Yesterday a worried first-time diarist was hounded to the point of deleting his diary and posting a second diary to apologize for the first. To their credit, Kossacks quickly assured him that some of the insensitive comments arose from anxiety, as everyone was a bit stressed out.

A sarcastic diary that has been posted twice this morning by MRDFS, at 1:56 and again with a slightly different title at 9:27, and lightly Rec'd, turned my thoughts back to some comments from yesterday that I found disturbing. The diary:

Nothing about Tagg Romney's voting machines and software patches?

You mean that can't just "flip" a switch and "steal" and election?

You mean even if we only have  3 point lead in a state we can still win it?

You mean we actually have the ability to fight their voter suppression schemes and we aren't helpless victims going up against the almighty Karl Rove secret cabal.

We should always be diligent and stand up against those seeking to curb voting rights (which they do IN THE OPEN). We should learn the lessons from the past

But it's time to get over the PTSD from 2000 and 2004 and drop the conspiracy theories and the victim posture.

More below the squiggle.

Partly, I suspect what's going on is something I've gradually learned to work with during my marriage of 42+ years. People handle anxiety in different ways. Some, like my husband, lean toward denial, and it works for them. (A certain amount of denial is healthy. For one thing, it lowers the likelihood of depression.) Others, like me, lean toward preparing for -- and fighting, if possible -- every bad scenario we can't convincingly rule out. Which would you rather have in your surgeon?

I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but it's my impression that the vigilant sort of person is more likely to have suffered betrayal and/or abuse, particularly during his or her formative years. (I myself was abused as a child.) This adds a third dimension to the clash between people whose anxiety is heightened when others bring up worrisome possibilities, and people whose anxiety is lessened by addressing worrisome possibilities head-on.

My recommendations?

1) Please don't come down on worriers as if we're crazy, or tell us to "take a deep breath" or "get a massage" (as if we hadn't thought of that), or flame us as Concern Trolls without very solid reasons. It only makes our anxiety worse, and solves nothing. In the situation diaried above (and elsewhere, by others, repeatedly), it isn't crazy to worry about digital vote tampering. It may not be as potentially significant as flat-out not letting people near the polls, but what if it shaved a fraction of a point here and there, and this made all the difference?

2) Maybe it would help in future elections to have a thread for self-admitted worriers. There are plenty of us, I assure you. This way, we would keep our defense from disrupting your defense, and all of us would benefit.

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