After an 18-month campaign that felt more like 18 years, the day of reckoning 2016 US Presidential Election is finally upon us. And while you might feel relatively safe here in Canada, if you’ve got any American friends or family, you’ve probably noticed they’re freaking. The. Eff. Out. Right. Now.
But not to worry, as Sharp’s resident American, I’ve put together a handy guide to how to talk to an American today. Because sure, you may not be able to offer anyone a ride to the polls, but you can still offer your support as your southern neighbors-with-a-u attempt to avoid ushering in the darkest timeline.
Speak in a soothing, comforting voice.
Listen, it’s been a stressful year, and everyone has been shouting at us. On cable news. On social media. At rallies. Family dinners. Even if you feel like grabbing an American and shaking some damn sense into them today, resist the urge for the next 12 hours.
Let them vent if they need it.
This election season has been contentious, toxic, and at times, downright bizarre, and chances are, your American might need to let off a little steam. Encourage them to get it out of their system in a safe place, so they don’t spend the rest of the day arguing with Pepe avatars on Twitter.
Offer a place to hide out.
Let them know that, no matter what happens, you’ve got a spare bedroom/couch for them until this madness all blows over. So, for the next 4-8 years. Give or take.
Explain in clear, direct terms what happens to their body during presidency.
No. Wait. I’m thinking of puberty. Nevermind. (Well, unless they’re a woman and some old white Republican dude is trying to legislate their sexual health again…)
Talk about your own feelings.
It can be helpful to remind us Americans that, contrary to popular opinion, we’re not the only country in the world. And that the rest of the planet is currently watching this election through their fingers right now.
Answer any questions they might have honestly.
Like, “Will you still talk to me if I vote Trump?” Or “Does Canada even have a President?” Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question today.
Encourage them to stay off social media.
Take a page from Trump’s advisors here, and get them off Twitter during Election Day. And if they complain, feel free to remind them that the world isn’t going to end because one person didn’t tweet a picture of their “I Voted!” sticker.
Suggest healthy options and alternatives.
Sure, they could spend today hiding in a makeshift pillow fort watching CNN and obsessively refreshing Twitter. Or maybe they could go outside and go for a nice walk instead.
Yes, by all reasonable standards, half the batshit crazy shit Trump’s said and/or done this year would’ve gotten any other political candidate laughed right out of the race. But sometimes you have to let us make mistakes so we can learn from them.
Whatever you do, don’t say the words “taxes” or “emails.”
It’s the election season version of a trigger warning.
Compliment us on our “I Voted!” stickers.
For whatever reason, these little stickers become extremely important to us Americans once every four years. Sort of like Olympic medals. And we act like it takes the same amount of work to get them. Yes, that’s insane. But just let us have it today.
Remind them that, either way, this will all finally be over after tonight.
Well, unless Trump refuses to accept the election results. In which case, yeah, good luck with all that.
Make sure they vote.
For real. This shit is important.