LA CROSSE, WIS — It’s election night! The moment we’ve all been simultaneously anticipating in optimistic hope and dreading in existential fear. Our mailboxes have been flooded with enough glossy fliers that destroyed another measurable fraction of the rainforest. Our commercials have been overtaken with ominous music laced with bogus data while we are just trying to unwind. And our lawns have been strewn with cheap signs that they all combined could have built homes for all the homeless across the country. All of which is laced with the images and slogans of people far richer than us in tailored suits and $500 haircuts telling us who is the hero and who is the villain in the endlessly complex story composed of no actual heroes or villains. Just people in power who want more of it for longer.
Will America continue down the path it is currently forging for itself? Or will we do an about face and make a course correction. Tonight we find out what type of material our flag is really made from. Don’t get me wrong. The oversimplified “If you vote bad, then you bad. If you vote good, then you good,” will always be around, but we all deserve the momentarily dulling of the noise that has pounded our collective minds like being trapped in the backseat of a high school senior who is showing off their new “souped up car stereo.”
As you bask in the false belief that this nightmare might actually be coming to an end, be mindful that your children are watching and listening attentively to your every move tonight. They inevitably will have questions about the day. Questions like “Why is that orange man screaming incoherently?” Well, if you feel like you’re not quite ready to slap the rose colored glasses of childhood naivety off your child’s innocent face, here are a couple lies you can tell them to both preserve their innocence.
- “This is democracy at work.” You very well know that it is not as simple as that with the costs of elections easily surpassing the $3 billion mark this year, but let your kid think that electing officials is as simple as voting for their favorite food at school. Pizza won again? Yay! Sorry, avocados. If you don’t like the results, move your healthy superfood ass to another country!
- “Those armed men are protecting our freedoms.” This one might be hard to spit out because you know goddamn well that armed militia men standing at poll stations is fucking weird any way you stretch it, and evokes images of Isis control in Syria. But just do your best. Perhaps get creative and tell your child “Those aren’t weapons that could literally kill hundred of people in minutes. They’re freedom launchers for those who don’t like our country.”
- “The electoral college is fair.” Even though it statistically grants smaller states significantly more bang for their voting buck with the electoral votes, we continue to trudge along with the system that grants the people of Wyoming nearly 3 times the vote power of a resident in California. Nevermind that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, which is more people than each of the 15 least populous states. Her goddamn emails!
- “Elected officials work for us.” BWAHAH! AHHHHHAHAHA!!!! AHHHAHAHAHAHA AHA HAH AHA HAHAHAHHAHA HAHAHA!!!! *breath* BWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!! Oh. That’s a good one. Just try not to laugh when you say this doozy.
- “Everything is going to be ok.” This might be a difficult one to say because you honestly do not know. We might be fine. We might be totally fucked. We are likely somewhere in the middle, but really can’t tell which way we are leaning through this fog of complete bullshit. Just turn on the low-beams and drive carefully on this road.
Reporter Dr. Jonathan H. Dong contributed to this article.