Inc. Columnist - LinkedIn Top Voice - Writer - Strategist
Hysterical sobbing. Mass depression. Thoughts of suicide. An armed march on Washington.
All potential responses I’ve read or heard about to this year’s election, which is finally, nearly, thankfully, over. But before you lose your mind at the result, it might be worth looking away from the memes, and toward a little bit of reality.
Here are a few reasons why you should take a breath and tone down the crazy Wednesday morning:
1. The president won’t bail you out of jail.
Let’s say your candidate loses on Tuesday, and your response is to pick up your musket and join the armed march on Washington, fully ready to overthrow the elected government.
First of all, kudos to your employer for having such a generous leave policy. Not everywhere would keep your seat warm while you fire up the El Camino and head to D.C. to spend 8-10 years overthrowing a very well-armed government.
But, even if you have the leave policy to do it, know that in America picking up your musket and overthrowing the candidate you didn’t vote for means, at some point, that you will be pointing that musket not toward a politician, but at the roughly half of America who see things differently than you.
And when you point your musket at most people, their response will be twofold.
First they will say:
“Whoa, where the f**k did this guy get a musket?!”
Then they will call the police.
And you will go to jail.
And your candidate will not respond to your desperate tweets for bail money.
2. The president won’t do anything to fix your lifetime of awful Google search results.
In the Smithsonian Museum of American History, there is a display on each of our assassinated presidents: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. Included in the display is the top hat Lincoln was wearing the night he was killed, and other pieces of history marking the murder of a president.
It’s incredibly moving, and shows just how damaging an assassination is.
It’s hard to imagine that Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, has ever visited that part of the museum. Recently Mr. Bowman told The Boston Globethat if “Hillary Clinton is in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot.”
Bowman went on to say, “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed.”
Mr. Bowman is lucky. There are a lot of Dan Bowmans in the world, so when you google his name, this article doesn’t show up until the very bottom of the first page.
You may not be so lucky. And if you do start making crazy threats, or end up on YouTube outside of the very well-armed gates of the White House with your musket, social media will ensure that you never live it down.
And if that’s the case, you better hope that your employer also has lifetime employment, in addition to generous leave.
3. The president can’t just do whatever he or she wants.
But wait, you say, “I need my musket! It’s worth the risk! Tyranny is at hand!”
Why are you sure tyranny is at hand?
Because if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump gets elected, he or she will take your guns, impose martial law, build a gigantic wall, make it illegal to be anything other than a godless devil worshipper, and require everyone to get a gold TRUMP tattoo right above their butt crack.
To quote one candidate: “Wrong.”
Here’s the thing: presidents matter.
But it’s only during campaigns that we assume they have the powers of a monarch.
Outside of campaigns, we realize the sometimes bitter reality that governing in the United States is designed to be difficult—precisely so we don’t all end up being godless devil worshippers with a TRUMP tramp-stamp above our butt crack just because the Queen or King says that’s what needs to happen.
4. The president can’t take away your magic moments—but a jail term can.
One of my favorite dates my wife and I go on is to have dinner at P.F. Chang’s, then see a movie.
Now, there is nothing hip, cool, or particularly original about that. But I like it. It feels like us.
We are not hip, or cool. I wear a lot of khakis, and one of my standby “get pumped” songs at the gym is Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It”.
That’s just me.
For her part, my wife has awkwardly tried to adopt and subsequently misapplied every new slang term that’s been invented in the past decade and a half—like when she told me an article she read on the Sri Lankan Civil War was “Lit AF.”
That’s just us, making uncool, magic moments together for the past 13 years.
Some of those years have included a president we really liked and voted for, and some of those years included a president we really didn’t like and didn’t vote for. Either way, we’ve lived our life, and tried to fill it with a little bit of magic.
Your magic moments may not include P.F. Chang’s.
But don’t let this week’s election drive you to such a point of despair and anger—and potential madness—that you can’t live your life, and continue creating your own magic moments.
Unless your idea of a magic moment is your cellmate asking you:
“Hey man, you have to tell me…where the f**k did you get a musket?”
Welcome to jion us: https://www.douban.com/group/604342/