We’re all scared now by Deb Eve

I don’t know about you, but I’m scared. And according to news reports, you probably are too. An article in the newspaper the other day said that the majority of Americans are anxious right now. And it ain’t because of Halloween.

Americans are generally anxious because we are living in a time of turmoil – two wars and a tanking economy will do that to people. But some of them are actually terrified because of the upcoming election. I totally understand this. I am scared to death of what would happen if MY candidate doesn’t win the election. I’ve got all kinds of nightmare scenarios in my head. And I’m absolutely sure that I’m right. But here’s the thing, there are other people who are equally scared to death and no doubt have nightmare scenarios of comparable horror in their heads if THEIR candidate doesn’t win the election. I swear, I did not know this until I read a quote from a woman in Florida saying she would be “devastated … scared to death … in a near panic” if MY candidate wins.

Huh? THEY are as frightened of MY candidate as I am of THEIRS. I had never thought about that before. This really, really made me think. (You could see the smoke coming out of my ears, I was thinking so hard.) I wish I could talk to this woman. But it would not be the kind of conversation you might expect. I swear I don’t want to convince her to vote for my candidate or even assuage her fears about him. But wouldn’t it be great if we could all just tell each other what’s frightening us? Without rancor and anger or the need to persuade. Just an honest and open and perfectly safe discussion about what we are most afraid of. We could all tell our worst fears and nightmares – all the awful things that are not all that likely to happen (no matter who wins), but nevertheless, keep us awake at night. It would be like a giant, national group therapy of sorts. Maybe followed by a huge, non-partisan group hug. Hopefully, there’d be hot cocoa afterward, we’d all join hands and sing a rousing chorus of “This Little Light of Mine” and surely, we’d all feel a whole lot better.

Unfortunately, so much of this presidential campaign has been designed to make us all fearful. Mark Twain once wrote, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” The truth is, what we fear the most, doesn’t usually happen. So, really, why waste all that energy worrying about it? And why make such an important decision based on what you’re afraid of. Whoever you vote for in this Presidential election, make it a decision based on your hopes and not your fears.

Enjoy your Halloween everyone. But don’t let your fears get the best of you!

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12 thoughts on “We’re all scared now by Deb Eve

  1. Eve,

    I agree with your sentiments whole-heartedly. I think it’s time we the people pull up our socks and start putting good citizenship ahead of common greed, personal manias and phobias, and mutual suspicion. I just hope it’s not too late.

  2. Such an insightful post, Eve! I love that quote from Mark Twain so much–I think I’m going to print it out and post it somewhere.

    We Canadians are paying close attention to your election, by the way.

  3. Thanks all. The whole world is paying close attention to this election, I believe. And some of us Americans are looking mighty closely at Canada, btw, Danielle … wondering which part we are going to move to should things not go our way! Of course, some of us have been saying that for 8 years.

  4. Ladies, say it loud and say it proud…MY candidate is OBAMA. I guess I am not as politically cautious as my daughter the writer…and I guess it doesn’t matter because I do not have to answer to a public that might or might not buy my book…oy, so liberating not to be almost famous. But seriously folks…Eve and I have our differences regarding 9/11, especially since I was upfront and personal as I lived across a very little band of water knows as the Narrows from Ground Zero, and saw the second plane hit, lived through the terrible aftermath, and will never be the same. Fear, you bet, and sadly with cause. However fear doesn’t mean reacting without thinking things through. That is what has happened and will continue if McCain/Witchy woman gets in.

    McCain has untreated PTSD (and this is a clinical diagnosis…yes I am a Mental Health Professional) and is unable to think things through due to his issues. Just not able to NOT REACT IMMEDIATELY WITH FORCE, and can only respond in this manner. This and a number of other factors renders this man “unfit” to have his hand anywhere near the “red button”. There are a number of other psychological reasons he chose Witchy woman…gee was it love at first bite…anyway…I hope you all go out and vote, and of course, since I do not have to be politically gentle…you know who I hope you cast your vote for.

