Are there any mental health professionals out there? I'm trying to line them up now because if by some chance, despite all the gloating predictions of Chuck Todd & Co., Barack Obama loses the election, there is going to be a deep need for such people. Judge for yourself if experts in mental health help will be needed by checking out this Huffington Post blog by screenwriter and playwright Sherman Yellen titled, "My Coming November Crackup." I think you will agree, if Obama loses there will be a wave of grief and anger on the left, the likes of which we have never seen before. To get an idea of just how anxious the left is about this election, let us join Sherman nervously biting his fingernails (emphasis mine):
I just spoke to my old college friend Roger. We confessed to each other that we cannot wait until this election is over and for Obama to be elected President. We are older men with reasonably good nervous systems tested and toughened by life, death, and everything in-between, and yet this election has been a new high in personal fear and trembling. Our cracks are beginning to show even as it seems more and more likely that the good guys will win. And damn it, we have become more and more fearful and superstitious about expressing that hope for an Obama victory.
We both confessed to waking up real early and heading towards our laptops to check on the latest results in the presidential polls before feeding the cat or making the morning coffee, and finding that there is no Obama lead in Zogby, Rasmussen, USA or CBS large enough to put our fears to rest. A ten point lead? Nothing! What's that to these Republicans, trained from birth to swallow ten points for breakfast with their orange juice and Metamucil? Do we exaggerate their power to find and kill Osama, rig the voting machines, and smear, smear, smear Barack Obama into a narrow defeat all in the course of a single day before the election? Not a bit. We wonder why that power to destroy cannot be put in the service of building the country and working towards economic and social justice. You see, even us older guys can be shamelessly naïve.
Sherman, if the wait is making you so miserable, why don't you just soak a rag with chloroform and take a deep breath so you can wake up on the other side of the November election? It will be so much less painful that way.
Unlike our sons and daughters, we don't take much comfort in the comedians who target the Republicans on SNL and late night TV. We are old enough to remember that Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" didn't laugh the totalitarian governments into defeat, nor was Karl Kraus of Austria or Berthold Brecht's savage satires able to stop the spread of evil in Weimar Europe. Thank you very much Tina Fey, but darling that you are, you are preaching to the converted. The real Sarah Palin doesn't get it -- nor do her rabid followers. And we fear that they see the White House in the sights of their rifles.
Yes, yes, we all know that the evil Bush regime ranks with the great dictatorships of our time. We return you now to Sherman cracking up:
We need a twenty point Obama lead tomorrow for us nervous guys to sleep easy. And even that may not do it. We know that such a lead is not likely in our divided country, even in the middle of this dire economic crises. Having seen the devious ways the Republicans operate, we find it impossible to believe that they will not once again pull some Rovian trick that turns our political and personal universe on its head - destroying our hopes for this country and our family's lives for another four years. We suspect the worst, while hoping for the best. And we fear that this country we love is running out of chances.
Would you like a double shot of chloroform on your rag? I think you're going to need it.
Our mutual friend and fellow classmate Bob, a fine landscape and city scene painter, just died of melanoma in Maine. Among his last acts was sending in an absentee ballot for Obama, knowing that he would not live to see the results of this election. Like many of my generation he cared about the world that he will not live to see. And damn it, this time, Bob's hopes and ours must not be betrayed. No, forget the crackup, I won't go to France or to pieces if McCain/Palin is elected. I will go out and start working on the next campaign - you see, my generation just won't give up on the old fashioned idea of a democratic government that cares about the least of its citizens. We reject the elitism of the ignorant with it's smears and it's lies which they call patriotism and we call baloney.
Damn it! Do it for Bob! Hey, do it for Sherman because, despite his denials, he is sure to suffer a very painful crackup if Obama loses.
Sherman Yellin's attitude is not isolated among the left. As you can see from the following comments on this blog, quite a few others are already suffering from a crackup:
I am on total shut-down. I have basically shelved all of my work until after Nov. 5. I am just going through the motions. What truly is at stake is our Democracy. And I don't think I can handle the election being stolen once again. If it is..(please God NO!!!) I do not think I will be able to stay here in the US. Will have to find a more hopeful place. I cannot imagine this counrty with Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. Or John McCain for that matter. So going to keep working to get Obama elected. I really cannot imagine any other outcome.
Close your eyes, lean back, and take a great big whiff from the chloroform rag.
...I've been through a lot of grief and loss in my life, but I never felt so sick everyday with fear and worry as the past month. The cure for me will be President Obama!
I too, cannot function normally anymore. I get up and run to the computer also. I check the same old tired polls 20-25 times a day. I really am not well. I just want so much to believe that we as a nation can be all that we seemed destined to be. We must stop this selfish, arrogant, self-destructive form of governing. We are so much better as a people than the government that has represented us for the last 8 years. This is the thought that gets me through each day and gives me hope for Nov. 4th.
Have no fear. All those polls showing Obama way in the lead are every bit as accurate as those 2004 exit polls.
As a lifelong Republican who already has a date with my husband for us both to go vote Obama-Biden (he is using a work vacation day, and we have a bottle of chanmpagne on ice to toast the early landslide!), I am so happy for you, your husband, ALL of us.
Lifelong Republican alert! Lifelong Republican alert!
My nervous system is is tatters so much so that I am near tears all the time from this waiting for Obama to be elected.
Is that you, Chuck Todd?
You know, in 2004, I went to bed feeling so light. We had done it! All that work and talking with people had done the job. The next morning, when I heard that overnight the total had flipped from 52% Kerry and 48% Bush to just the opposite, I had a panic/anxity attack. Full Blown! I really thought I was going to have a heart attack.
I recommend you take an extra strong whiff off the chloroform hankie before you hit the sack this year.
Say, Sherman! I just noticed. In addition to being a screenwriter and playright, you are also a lyricist. I'm very impressed. So is my DUmmie FUnnies co-conspirator, Charles Henrickson, who has written a song in your honor. It is called, "Cry (If you see polls)" sung to the tune of Johnny Ray's "Cry (If your sweetheart sends a letter of goodbye)". Here is the first stanza:
If you see polls that turn out to be too high
It's just Diebold, you'll feel better if you cry
When voting on a touchscreen
Don't you sometimes think it's real
But it's only fall elections that they steal
You can read the rest of the song at the DUmmie FUnnies. Sing it to yourself as a lullaby every night, Sherman. You will need it to sooth yourself when the chloroform wears off.