Good morning. Today is Wednesday, the day after Election Day, and I'd like to join you in your bitterness/relief/self-righteous indignation.
I can't believe that liberal do-gooder/right wing idiot managed to pull off a win after such glaring inability to revitalize the economy/bonehead remarks about women and the middle class. Obviously Ohio/Florida/Butte, Mont., was the key to this astonishing/predictable/shady victory.
No matter how you feel about Obama/Romney/Joan Jett, we must acknowledge that today is the dawn of a new era of hope/beginning of a dark period as foretold by prophecy. It's time to put away our petty grievances/nonstop Facebook rants and get behind our leader as proud/bitter/clinically insane Americans. Today, we cease our celebrations/drinking binges and begin the work of keeping the poor well-fed/making sure rich folks get much, much richer.
It's over. A president has been elected and by a landslide/margin no wider than a campaign leaflet. The people have decided that gays should be allowed to wed/must never spoil the flawless system that is heterosexual marriage. Many other issues have been resolved, but I shan't get into those because I don't have the column space for it/haven't a freakin' clue what those issues are.
Ah, the day after Election Day. That magical time when Republicans and Democrats go head to head in spirited, but affable, competition. When one party comes away the victor, everyone joins together in celebration, sharing an earnest desire to get the country rolling once more.
The loser will shake the victor's hand and wish him well. Bitter allegations and hyperbole will come to an end. Elephants and donkeys will ride together as one — a butt-ugly creature but one united by the same goals. For four peaceful years, you won't hear another harsh word exchanged.
And then you wake up.
It's not the vitriol that gets me. The vitriol never stops anymore. There is no four-year calm during which one party accepts that the other is in control and learns to live with it. Have you been to Facebook lately? Every other post is an allegation, typically accompanied by a hilarious photo, targeting one candidate or the other.
Obama was born on Pluto. Romney once killed a poor person just for snoring too loudly. Slap those claims on a photo of a yawning kitten and it's not a libelous fib; it's satire!
I like to stay right out of the fray. If I have an opinion on things, I keep it in a deeply hidden place and password protected, like a married man's porn stash. When somebody starts talking politics in my vicinity, I nod knowingly and plot my escape. I'll fake a seizure or throw myself down the stairs; whatever it takes to avoid being sucked into the ugliness of political opinion.
Nonetheless, because sometimes I'm just stupid, I've been going around asking people how they think the election might go down. Very helpful. It went a little something like this.
"Won't even be close. The photos of Obama with Gov. Christie and the praise he heaped on him? Plus the endorsements of both Bloomberg and Colin Powell in the same week? Not to mention he acted terrific with the storm and the Electoral College stacks in his favor. Ohio is key."
"It's going to be the closest election in recent memory. Closer than 2000, even. They may have to decide it through rock, paper, scissors."
"Romney in a blowout. People want change. When you want change, you elect a new president. And go to Zumba."
"Who are you and why are you asking personal questions and petting my dog?"
Everybody has a hunch but nobody has a clue. And the extra-geeky number-crunchers are no help, either: If there is heavy turnout in states with more than three vowels in their names, it favors Romney. If more than usual left-handed Pisces go to the polls, it favors Obama. But only if they are bald.
The only thing for me to do is to wait for the final votes to tick into place and then pretend I knew how it would turn out all along. This is where the method of slash-speak comes in handy.
So, that's it, then. Obama/Romney/Joan Jett is our new president. Congratulations, Republicans/Democrats/1980s music lovers. It's over. Today, half the population will be exuberant/boastful/optimistic, the other half will be downtrodden/drunk/threatening to move to Canada. And I say, let them go. Canada has been peaceful for too long.
I'm Mark LaFlamme and I approve/don't fully understand/am deeply ashamed of this message.
Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer/Zumba instructor/hobo. You can direct post-election joy/rage/ambivalence to email@example.com.