Polls will be the death of me this year. I have a visceral reaction to every bad poll I see, and I consider it a bad poll whenever Trump is leading nationally or in any swing state, but also when he’s getting more than the Alan Keyes Constant of twenty-eight percent.

It’s true that there’s some fear that arises, but it’s much more an enervating feeling, like falling into an abyss. It’s close to despair, not about President Joe Biden’s chances of reelection but about the moral and intellectual qualities of so many of my fellow Americans. Often my first reaction is simply to snap shut my laptop, or maybe to stop trying to think or write about politics by playing chess.

With complete honesty, I admit the fact that I find it deeply, deeply demoralizing that half the country prefers Trump to anyone. It makes me want to stop trying. It makes me want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head.

I don’t enjoy admitting this either, as I imagine it gives Trump supporters great satisfaction to see how their political opposition responds to their success in shaping public opinion. But I do it for others that feel as I do and maybe don’t see anyone openly expressing it. I think it’s okay to feel this way as long as you find a way to snap out of it, over and over again.

It’s not easy, though, because the problem is that what’s depressing me can’t be fixed. It’s written in indelible marker. It’s why I had a hard time celebrating the historically great midterm election results that defied polling and pundit predictions of a red wave. It’s good to win. It’s good to exceed expectations, but the margins didn’t change my mind about the depravity of so many of our countrymen.

I still have faith that Trump will lose in November and ultimately go to prison. Any other outcome will not be something I think I can personally recover from. But I admit that a lot of damage is already done, and no outcome can repair it.

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