THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: ‘Paranoia,’ said the Kinks, ‘will destroy ya’

THERE ARE A LOT OF WAYS the novel coronavirus is destroying the United States and the world. We are now in the worst place this country may have ever been. Nevertheless, it is the psychological that this column will address.

We know that when you put two people in a single room and say, “Stay there,” the people will get on each other’s nerves. It is not surprising, therefore, that the police have been getting an unprecedented number of domestic abuse calls. Additionally, the virus itself is so ill-defined and little understood that we have turned this country into a nation of hypochondriacs. Frankly, I’ve always been concerned about my health as well as about our politics. The problem is exacerbated when the two of them coincide; everybody is getting up in the middle the night and worrying about their perceived symptoms, ranging from a sniffle to a cough to a vague muscle pain. That’s when we start to absolutely believe that we have caught the dread disease. There’s a reason for that. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Disagreement doesn’t have to be disrespectful

Let’s face it — there is no current political commodity hotter than Andrew Cuomo. One Siena poll had him at a 77% approval rating in New York. Compare that with Donald Trump, in the relative basement. Cuomo has cleverly positioned himself as a moderate Democrat, unlike the more flamboyant progressives like AOC and her “squad,” and Bernie Sanders.

He’s on early morning television, does his briefings, and turns up on the late-night shows. If and when he sleeps is anyone’s guess. I have been immensely flattered that he has chosen to do a half hour a week with me. Unlike the others who interview him mainly about the coronavirus crisis, I am far more interested in what makes the man tick. I have an old friend, a psychiatrist, who heard me interviewing Cuomo and he had one suggestion. When I am speaking with him, I refer to him as “governor” and occasionally as “sir.” The latter, of course, is meant honorifically. For his part, he refers to me as “Doctor.” Freud may not have agreed but I see him as worthy of that respect. The guy is still the governor of New York and many people think that he should be the candidate for president. He’s a natural executive and someone who could step into the top job should events demand it. However, this is the long way around of telling you that my psychiatrist friend (who, as Lee Hays of the Weavers once said of His psychiatrist friend, “I see only socially”) gave me the following advice after hearing an interview: “Don’t call him sir.” Read more…