This week, one of the biggest changes to happen in eight years will occur—the United States will elect a new president. And depending on who wins, there’s a big chance your horse will come up short.
Some of you will be truly sore and deflated that your candidate lost, and threaten to move to another country or file complaints of voter fraud, but those threats are so 2000. If your candidate loses, it’s time for a new set of coping mechanisms to deal with the outcome. Here’s a list of 10 ways to cope with a president you didn’t vote for.1. Primal scream therapy.
Some of you may inadvertently do this on election night, but there’s something incredibly therapeutic about screaming as though your life was in danger to express your frustrations. You might not want to do this in your house though, as your neighbors might be tempted to call the police. Where can you go for a good scream? Grab some friends and ride the biggest roller coaster you can find. If you need a bit more of a thrill, get some friends together and go skydiving. If you’re feeling more pauper than prince, you might want to go to a deserted beach or a scary movie where you can scream comfortably. It won’t change the election results, but at least you’ll get your frustration out.
2. Hold a pity party.
You’re allowed to wallow in your sadness for a little while, but make sure you limit it to three hours maximum with friends and fellow supporters. Any longer and the combination of sadness and booze may make it really depressing—sort of like that last breakup you went through. This is a time when you probably want to be surrounded by your friends who understand your love of your candidate, and could help you reminisce about the good times. You can…talk about the cabinet selections your candidate may have made if he were elected. You can…talk about all the reform he would have brought to Washington. You might even want to ceremoniously burn all of your candidate’s bumper stickers, buttons and other paraphernalia to mourn the end of your candidate’s campaign (OK, maybe just keep one for the memory box). If you’re looking for something less like a séance, suggest a potluck and bring over your candidate’s favorite dish (McCain loves baby-back ribs, Obama really likes sweet potato or pumpkin pie).
3. Raise the next candidate.
Why not start grooming your child for public office? It’s never too early to get them thinking about big issues like Medicare or Social Security (especially since those two programs might not last the next 10 years, much less the next 50 years). Educate your kid about the economy and foreign policy. That Highlights magazine is fine for the neighbor’s little genius, but it sure won’t have yours ready for a debate on green energy. Get your kid a subscription to The Economist and read it together each night before he or she goes to sleep. Have your child watch at least three hours of a combination of CNN, BBC, MSNBC and Fox News and get them to run for president of their class. Sure, they may have nightmares about the end of the world, but that’s a small price to pay for having your child appreciate the nuances of democracy at a young age.
In all seriousness, Nickelodeon and Scholastic have excellent election coverage and give kids an opportunity to get involved and vote at a young age. If you don’t have a kid, why not focus on your niece or nephew, or your friend’s kid? Their parents will be thrilled that you’re taking such an interest in their future.
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