The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist ™
2004, Sec. II
Readers' Post-Election Reflections
Here are some post-election responses from readers of my newsletter after I had
sent out an article by the NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman who expressed
concerns about the evangelical drift of the country. (Email me if interested in
his column.) The range of perspective is quite broad and thought-provoking, and
Good morning my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don´t be sad. May be sometimes there is a way out. I hope so. Why you don´t come
Afraid? There is nothing to be afraid or something else. Believe me, peoples
like you are everywhere welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you need a cover for some books of you, ask me I send you some pics from me
and you can try this.
A lot of warm hugs
Servus from rainy
Odd you should send this to me. And I'm glad that you did. I had/have
ambivalent feelings for both sides' remarks on so little an amount of
issues Neither party said what they intended to do. This Election was all
about personal issues as you know. I, frankly, got tired of hearing it. I
could see, years ago, that we had no one polishing for the event. I feel
this Country was in a mess long ago. Morale was low. Education (which I'm in)
Heroes were no longer available.
My life has seemed to be all "spaghetti stringed" in a very complex manner such
as this Nation. And I know there are millions more like me. I listened intently to
Bush's answers, comments, saw his anger when he was so overwhelmed w/criticism
about killing so many. I could feel my own rage, in a battle such as his, when
you are dealing w/an opponent who "doesn't know the rules of the game." I
honestly don't think that John Kerry is as astute in war tactics as he
professes. I heard/saw the early interviews of the men who hated him. Funny how
they all disappeared.
I have ambivalent feelings about what I truly think, Mark. Both sides are
right. When I heard Kerry say that he would solicit the opinions of world
leaders....that's the New Way. I valued that in my first Mid-Life crisis.
Bush's views were the Old Way. Kinda like a father of a household. Now, since
talking to my former husband & two divorcing children, I have changed my beliefs
again back to the Old Way. I don't know WHAT to believe anymore!!
Heaven forbid that we should change Generals & have this Country turn into the
60's again! That's the only reason why I felt Bush should get in again. Let
him finish what he started. He isn't a total idiot.
That era was good for our Country & opened a can of worms that we are still untangling.
The personalities of both candidates shone brightly in this respect. I, too,
felt that our rights will be compromised w/our current President. And I
wondered how? does a person (Bush) come up w/an answer when there is no guide or
role model....do what psychologist's do....make your own rules. Take action.
Take control. Mark, these words are only from my deepest self (today) When I
was a Liberal, I had the same thinking patterns as John Kerry. I see now it was
a growth phase. I'm glad George Bush will get to finish what he started. ANd I
don't see any decline in my life since he's been President. I would feel the
same way if my sons were in combat. Bush/Kerry reminded me of the men out here
who either "let it happen or make it happen." ANd how much do we (citizens)
know of what goes on behind closed doors??? Opinions/judgments abound. I have
a brother-in-law who was living w/the Shah of Iran in the eighties when this all
began -- called me almost everyday, just to picture us all around the dinner
table, like normal people. Ernie was a Logistics Technician (spy?) for
America; My long-time Doctor was an Undercover Agent for NASA; -- he told me
that if I "really knew" what was going on, I'd collapse!; and a life-long friend
was a career DEO. So, again I say, how much does the public know about
anything??? I really don't have any hope for this Country's cohesion. Seems
to me the same as the demise of the family. People need stability; you know
I felt the division in this Country long before our President ever was
known. Perhaps Terrorists started their quest long ago when it was published
that we would destroy ourselves from the inside out. Think they're still doing
it??? I do.
I've told you that I had a dictatorial husband, very kind & gentle, nontheless
George W. reminds me of him. His beliefs are 'written in stone' & don't ever
cross him. For over 25 years, I've vascillated between the "old way" & the "new
way" - never coming to a final decision, always straddling the fence - using
both ways for survival. President Bush's religious counters from Kerry made me
feel I had finally come to an end w/this - Faith is all that ever brought me
thru too! I am not a fanatical Bible toter nor do I preach anything
about it. I do think, however, that Bush personally did not bring this subject
up (I could be wrong.) I only remember the attacks from his opponent, when the
other side started talking about his alcoholism. I followed this race every
day. Don't forget: Teresa K. is from my home town. ;-) I like her; I like
Thomas' opinions were succinctly stated & w/my own personal daily discussions
that wear me out, I am speaking to you as a friend here....not Toastmaster
writing. Just trying to unsift my own shit -- tying it into all the things that
come down the pike. I find it exasperating that people discuss the issues when
we really have no input. We have a voice but not a choice. We had no good
candidate to vote for. We would have the freedom & choices w/Kerry but we have
security & stability w/Bush. He's just doing what we all asked & that is to
"take care of THIS country" first. Maybe dictatorship is better. Who
the hell knows.
