Starting on Wednesday, November 7, the people in your life will generally be divided into two groups. It won't matter which candidate wins; both reactions are as interchangeable as they are inevitable.
"WE DID IT! The stupid [OPPOSITE POLITICAL PARTY] never stood a chance. Now things will finally be awesome!"
"This sucks. The election was probably rigged, anyway. [OPPOSITE POLITICAL PARTY] has a long history of pulling that kind of crap. But whatever...democracy is dead, anyway."
Unfortunately for you, this bi-polar rational of our electoral process will not just be limited to your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. Instead, it will explode into your office, school, and social life...along with still completely taking over your Facebook wall and Twitter feed.
But fear not, loyal reader. RamblingBeachCat.com has come up with a few different ways to help you safely deflect the political smugness and vitriol that threatens to rear its ugly head during virtually any of your interactions with another human being over the next few days.
Just because you're a political moderate (or a fan of retaining friends/family on both sides of the aisle) doesn't mean that you need to keep your mouth shut and/or hide inside your home.
Still trying to ask out that hot girl in your class with the nose ring that thinks all Republicans are Nazis?
Still want to be on speaking terms with your older family members that believe Obama is a Muslim while simultaneously being an atheist?
Here's what you can do to change the conversation (or bring it to a screeching halt).
1. Say that you really wanted to vote for Ron Paul
This will elicit one of two very predictable reactions:
-An appreciative nod along with a statement along the lines of "Oh, I agree...he would have been great. But I didn't vote for him because he never would have had a chance to win."
-A sad, sympathetic look, indicating that the person with whom you are speaking considers you to be a truly crazy, misguided person that should just be left alone when it comes to politics.
2. Criticize CNN's coverage of the election results
If you criticize Fox News or MSNBC, you will have given away your true political leanings, which means that the person you are speaking with will either begin screaming at you or eerily start chanting "One of Us...One of Us..."
Therefore, it falls to CNN to be the default punching bag for your general media criticism. It doesn't matter whether or not you felt that their coverage was poor; just say that it was. This will send the person with whom you are speaking into a tirade about how awful and biased the mainstream media is.
It will be difficult to listen to, but you will also not be required to speak for an extended period of time.
To drive that point home, also make sure to have this video cued up on your phone and/or computer:
3. Ask how the Electoral College works
If you are truly dedicated to avoiding political conflict, insist upon understanding this point, even if they try to change the subject. Once they begin trying to explain it, one of two things will occur:
-You will learn something interesting (and incredibly dysfunctional) about how we elect a president.
-This will happen to one or both of you
4. (If you're talking to a guy) Say something about how attractive conservative commentator S.E. Cupp is.
This one holds a couple of potential benefits.
-If the person knows who S.E. Cupp is, they will surely agree with you...and begin a drawn out monologue about how attractive people can be found on both sides of the aisle.
-If they don't know who S.E. Cupp is, tell them to Google her. These are a few of the images that will come up:
5. (If you're talking to a girl) Say that you had forgotten about Anderson Cooper being gay.
This will send most females (especially single women in their 30's) into a hysterical fit of crying and screaming about things not being fair.
It's a cruel tactic, but it may also cause them to forget to talk about politics for a while.
6. Make a comment/joke about James Carville's appearance.
Yes, it's mean and petty, but one thing that truly unites Republicans and Democrats is the possibility that Carville might actually be one of the classic "grey aliens" wearing human skin.
7. Ask how the other person voted on local issues/candidates
Unless the person you are speaking with is a political ninja, this will send most folks into a brain cramped induced stupor. They will also possibly feel a slight twinge of guilt over the fact that they can't remember (or completely ignored) voting about things that will most likely have a greater impact on them and their immediate community.
Instead, they focused on something that carries so many checks and balances that even if [OPPOSITE PARTY CANDIDATE] won, they couldn't do half the crazy stuff that their candidate warned them would happen if the other guy got elected.
While they try to remember who they voted for on school board, county auditor, etc. start making up names (since you won't remember, either). See if they will agree with you about the made up candidate just to try and keep from looking stupid.
Because after all, when it comes down to it, none of us really understand how the government works. But we can still understand how to love each other, stay friends, and maybe...just once in a while...see both sides of an issue or two.
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