- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2016

THE ANTI-TRUMP AVALANCHE

Coverage of sexual assault allegations against GOP nominee Donald Trump is a classic media frenzy. Despite this, at least three significant polls have emerged with the GOP nominee in the lead. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump has defenders ready to push back at the mainstream press, including Rudolph Giuliani, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and former presidential hopeful Ben Carson, who has already predicted the media would “parcel” out such reports to keep a negative spotlight on Mr. Trump.

“This is so predictable. And the question is, will the American people be smart enough to see beyond the manipulation that is going on so that the political class can contain and keep their power? This is the real issue, it’s about the political class versus the people,” Mr. Carson told Fox News.

“There’s an atmosphere that’s been created by The New York Times and others that says ‘Look, if you’re willing to come out and say something, we’ll give you fame, we’ll give you whatever you need.’ What a bunch of crap. The people have to see through this.”

IT’S NOT ALL BAD

“Everything is not politics. Let’s be thankful for dogs. Dogs are still awesome. Cats — whatever. But dogs rule. Here’s another good thing — our military. Yeah, people say it so often it almost becomes a cliche, but these men and women and, now, others, are out there doing their thing for us every day,” writes Townhall senior columnist Kurt Schlichter, on addressing the stressed out nation at election time.


SEE ALSO: Donald Trump’s campaign moving staff from Virginia to North Carolina


“The flooding in Louisiana and the hurricane in the Southeast — those are bad things. But the way Americans helped their neighbors, without having to be organized or ordered around — that was something we can all be proud of,” he continued. “Wine is a good thing. So is beer, except for boring, bitter craft beer that people insist is good in order to try and seem hip, but which makes them wish they had a crisp Dos Equis instead. It’s good that we will only have to endure pumpkin-infused stuff for three more weeks.”

THE TOXIC ELECTION

Even the American Psychological Association reports that the 2016 election is “one of the most adversarial contests in recent history” — one that dominates “every form of mass media” says the group, which represent 117,500 clinicians, scientists and consultants. The shrill combo of politics and media has taken a toll: 52 percent of Americans say the election is “a significant source of stress.” The toxic election syndrome appears to spare no one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Democrat or Republican, male or female says Lynn Bufka, associate executive director for research for the organization, which found that 59 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats suffer from election stress.

A certain civic duty can provide some relief.

“Vote. In a democracy, a citizen’s voice does matter. By voting, you will hopefully feel you are taking a proactive step and participating in what for many has been a stressful election cycle. Find balanced information to learn about all the candidates and issues on your ballot (not just the presidential race), make informed decisions and wear your ‘I voted’ sticker with pride,” Ms. Bufka suggests.

“Whatever happens on Nov. 8, life will go on. Our political system and the three branches of government mean that we can expect a significant degree of stability immediately after a major transition of government. Avoid catastrophizing, and maintain a balanced perspective.”

The psychologists also have some commonsense advice. Take a walk, they say. Spend time with family or friends and limit exposure to news coverage and social media. But it’s complicated. The public remains uneasy about the nation itself.

“With the presidential election less than a month away, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. This continues the low satisfaction levels that started near the end of the George W. Bush administration and have persisted under PresidentObama. Satisfaction remains significantly below the historical average of 37 percent since Gallup began measuring it in 1979,” report Gallup analysts Michael Smith and Jeffrey Jones.

To add to the discord, there’s the inevitable partisan divide: 8 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats say they’re satisfied with the state of things. The phenomenon is likely to surface in the polling booth.

“Americans’ low satisfaction level could affect voter turnout on Nov. 8. When citizens are frustrated with the way things are going in the nation, they may be motivated to vote for change. Alternatively, their frustration could discourage them from voting,” the analysts observe.

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

The election hovers on the horizon. Donald Trump appears busier than rival Hillary Clinton this weekend. By the time Monday rolls around, Mr. Trump will have appeared at five jumbo rallies in Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Bangor, Maine; and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Mrs. Clinton appears at a fundraiser in Seattle, and then, according to press reports, she will ease off until the final presidential debate on Wednesday. Her surrogates will be out and about, however. President Obama appears at a voting event in Cleveland, Ohio, while running mate Sen. Tim Kaine makes stops in Miami and Palm Beach, Florida. Former President Bill Clinton visits Cincinnati, Ohio, and daughter Chelsea Clinton appears at events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Jersey City, New Jersey, and New York City — including a “Broadway for Hillary” event with actors Billy Crystal, Matthew Broderick and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Inn at Crotched Mountain, built in 1822 in Francestown, New Hampshire. Fourteen bedrooms, 15 baths, 8,500-square-feet on 27 acres. Original farmhouse and added wings built of brick, clapboard and wood; established working business with 180-degree view of Piscataqua Valley. Multiple fireplaces, sitting rooms, dining areas, library, state-of-the-art kitchen. Outdoor pool, clay tennis court, pastures, trails. Prices at $1.7 million through BeanGroup.com; enter 4388051 in search function.

POLL DU JOUR

59 percent of Americans say children with two parents are “better off” when one of the parents stays at home; 67 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents, 50 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of men and 55 percent of women agree.

53 percent of Americans overall say it doesn’t matter who stays home; 38 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of men and 55 percent of women agree.

45 percent of overall say the mother should stay home; 58 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents, 43 percent of Democrats, 46 percent of men and 43 percent of women agree.

39 percent overall say children are just as well off when both parents work; 32 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents, 48 percent of Democrats, 35 percent of men and 43 percent of women agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 4,602 U.S. adults conducted June 7 to July 5 and released Monday.

Breezy observations, serious take-aways to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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