It’s almost time to vote. In fact, it’s so almost time to vote, you could count on one hand how many days are left until the voting booths open, unless there’s something wrong with your hands. No, not “different.” Wrong.
That said, a lot of people may be voting for the first time, or have just always sucked really bad at it. With these poor and unfortunate souls* in mind, I shall present a few tips, in popular Internet numbered list format, that will help you vote the way most people vote, so you won’t be all weird and different. Remember to do these exactly in order. Here we go!
1. Pick which side you’re on
This is absolutely the first thing you’ll need to do. It will inform the rest of your “decision-making” process and will ensure that you’re at least nominally consistent with your ideology. Your ideology is who you are as a human being, so make sure you carefully pick one of the two prime-time ideologies on offer.
Some of the rabble rousers out there might try to tell you this is wrong. Guess what, though: Nope! They’re wrong. They’re just saying that because they’re on the opposite side you’re on and they’re just lying to fuck with you. Don’t worry, we’ll beat ’em!
2. Take a look at the issues
There are a lot of issues out there. Roughly 3 of them are important right now, so separate the wheat from the chaff and then flush the rest of that shit down the toilet. Also, don’t overburden yourself. Maintain focus on just 1 of these issues at a time (2 MAX). Your chosen party from step #1 may not be neatly lined up with how you used to think about some of these issues. You will therefore need all of your energy to rectify that by “correcting” your original view in order to match your new you. (The media will help you with this by limiting coverage to 1 topic per every 2 weeks.)
Correction is straightforward, but it can take time and patience is key. Most voting trainers advocate a positive-reinforcement regimen. Every time you change your opinion to line up with your party of choice, give yourself a little treat! If your haunches are overweight, or appear to be getting fatty, break the treats in half, rather than allowing yourself to eat them all at once.
Some voters are more difficult to train. If this sounds like you, you may want to look into a humane solution to more active reinforcement. Many moderately priced shock collars come with intensity dials, allowing you to tailor shock output to your personal pain/political bullshit threshold. Rule of thumb: start low, and work your way up until you see what achieves the desired response! (Pro-tip: it’s pain!)
4. Toe the line (no complaining!)
Once you’ve corrected your opinions, you’re ready to toe the line! Sign up for mailing lists, absorb the appropriate media outlets, socialize with like-minded individuals and just generally follow sources that reinforce the narrative you’ve established for yourself in steps 1-3.
This sounds like a lot of work, but don’t worry! It’s incredibly easy. You’ve established your comfort zone, and now you’re simply building some safety walls around it to keep scary monsters out. And what could be better than being comfortable? Nothing, idiot!
See that little period at the end of this item? If you’re one of literally tens of hundreds of employed editors in this country, you’ll have noticed that the other items don’t end in little periods. There is a reason for this exception: Step 5 is the easiest! I don’t even know why I’m explaining it! Vote — period.
Well, as long as I’m already explaining it: At this point, you ought to be filling in your ballot card via muscle memory. Are you having doubts about your candidate of choice in the voting booth? You fucked up. Did you skip step 1? Are you still wearing your shock collar? If so, crank it to 11 and hold the button down until you remember what you’re supposed to do. If there is, in fact, a muscle memory problem, the electrical charge may correct that as well. If you’re really stuck, look at the names on the button pinned to your sweater.
And there you have it — you’re all done! Apply the “I Voted!” adhesive to your sweater (not where the pin is, you’ve already got something there, remember?), and walk out of the town hall feeling proud, confident, and sort of empowered (if you live in Ohio — GO Buckeyes!)!
Stay tuned for the next installment, Four Years of Fallout: You Weren’t Wrong, No Matter What.
*Souls probably aren’t real.