Peace! (I'm sorry I couldn't back you on this one)
Not everyone who practices a religion is a fundamentalists whether Jewish,
Christian, or Muslim. The freedom to practice the above religions is guaranteed
under the constitution. I fail to see your point about corrosion of some
cherished beliefs in constitutional liberties. These freedoms apply to everyone
irregardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs. I dont see any
fundamentalists in the White House now. I see a Christian as a President and a
Hi, Mark! Thank you for forwarding this article to me. It seems that we are on
the same wavelength. I have been thinking about this constantly since
yesterday's election, particularly while I was writing to Kerry and Edwards to
express my condolences and to thank them.
What I said in my letter is that I don't think they could have worked any
harder or, ultimately, done anything different to bring about another ending to
this campaign. I have a feeling that this election was decided before they were
even nominated. When you look at the electoral vote, almost nothing is different
from it was four years ago, which leads me to believe that we have split as a
people along deeply ideological lines.
Thomas Friedman is right when he says that there are now two
is the America of the Bush camp, which is basically composed of the wealthy and
the born-again, and then there is the America of the Democrats, which is mainly
composed of the educated urban elite, who have become a disenfranchised
In short, there are simply more of them than there are of us, and that's why
I think that Friedman is also right in saying that this was not an election in
the conventional sense, but a showing for the home team. After four years of
this economy and the war in Iraq, it is hard to believe that no significant
electoral votes changed hands, but they didn't. This election was not about
issues, but about values. I have an article to forward to you in this regard.
I think, to a large extent, that this election was also about where you live.
The Kerry supporters are generally northern and far western urban folks who know
the value of diversity and who live and work in extremely heterogeneous
surroundings. The wealthy and/or born-agains/evangelicals who voted for Bush
generally live in much more isolated and homogeneous surroundings.
No amount of campaign stumping, friendly doorbell ringing, or perky campaign
calls is going to change that for either camp. We are talking life styles here,
not issues. What's scary is that the Bush camp seems to be proliferating. This
has been in full swing since Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell in the early 80s.
I'm not sure how we're going to deal with all of this, but I can't recall the
country ever being as deeply divided since Vietnam, but even then we were
polarized largely around one major issue and the lifestyles, i.e., hippies, that
evolved with it. This time it's all about "morals," God and America. I don't
know if the Democratic Party can or should play into that base unless it wants
to totally change what it stands for.
If that happens, it will be time for me to go somewhere else. dd
The truth seems to be that society's pendulum has currently swung far to the
right; after all, these "holier than thou" politicians are able to get enough
votes to be elected. However, it is my experience that, when you get to
the individual level, most folks are able to see other sides of issues - still,
they may just not agree with you! I have learned the hard way that there are
some subjects that are just not debatable, such as abortion rights. These
opinions are too personal and too closely held to allow for purely intellectual
discussion. And, no matter how many
utterly-and-completely-indisputable-and-rational arguments I think I am
offering, no one's opinion EVER changes.
I also firmly believe that life as we know it is not approaching a rapid end.
The doomsday sayers have been predicting society's destruction for years now,
and the form of that destruction depends on who is in political power at the
time. Perhaps a positive result from all of the campaign vitriol will be working
toward compromise in the name of "healing." Or, if compromise is not
forthcoming, then maybe the more moderate thinkers will begin to realize the
necessity of coming together with a practical and realistic agenda.
And, as for gay marriage, to be honest I don't care if gay people are married.
Individual churches and religions would have to make their own decisions
regarding the sanctity of these marriages, of course. My opinion about who is
having sex with whom is that I don't care; just keep it private. I really don't
want to hear casually-told details of anyone's sex life!
Anyway, for tomorrow, my prescription for you is to find something that you love
to do and spend a lot of time doing it. Make sure it is something that restores
and nurtures you, and preferably has an element of fun to it! General silliness
is always helpful.
Thank you for sharing, "Two Nations Under God."
God isn't owned by the Republicans (even though they think this is the case). I
can appreciate waking up and feeling troubled. The only saving grace (if that
is the correct terminology here) is that he can only be in office for four more
I don't mind sharing my thoughts with you, but please not to anyone else.
911 was the best thing that happened to George. As a student of journalism in
earlier years, even negative press is good press. The most astounding thing I
witnessed prior to the official beginning of the war was the way the press
covered the preceding war events. A CNN reporter during the final hours of the
election stated (in question form) that it would be best if JK conceded so that
the country would not be dragged into another bout of what we went through last
year (in spite of conflicting information regarding provisional ballots). What
ever happened to the watchdogs of the government?? The whole scenerio is just
The truth of the matter is, I voted for the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately,
this is more common in our country than voting for someone who is right and true
and cares only for the best interest of the people....otherwise, we both know
for sure, a social worker would win and do it the right way....ask me though,
about Harry Hopkins sometime -- I had the pleasure of speaking to his son (by
his first marriage).
