Are you, like I am, ready to throw in the towel? Cry uncle? Knuckle under? Abandon hope? Turn the TV screen to the wall? Make promises to God? Then you are, like I am, suffering from the malady known as Election Fatigue, or in drug company lingo, EF. And there are still fifty-four more days to go. And presently, no known antibiotic.
Fifty-four days? No big deal. That’s less than two months. You’ve waited longer than that for a couch to be delivered. Or a baby.
But , hey, let’s keep it in perspective. This election cycle may be the longest in American history, starting a full 21 months before actual election day. That’s the equivalent of two babies — past their due date.
The next 54 days loom because they’re following on the heels of the 590 days of campaign rhetoric to which we have already been subjected. No matter your voting choice, this has got to be regarded as cruel and unusual punishment.
Personally, I feel completely devoured by media coverage. Please spare me one more NBC-Wall St. Journal poll, or ABC-Washington Post poll, or another Marist poll. Don’t the Marists have something better to do? Shouldn’t they be praying?
And when Chuck Todd or Wolf Blitzer aren’t analyzing the deep meaning of the latest poll, they’re interviewing pundits who are analyzing the deep meaning of the latest poll. You know, those smartly dressed men and women who sit behind a smartly appointed table, attempting to pool their collective wisdom, only to arrive at analyses that could be concluded by a fourth-grader. Or me.
Where do they get these guys from? Is there a pundit pool visited by TV news producers each morning to select their experts du jour?
Even if we manage to switch the channel to something less gruesome like, let’s say, a program where the FBI is hunting a sadistic serial rapist, we can still count on being harassed by the candidates spewing at each other via political ads. And we know that these will heat up in frequency and intensity as we get closer and closer to Election Day. I’m sure that by November 8th, I will be so burnt out that I will actually look forward to Viagra commercials.
So what can we do to ease the pain over the next 54 days? Unfortunately, the hypnotic pull of the TV screen and all electronic devices is far too strong to simply shut them down. We are exhausted, but can’t turn away. Like a mass Pavlovian experiment, we have become way too reliant on the bells and whistles that summon us to respond to messages of utmost importance. Or not. So we must look at other options.
Therefore, as I alternate between Fox News and Charlie Rose, a few suggestions have occurred to me as antidotes for and distractions from Chronic EF.
- Go see your dentist, who hopefully has a TV in his exam room, and have that root canal you’ve been putting off without novocaine
- Intersperse Morning Joe with reruns of Gilligan’s Island
- Visit a friend in Colorado and while you’re watching CNN, sample the local crops
- Visualize Chris Christie in his underwear
- Pray for a power outage
If none of these work for you, please take comfort in the fact that November 8th will eventually arrive. Unfortunately, following closely at its heels will be November 9th, whereon begins the endless analysis of the results.
But there might be an upside to all of this. I may be so numbed by politics this season, that I will be inured to the Holiday ads that probably will begin on or about Halloween.