People in the exhausted camp are tired of having politics thrust in their face every hour. As Ryan Streeter of the American Enterprise Institute has found, young people who are “lonely at least once in a while” are more than seven times more likely to be active in politics than those who are socially active. Those who are exhausted have other things to do. They want to restore politics to its rightful place, and find meaning, attachment, entertainment and morality in something else besides Twitter wars and election campaigns.
Years and years of exhaustion have also made these people weary, cynical and disgusted. Exhaustion, as always, induces a sort of pessimism, a feeling that we are living in terrible times, a sort of weariness of the soul. As Peter Stockland of the think tank Cardus put it, “The combined effect of fear and exhaustion” is “producing a cynicism so deep and murky and toxic that it verges on the sin of bearing false witness against reality.”
But the chief feature of the voters in the exhausted group is timidity. They do not get energy from conflict, the way, say, Trump does. Their instinct is to keep their heads down and just get through this craziness.