Anyhow...it is enough that television is our worst enemy both in the political
arena and in the family arena. Television is "god" in our country as are
material possessions and the almighty dollar.
I actually have considered moving out of the country though I know that is not
the answer. Did you see 911? Watch Allezzah (or however you spell her name) --
she shakes her head in the negative while saying that there is definitely a link
with Bin Ladden and Sadaam Hussein. Who are the real perpetrators of
terrorism? Me thinks it's the blue suits who were re-elected. Fear, fear, fear
-- the all great and powerful motivator won again.
There will always be the right wing radicals who are judgemental and self-rigeous
and yes, even dangerous. However, when the pendulum swings in the opposite
direction, what are the ramifications? I am a believer that anything which is
radical is radical (how is that for a Yogi Berraism??).
George W. does not belong dealing in moral issues as I believe him to be highly
immoral as well as unethical -- but maybe he is no different than any other
actually quite shocked that you've chosen to see only the negative side of what
is truly happening to our country and the world. I guess that must sound like a
really "harsh" statement, but I see so much more in my line of work for National
Security...In fact, so much more than most people ever see!
not a hard-liner, but I do feel like we need to make a strong stand in the world
protection of freedom and the protection of our country!
Kerry was a liar and in my mind a treasonist because of the things that he did
and said to the detriment of our country. Yes, I believe war crimes were
and also in all of the other wars that we have fought. But, I also believe that
the vast majority of the terrorist related situations that have happened and
will continue to happen have caused more harm than anything that the US has done
to try and offer "freedom" to countries that have mass and destructive practices
to their people.
believe that everyone should and deserves the "right" to make decisions that
they feel are right -- in that instance, I don't truly agree with the ultimate
decisions of abortion, gay marriage, etc. I don't have to agree with them, but
I do ultimately believe that having an abortion at the point and time that a
child can be viable is a sin and I also believe that a marriage between a
man/man and a woman/woman is not what God intended, but should be legitimate if
that is what they choose. I don't and would never condemn people of that
thought...after all, it is their right to live as they choose.
Catholic religion has vastly different views on this, and as a Catholic, I must
agree, because that is what I truly believe is the right thing. I, however did
NOT vote for Bush because of those issues...Those issues would not have swayed
my opinion when voting.
one of the things that did touch me to my very core was an article that I read,
not too long ago... (And it is legitimate - I'll send it to you from newspaper
postings!) Iranian and other Middle Eastern women were and are to this very
day, soaking themselves in gasoline and setting themselves on fire to die in an
effort to get away from constant rape and emotional destruction from the people
that have proclaimed and do proclaim to love them...their husbands,
current families and new married families. These were family arranged marriages
- Oh, My GOD - this makes me sick to my very core! The practice of "Marriage
Arrangements" to better the family standing and encourage the political beliefs
of families is prevalent in 80% of the families.
viewing pictures of the thousands of women and children and women/children of
families where women have fought against the destruction, that would rather die
from such a terrible fate as to set themselves on fire, compared to a
continued life in the current situation of their marriages. I can't tell you
how much I believe that "we" as the
are doing the right thing, even though it seems very costly, are DOING the best
thing for the humanity of these people and especially the women and children of
see any of the rulers dying for their countries...Only the women, children,
young impressionable men and brainwashed people blowing themselves up in the
name of Allah and in support of countries that only rule by destruction.
hate that we obviously have such greatly differing opinions in this, but
honestly think that you are a gentle and loving man that wants to help people.
that you will truly appreciate my views and also agree that we live in the most
wonderful country on Earth - besides, if you didn't/don't, I could be submitted
to a "nonjury" counsel that would ultimately submit me to rape, torture and
death for my beliefs.
extremely passionate on my beliefs that the United States has an obligation to
protect people that are less fortunate and are not able to live a life that is
without certain death and destruction because of their beliefs. I also believe
that the vast majority of the people on Earth do not have a clue about the
rights that they deserve! But, they should and I believe that we "OWE" them the
right to know how life can be in a truly democratic world...and I do NOT mean
"DEMOCRATIC" in the Presidential sense of the word, but in the sense of a truly
I should say goodnight after this, because I am exhausted and quite spent of
energy to say more.
Friends, here are some prophetic and comforting
words written by Thomas Jefferson in 1798 after the passage of the Alien and
Sedition Act that are amazingly prescient for our times some 200 years later.
little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells
dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government
to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply
in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous
public debt....If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have
patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back
the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."