Where in the five stages of loss acceptance is Jeb Bush?



Psychologists say there are five stages of loss and grief. I was wondering what stage Jeb Bush, given his rapidly declining campaign, happens to be in?

Stage 1: Denial and Isolation

This stage is about denying the reality of the situation. I think this stage has already come and gone. Jeb has been saying for months how well his campaign has been doing. He doesn't say that anymore.

Stage 2: Anger

As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or...

Marco Rubio. Bush blames Marco Rubio for holding his own campaign back, since both are competing for the same base of support. Bush probably feels some jealousy that a younger, more handsome, more Hispanic candidate than himself is polling better than he is, and perhaps that explains why he lashed out at him during the last debate.

Stage 3: Bargaining

In this stage we see Bush trying to regain control. He admits there is a problem but says he will do better. It is the illusion of thinking he can change what cannot be changed. Bush has said he didn't do well in the debate but says he needs to do better. If he cannot perform well after months of campaigning and three debates, he never will, so there is some stage 1 denial mixed in as well.

Stage 4: Depression

It's hard to know if Bush is in Stage 4 or not. He seemed withdrawn in the most recent debate after he challenged Marco Rubio and was chastized, and ended up speaking nearly the least of all the other candidates. Was he depressed at that point? Hard to know. He certainly doesn't look happy.

Stage 5: Acceptance

We will know Bush is in stage 5 when he suspends his campaign, which I think may happen after the next debate. I think he will be much happier once he accepts his loss, and goes on to do the many, many cool things he could be doing, whatever they may be, wherever they may be, and in whatever language they may be.

Exit question: What stage of grief do you think Bush is in? What sort of treatment could best help him through it so he can be a happier, healthier member of our community?

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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