    Oh, if politics is not allowed on this site…WHY NOT???

  5. Thanks for posting the essay and the quote. I have been trying to overcome my shyness during this election and ask people about their votes. I have strong feelings about many of the issues we face these days, and strong feelings about the role of government and public service. Quite frankly, it was partly my writerly curiosity that motivated my first forays into these conversations: what is your motivation?

    I kept asking, though, and I decided to be open about my own affiliation (I’m voting for Obama) because of two discoveries: this fear and the assumption that we know how other people are voting. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t know *ANYONE* who’s voting for The Other Guy”? If I know who you’re voting for, though, and you know who I’m voting for, at least we can think about our choices based on the candidates and their positions, and not because “those people” are so scary. Maybe “those people” are me.

  6. Hmmm …. the comments continue… that’s interesting.

    Mom, I wear my political affiliation LOUD AND PROUD in real life. In fact, one of my sisters-in-law recently said to me, “You and John totally live your political persuasion.” But I think we at the Debutante Ball thought it would be nice to have one place on the internet that could be apolitical, that could be totally about something other than politics and what divides us, and that that might be a welcome respite for folks.

    And though I am about as politically rabid as they come, it’s funny, Ann, I am a bit like you. I am also a bit shy about coming right out and asking people who they are voting for. Which is weird because like my mom I am campaigning long and hard (yes, for OBAMA!!!) and so I’ll go knock on the doors of complete and total strangers in the swing state of New Hampshire and try to get their votes. But I really ought to be calling my sisters-in-law and talking to them about their votes. And that just makes me totally nervous!

  7. Well, my dear young (to me you are) ladies…making strangers angry and then leaving is less scary then say…raising the eyebrows of “family”, then sitting across from them over the dinner feast at every holiday for the rest of your life. That is why…although I am famously outspoken, I curb my big fat mouth (or at least I try) when with Eve’s much more conservative inlaws, who by the way are the most loving folks out there.
    I know (and it took me time to figure this out), my actions reflect on Eve as much as hers reflect on me.

    However…this battle we are in at this moment in time is so important, I do believe my better judgement would be silenced by my BETTER JUDGEMENT.

    Over the years, I have learned something from St. John…yeah, I have…he actually lives “Be The Change You Want See”, and he is not afraid to tell you (or me) to do the same. And you have to love a guy like this…because he is right…can’t argue with “right”. Like you can’t argue with “goodness”. Just can’t.

    OK, so where does that leave me when I know I will be faced with really opposing views…well, last week, I just left my rather “right wing” neighborhood, and took myself to Obama Headquaters in Philly. I worked the phones all week in the company of like minded folks…no stress, no need to watch my big mouth, ah, it was wonderful.

    Back home now, I will put my big Vote For Obama Sign in my window (as if my car bumper stickers were not enough) and just avoid too much human contact. Although I have been out and about with my numerous buttons pinned to my clothing, and have actually met other like minded individuals…maybe, like myself they have just moved here??? I have also gotten the finger…(probably just released from his nose), which actually makes me laugh.

    Tomorrow, I will attend a Pre-Win bash and meet the next Governor of Delaware, while being surrounded by like minded Delawareans, and so I will find my tribe. Tuesday, I will work the polls and then gather with my tribe and watch not only history being made, but be part of history. And let me tell you ladies, I will not NOT gloat, I will not NOT be proud, I will not NOT shut my big fat mouth, I will not NOT say something when I see injustice or racism…I will however, stay away from sheer stupidity, I have to conserve my energy somehow.

    Maybe all this willingness to speak my mind, comes with advancing age, after all…what can “they” do to me, not like me, who cares. I know you all still care what people think about you, but ladies, you who are all on the brink of fame and fortune, will now by default, be put in a powerful postition because “The pen is mightier then the sword.”

    Now if it sounds like I am assuming you all are politically like minded, because I assume literate people have access to a higher light, a more evolved spot on our evolutionary ladder (or so I wish), let me know how wrong I am, I double dare you!

    Oh, and thanks for letting me play in your house.

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