is coming from someone that campaigned and voted for Gary Johnson last time around. Given Hillary's and Trump's unpopularity, general corruption, and abrasiveness; 10% of the vote to get federal funding for the next elections shouldn't have been too much to ask.  It didn't even come close. Instead I was blamed by those on the left, several now former friends, for not voting for Hillary. Their evil didn't win, and I was to blame.

This right here!!!! I can't tell you how many times some moron told me a vote for Gary Johnson was a vote for trump.  FFS if they are too stupid to grasp even the simplest concept, A vote for Gary Johnson is literally a vote for Gary Johnson, how the fuck can anyone expect to  ever hold a reasonable conversation with them? 

A simple example of how fucked up we are, Insulin is roughly 200 to 400 a month, and Narcan is free, the first, second and third time?  seriously something is fucked up in our priorities. 

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1.2  r.t..b...  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1    4 months ago
All it will take is the proper spark for extremist morons on either side to be lit.

Sadly and tragically, a prediction that may come to fruition after election night 2020.

Should he lose, trump will never cede power gracefully as he has demonstrated no interest in adhering to any convention expected of the office. Should he win, the other side will take to the streets claiming voter intimidation, voter suppression and outside influence. It will be the darkest of days, Ronin, and the courts may ultimately become involved to no one's satisfaction. The inflammatory rhetoric to follow in the aftermath of either scenario will only serve to broaden the conflict. Not our proudest moment, but with hopes sanity will eventually prevail.

 
 
 
loki12
2.1.3  loki12  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.2    4 months ago
trump will never cede power gracefully as he has demonstrated no interest in adhering to any convention expected of the office. Should he win, the other side will take to the streets claiming voter intimidation, voter suppression and outside influence.
Substitute this part for "trump"  The "left" will never cede power gracefully as he has demonstrated no interest in adhering to any convention expected of the office. Should he win, the other side will take to the streets claiming voter intimidation, voter suppression and outside influence.
This describes perfectly what has happened since 2016, so basically the same shit different day.  Again it appears the left is accusing the right of what they themselves appear to be guilty of,  We heard the rancid one herself say trump won't accept the results if he lost, once again proving my point.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1.4  r.t..b...  replied to  loki12 @2.1.3    4 months ago

I dare say we are closer to agreement as to the current state of affairs than either of us would care to admit, loki. 

If we could just take the intellectual exercise to eliminate names out of the equation (trump, pelosi, mcconnell, schiff,  R, D) and examine the situation without those connections, I think we could all agree we are dealing with serious allegations that require serious investigation. A stretch for many, but exercising the mind, not to mention exercising the Constitutional requirements of co-equal branches of government is beneficial to all of us whom care about our long term health. 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1.5  Raven Wing  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.2    4 months ago
Should he lose, trump will never cede power gracefully as he has demonstrated no interest in adhering to any convention expected of the office.

I agree, and I have said the same here on NT before. If Trump loses re-election he will not leave the WH willingly. He will engage in any and all means to try and prevent his removal. 

It is simple, he has tasted his idea of Kingship, and he will not cede willingly. There is no such thing as grace, honor or respect in him for what America is really all about.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1.6  Tessylo  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.4    4 months ago

This both sides are equally bad nonsense is just that, nonsense.

It's so  tiresome.

 
 
 
loki12
2.1.7  loki12  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.4    4 months ago
I think we could all agree we are dealing with serious allegations that require serious investigation.

No we are aren't Period!!!!  The previous administrations destroyed countries that posed no threat.....and cricketes. Obama murdered Americans!  crickets. Biden admitted to killing an investigation and getting the prosecutor fired in exchange for aide! Crickets! but now you think it's serious because trump?  Really if you want to be taken at all seriously be at least semi open to the fact that these made up charges are just that.  The left has been making allegations since before he was sworn in. Can you admit that? I have seen zero proof of wrong doing, just somebodies opinion on what they think trump said or their own personal interpretation of it, No facts! Period!  There are dead bodies and countries that are now shit holes to prove my claims....Where are yours?

 
 
 
KDMichigan
2.1.8  KDMichigan  replied to  loki12 @2.1.7    4 months ago

The hypocrisy of the left-wing nut jobs is Hillaryious.

Reading what they post is my funny pages of the day.

 
 
 
loki12
2.1.9  loki12  replied to  KDMichigan @2.1.8    4 months ago

I have heard the whole one serious allegation after another bullshit for way too long, It's a smart strategy  to sway the low functioning, but it won't wok on anybody who actually pays attention, or follows the time line.  It has been one accusation after another with zero proof, only smears and innuendo, and we keep hearing that he is lawless, but when you ask for tangible proof. not someones bullshit opinion, you get nothing, It's like Kavanaugh, Blowsy Fords own witnesses said her story strained credibility, and her best friend not only said it never happened, the actual party never happened, but there are still dumb asses who believe her. SMFH

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    4 months ago

800

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
3.1  seeder  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @3    4 months ago

384

 
 
 
loki12
3.1.1  loki12  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @3.1    4 months ago

We all know the real reason the left is in panic mode.

256

 
 
 
loki12
4  loki12    4 months ago

Chuck Schumer has asked to call 4 witnesses?  WTF you complete moron, You are the fucking Jury Chuck, not the prosecution. the house gathers the evidence you judge it. PERIOD you worthless dickhead!

The translation for this action is really quite simple if you aren't a complete moron:  My democrat brothers in the house have completely fucked this thing up and now are sending me a complete pile of shit. I now need to go on a fishing expedition to try to save face for my special needs colleagues.   Here is a little gem for you chucky.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/us/politics/obama-official-wont-testify-to-congress.html

 
 
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