My Voting Advice (not that anyone asked)

The 2020 election is just 56 days away. 56 days seems like a lot for some things, like when you’re a kid waiting for your birthday. But when it comes to U.S. Presidential elections, 56 days is nothing. This election has been going on for years, much like 2020 itself. But – we’re almost there, and it’s time for me to give everyone a little voting advice.

The Candidates – Each party has once again offered up their brightest and best. Yeah I know, but apparently these guys are the brightest and best for their respective parties at this moment. My advice is to keep your expectations of each candidate low. Very low. Trump will continue to say up is down and down is up, and Biden will no doubt find further opportunities to talk about the hair on his legs and to speak in incoherent sentences. (Again – I want to reiterate that “brightest and best” thing). Just keep your expectations low, and no one will get hurt. Or at least, no one will be surprised.

The Voting Process – Voting this year is a little like Black Friday shopping; there will be long lines, glitches, and people will generally be losing their minds. Don’t worry; this is what the Founding Fathers intended. Like Black Friday shopping, there are a few rules that also apply to voting….. go early, expect long lines, expect the advertised claims to far exceed the reality, etc.

Now, let’s consider the U.S Postal Service. It looks like a lot of people will vote by mail this year to avoid getting the Covid. This is probably a good option, but we need to be realistic about the U.S. Postal Service and again, temper your expectations accordingly. If I want something delivered to me with high speed and efficiency, I order from Amazon, and if I want to send something to someone quickly, FedEx or UPS is a realistic choice. If on the other hand, high speed and efficiency isn’t important to me, the U.S. government has graciously offered the U.S. Postal Service as an option. So here’s a thought…. don’t wait until Election Day to mail your ballot. You probably already know which of the fine candidates you’re going to choose, so put that ballot in the mail in late October, and you’re done; you can get on with your life. It’ll probably get where it’s supposed to go.

Of course, if we really want efficiency in elections, my suggestions would be to allow online voting, abolish the Electoral College and just count the popular vote. But since efficiency in elections has never been a thing in this country, my suggestions will probably not be followed. I’m just throwing them out there.

Finally, Take Every Opportunity to Influence Others. This is your right -no, your responsibility, as an American. Post political links on social media as often as possible; research shows those posts profoundly affect others’ opinions. Share your political view in Facebook threads, even if (and especially when) the original post has nothing to do with your political view. For example, if someone posts something about the NBA, you can write something like, “Yeah, but Trump is weird,” or, “Biden is creepy.” Those comments, especially written out of context, are very helpful.

I realize the 2020 election has been stressful, worrisome and more than a little annoying. But keep it in perspective – there are people who will tell you this is the “most important election of your lifetime.” They’ve said that about every election of my lifetime. So even if this is the most important election of my lifetime, that’s only true until the next one. There’s always another “most important election” around the corner, in case this one doesn’t turn out the way you want. I guess I’m saying, U.S. elections are a little like Disney movies; they have a way of making you think they’re a bigger deal than they actually are. Just be calm, and be reassured knowing this election will end on Nov 3 (or somewhere around there), and by Nov 4 we’ll already be well into the 2024 election.

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