There’s some sort of election upon us, if the internet is to be believed. Twitter, at least, is blowing up, and that’s right a good 51% of the time. So how do we behave in what is likely the first election we can vote in? Glad you asked.

 

1. Chill Out

Do what you can to avoid freaking out in either direction. Geeking out over your candidate or lamenting their chances is all well and good, but try to keep it from reaching, say, screams during class. Do not tweet all-caps about crying or dancing in joy before the election results are called in. Do not live-blog your emotions. Do not start yelling at the guy whose going to write in a Herman Cain/John Kerry ticket (I want them to solve White House mysteries together.) Try your best to remember that it’s all Americans voting and that the people you disagree with are misguided, not evil, and the people you agree with aren’t necessarily the only smart people who have or ever will exist. The political cycle is all about extremes. If the thought of New Hampshire’s poll-spread has you sobbing, calm down and remember: no matter who wins, they won’t really do very much. That, to paraphrase Ron Swanson, is the nature of government.

 

2. Vote

I forgot to register for my school’s district so I have to schlep back on the train to my actual district. Super lame. And between us, I considered not voting. Very heavily. Sleep and hamburgers sounded like a tempting alternative.

Vote. If for no reason than to say you did, and to feel the spark that even if your vote doesn’t matter, it’s counted, vote. Also you can probably vote for other things. In Massachusetts, where the presidential choice is a given (the Herman Cain/John Kerry ticket) there are still other things worth voting for. For example, my state is talking about medical marijuanna, which I will certainly vote for, even though I can’t spell “marijuanna” without Googling it (which makes my targeted ads very specific).

 

3. Don’t Get Complacent

Even if your candidate wins, that’s not the end of this.

Obama isn’t going to legalize gay mariage with his magical president-wand, and Mitt Romney won’t solve the recession and personally give you $80, just for kicks. Politics doesn’t end when your guy gets in. It’s a struggle and a mission to keep them on track. Democracy!

 

4. Be Nice

Don’t harass members of the losing candidates party, like, ha ha, loser. I know it’s tempting but that’s the sort of thing that breeds the partisan differences that split people apart and make the political process so divisive.

Also, if Herman Cain loses, so help me, I will fight everyone I see, even pets.

 

5. Party

No matter what happens, chances are you are really going to want to drink tonight. Do it. It’s one of the privileges of living in a Democracy is to enjoy its spoils with like-minded people, and if that happens to be beer and whiskey, whose to judge? This is America.