I have friends who were too anxious to watch the presidential debates, yet are too obsessed with the campaign to stop reading its blogs and tracking the daily polls. A dead-heat contest with sky-high stakes can provoke extreme worry on both sides of the partisan divide, leaving even strangers in elevators to nod and roll their eyes at one another, the instant bond of a crazy-making political season.
My own anxiety, admittedly, is attached to intense hopes for President Obama’s reelection, but the universe of fretfulness I’m addressing may include supporters of Mitt Romney, too. This election is showing us to be an uncertain and troubled people. And the election itself, by what it is revealing, may be making things worse.