Monday, November 5, 2012

Pre-election Day Jitters: Breathe in, Visualize, Get Some Fresh Air, then Vote tomorrow!

Article Mirror

November 5, 2012

Usually the outcome of the election is pretty clear a few days before the big day, bringing either a sense of giddy anticipation or feeling like a dead man walking. This year is different. For the past several weeks, and especially the past few days, I’ve had pre election day jitters.

This is something new. After a full season of following polls — thanks to Nate Silver – reading up on everything to stay informed of the latest developments in every supposedly significant local election at all times, I think I know how they will turn out, including the big one. Yet… there are doubts that creep in, old wounds from elections past that ache when the weather turns a certain way.

What if it’s really close and goes to the Supreme Court and they pick a President with a 5-4 ruling? What if [the hostility to voter registration, purges of voter lists, voter suppression, shortages of voting machines are what swings the election? What if everyone stays home?

Then there are the hypothetical what-ifs that loom overhead like a hypothetical Sword of Damocles. What if the electronic voting machines owned by Republicans throw the election? What if the final electoral college outcome is a 269-269 TIE and it goes to the Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives? What if Hurricane Sandy lowers turnout in key East Coast blue states so that Obama might lose the popular vote even as he wins the electoral vote, losing a layer of legitimacy that comes with the popular vote as Bush did in his first term? What if all the voter IDvoter disenfranchisement hurdles succeed at keeping enough people from voting to swing the election?

So I worry.

In this final day before the Big Day, after the longest campaign season in US history, it is time for some relaxation tips on how to calm the nerves. I need steady hands on Tuesday. They tremble even on the easy election days, so it will take some extra preparation this year to calm my nerves and focus. I can’t be the only one who needs it today, maybe these could help you too?

Listen to music with a calming tune:

Breathe in.


Get up and stretch.

Get some fresh air.

Take a nice long walk.

And vote! (Tomorrow).