Holiday Loneliness Is Common
Was your Thanksgiving a heartwarming event or did you experience pangs of loneliness? If it was the latter, rest assured you’re not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel.
Holidays are notorious for making us experience loneliness. If we but look around we may recognize that others “seem” to have what we don’t: close family, supportive friends, a sense of purpose, confidence (the list rambles on).
Political Loneliness Is Common
Enter politics. Ho-boy, people withdraw and set up camp over there, and there, and even way out there. There are so many conclaves of thought and attitudes and ideologies that we may feel stranded. Do we matter? Do our voices count?
Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, focused on loneliness in an opinion piece, “How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart”, in The New York Times.He says:
When people have a hole in their life, they often fill it with angry politics.
Mr. Brooks’ opinion piece was also a review of Republican Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse’s new book, THEM, Why We Hate Each Other And How To Heal.
As Sasse pointed out:
[The trick is] …learning how to intentionally invest in the places where we actually live.
And Brooks clarifies with:
It is about the neighbor I choose to be in the community I wind up calling my home. … Each of us can be happier, and America will start to heal, when we become the kind neighbors and generous friends we wish we had.
Loneliness Is A Health Issue
Mr. Brooks also based his piece on findings in a 2018 Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index, a health report and survey that seems timely. The survey pointed out that there are some interesting results:
- Students have higher loneliness scores than retirees.
- Social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness.
- Race showed no major differences in levels of loneliness.
- Gender showed no major differences in levels of loneliness.
- Younger generations are lonelier than older generations.
- Frequent in-person interactions help lower loneliness.
- Poor health contributes to loneliness.
- Lack of sleep contributes to loneliness.
- Not spending enough time with family contributes to loneliness.
The study also pointed out that,
Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it more dangerous than obesity.
Loneliness Must Be Addressed
So we can easily recognize and admit that loneliness is a real problem in American society. As noted above, it’s evident that there are some simple remedies (though arduous to follow they may be) to rectify our situations: Make friends and be a good friend. Call home once in a while. Be kind to others. Be grateful for what you have and appreciate the precious moments of love and tenderness that may come your way.
One of the findings in the Cigna Index was that 47% of the respondents feel left out. Being left out is a direct way to feel lonely because – you are!
Loneliness And Presidential Elections
Let’s consider our presidential elections (you knew I had to get here).
I hear Democrats (and some Independents) bemoan the fact that Hillary won almost three million votes more than Trump and still lost! Trump supporters then retort with, “Sore losers!”
No, the Hillary supporters are not sore losers so much as simply not counted! It makes them angry and then the other side gets angry, and the back-and-forth escalates.
Let’s pour some fuel on that fire! Hillary didn’t just lose by three million votes; her supporters wasted over 32 million votes because of the winner-takes-all approach used before submitting popular votes to the Electoral College. Notice, I point out these votes were lost BEFOREthe Electoral College kicked in.
Are you Hillary supporters more angry now? Let’s add some more fuel.
The Trump supporters voted and tossed away 22 million votes for that dratted winner-takes-all problem. Who’s angry now?
Of course, Hillary supporters may realize that theirs wasn’t simply a race lost by three million votes. No, they tossed away over ten million more votes than did the Trump camp.
Here’s another tidbit of interest: The report above noted that 47% feel left out. The average percentage of “thrown-away” presidential ballots in the previous 15 elections is 46%! Yes, many feel left out.
Equal Voice Voting Against Political Loneliness
Loneliness – can you sense the wave wash over you? Many of you voted in the last presidential election, from either camp, and your vote DID NOT COUNT! In a sense, you were ostracized, left out, omitted, ignored (the list rambles on).
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) eliminates the winner-takes-all aspect and makes every vote count.
(To learn how this works, click The Equal Voice Voting formula.)
All votes can count on a state-by-state basis. (To see how your state would have fared in 2016 with EVV, click State-by-State 2016 Analysis.)
It means that the over 63 million votes that were cast aside in the 2016 presidential election would be included. Remember, inclusionis one of those elements that can stave off loneliness.
As Senator Sasse points out, and Mr. Brooks underscores, it’s important for this nation to heal. We must strive to not hate “THEM” and find ways to insert ourselves into the nation’s dialogue. Our voice (and vote) counts, collectively and individually. Let’s not let a failing mechanism thwart the genius the Electoral College offers us. Let’s use Equal Voice Voting to make every vote count and every state matter.
EVV is one small step that can help heal the country. Tell others. Tell your legislators. Make a difference for and include everyone.