The Monday Morning Teaser

The theme of this week’s Sift is “Don’t Panic”. Yes, I know that the outcome of the election is still uncertain and could herald The End of Democracy as We Know It. And the FrankenStorm is just off the coast, sweeping inexorably towards New York like the villain of a Marvel Comics crossover or Godzilla on his way to Tokyo. But things often don’t turn out quite as badly as we fear. Your odds of survival are excellent.

Anxiety is a symptom of pent-up energy, and the best use of that energy is to channel it towards averting the disaster that called it up. People who are doing something — donating to a blood bank, volunteering for the Red Cross, making phone calls or canvassing for their chosen candidates — tend to be less anxious than people who nervously watch minute-by-minute news coverage while doing nothing.

If you can’t come up with something constructive to do, at least don’t make things worse by whipping yourself into a frenzy. Don’t panic, and try to stay mostly harmless.

So this week I’m going to minimize the amount of who’s-going-to-win coverage in the Sift (that’s next week’s election-eve topic) and instead focus on two things: What closing arguments  you should know if you’re going to have any last-minute conversations with persuadable voters, (Parallel advice to “Don’t Panic” is “try to avoid conversations with unpersuadable voters”), and what’s really annoying about those Richard Mourdock comments on abortion.

Plus, you really have to see two endorsement videos: Lena Dunham for Obama and Joss Whedon for Romney.

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