“Hi Carole. We are doing OK so far. COVID is everywhere; nobody knows what to do. Hope we will survive.”
I woke up this morning to find this WhatsApp message on my phone, sent from a friend in Moscow—a friend who works high up in Russia’s medical establishment. We are two days out from the election, and I don’t know what I am more afraid of: COVID or Trump winning another term. A New York Times headline today stated that people are voting as if their life depended on it—and it does.
How did we get here? I think the etiology of Trump’s ascendancy lies deep within the psyche of America, a country forged on genocide and slavery and justified by religion. Put this in the context of poor national leadership, economic disparity, growing racial diversity and political power, and increasing global threats from terrorism to climate change, and you have a toxic mix triggering an acute stress response among people. (And let’s not forget the worship of celebrity.) For the most part, these responses are irrational, defensive, and hostile.
The answer: vote Tuesday as if your life depended on it—it does.