The election of 2016 can be bad for your health

Feeling irritable lately every time you catch the news? Do letters to the editor have you yelling at the writer? Do they make you want to toss your newspaper into the recycling bin?

Feeling irritable lately every time you catch the news? Do letters to the editor have you yelling at the writer? Do they make you want to toss your newspaper into the recycling bin?

Is there a relative you’re avoiding just so you won’t have to discuss current events?

Fighting a growing urge to kick out your flat screen?

Feel cranky and frustrated, and you’re not sure why?

You, my friend, are suffering from a contagious case of “Election-itis.”

It happens to most Ohioans, particularly this time of year when we hardly can walk into a grocery store or attend church without bumping into a politician.

You always can tell the people who are unfamiliar with either place. After an hour, they start squirming and glancing toward the exit.

Undaunted, candidates and their surrogates stalk us, ringing our doorbells on Saturday mornings, lurking outside of our jobs and farmers’ markets looking for hands to shake and babies to kiss.

Our hearts skip a beat at every ring of the telephone to the point where, right about now, “poll” has become a four-letter word.

The national media descends, never once venturing beyond diners and campaign rallies. In 2008, one national reporter boiled down his description of Canton to a city of $3,000 houses and “Jesus Saves” billboards.

Elections always have been exciting, but this year has taken a bit of a dark turn. There are stories emerging of family members breaking off ties; of people unfriending one another on Facebook, all because of politics.

In one serious case of Election-itis, a Cleveland man shot another bar patron he didn’t even know, simply because the victim declared that he was supporting a certain presidential candidate.

The irony is, of course, the shooter likely will be in jail on Election Day and won’t be able to vote.

That worked out well, didn’t it?

Right about now, you can’t even watch a good and trashy “Housewives” reality show without it being interrupted by a flurry of attack ads.

A gaggle of middle-aged women in too much makeup attack one another for no discernible reason?

Well … that’s different.

To open your email is to be buried beneath an avalanche of campaign come-ons, like opening the door to a teenager’s closet.

We probably should be flattered that Ohio is still at the heart of it all when it comes to presidential elections. But as Abraham Lincoln once joked of a man who was tarred, feathered and ridden out on a rail: Somebody asked him how he liked it, and he replied: “If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d have rather walked.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass