Up until 2016, I’ve never physically sat inside a garbage can that was on fire. But now I have, and it’s called the Presidential Election! The jig is up, people. This isn’t a horrible fever dream and this monster-truck-toilet-bowl of an election is actually going to happen! It’s like our lives are an actual WWE wrestling match, but instead of it being a fun script, we have to talk about e-mails and plagiarism and listen to a racist orange dog toy all day. I want to give up. I want to roll up into a burrito wrap and move in with the mole people that live in the sewer system. I want to fast-forward my life. But we cannot do it. We are here, and we all have to deal with it. I give you some tips for survival for the next few months.
1. . Live in Complete Denial
Mike Pence isn’t a real human being who voted for women with miscarriages to have to have funerals for their unborn! He is just a dude who loves to go to Chili’s for lunch with his friends. He’s just a regular old American who didn’t start an HIV outbreak in Indiana because he took away the clean needle exchange program! He’s just a dude who loves eating burgers with tiny fried tortilla strips on them in the middle of Times Square. Is it raining fire? I can’t even tell!
2. . Remember The Things You Love About This Country
There are so many wonderful parts about being an American. You can get deep-fried fast food that’s the size of a toddler. You can get cheap drugstore makeup. You can vote to make change. You can speak up about injustices without getting sent to prison forever. You can spend a whole day in Disney World. There are good things here---and there’s also good people trying to make things better, and we should be grateful for them. So when you’re stuck watching Hillary Clinton tweet like she’s hip with the kids, or watch Melania Trump recite “4 score and 7 years ago” or whatever her next speech will be, remember the good. And go get Burger King Mac’N’Cheetos while screaming, like the American you are.
3. . Spend A Night Offline
There are so many violent, incredibly awful things happening lately, from abuse to violence to brutality to the just plan stupid. And you’re not a bad person to just... Turn. Off. Twitter. Log out for an evening. Go for a walk. Have a cocktail. Step away for a few hours. Watch a silly movie. Read about Kim Kardashian. I don’t really have time for people who go “you care about (silly celebrity event) when (awful real event) is happening in the world??? How dare you!” It’s demeaning. We are all humans that can handle more than one event at a time, and sometimes we reach our limit for a while and focus on something for ONE SECOND that is a little lighter. You can’t immerse yourself into this dog doo for so long before it gets all over you. So relax a bit. It’ll all be there in the morning.
4. . Mute People
Most times, I like hearing what the other side has to say. I think that Trump being the presidential nominee isn’t a random happenstance or a curse by the gods—I think his beliefs align with a lot of our country’s beliefs, and I want to know why. I want to know why people, especially young people, believe that he would be a good president. And I want to hear what’s wrong with Hillary, too. I want to hear why people dislike her so passionately, or look past some of her flaws. I think hearing the other side can be useful. But not always. Hearing hateful speech, or harassment, or plain mud-slinging does nothing to help with any cause. You don’t have to listen to those things. You don’t have to listen to arguments online where people belittle each other. You don’t have to listen to somebody who says “All Lives Matter” and doesn’t speak up when violence happens, but only when they are trying to fight your beliefs. I don’t care if it’s a friend. I don’t care if it’s a co-worker, or a family member, or a stranger online. You don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to. So don’t.
5. . Realize Why You Care So Much
Realize that the more you speak up and fight and listen and learn, the better the future will be. Maybe the next few months won’t be great, but if we keep talking and working towards change, perhaps the world will be better next election. Which will be good—because I need a damn vacation from this.