Confusion Corner: coping with election day

I’m sure you know by now that this Tuesday is a very big day for our nation. For the world, really.

This Tuesday, life-long bonds may be shattered. World leaders will turn their faces away from the garish orange light of day the minute the clock strikes 7 p.m. The galaxies beyond us will turn on their axis, their gravitational pulls not strong enough to face the horror that we might incur. Nov. 8 is upon us, and by now you surely know what I’m talking about.

Obviously, I’m talking about the anniversary of the day that Montana was admitted as the 41st state in the United States. When it comes to mountain climbing and a general appreciation of agriculture, I’m with her.

Kidding. Clearly kidding. This Tuesday is Election Day, the day that will decide the fate of our nation (and maybe the universe, because why would we underestimate that power of this position, or really the power of the person holding this position) for the next four years.

I’m sure many of you have big plans for this day. Going with a group of friends to the polling locations. Watching the election results live on CNN. Gorging on pizza afterwards, either in celebration or in grief. Drinking through the pain, using one of the numerous election drinking games offered online (if you’re over 21). And it’ll be a weird transition, for which I think a lot of us aren’t prepared. Up until Nov. 7, we were laughing at memes of Clinton and Trump singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and articles comparing the GOP to kindergarteners. But Nov. 8, our humor is silenced, and everything suddenly takes a very serious turn: Who do we trust with the responsibility of an entire nation?

Nov. 8 is going to be a big day. But what people need to also consider is what kind of day Nov. 9 will be.

Will the streets be filled with triumphant cheers or screams of pain? How are the Obamas going to spend their last days at the White House? And exactly which pop culture references is Hillary going to use in her speech?

Right now, we can’t accurately predict election day. We can’t predict whether the universe will fall out of balance, or if riots will emerge outside our dorm windows, or if we’ll bake cookies out of pure joy, or if history will be made (though personally, I think history has already been made based on the logistics of this election cycle alone). We can’t predict if everything will be okay, regardless of the results.

Even if we can’t predict what will happen, we have the power to change what happens. We have more power than whoever is elected will ever have, because we’re the ones who give it to them. But what good is this power if we don’t use it?

On Nov. 8, use this power. If you care at all about what happens on Nov. 8, 9, and all succeeding days afterward, go out and vote on Tuesday. Because if you don’t, you have no right to complain about who our next president is, their policies or anything they do in office.

Sarah Salem is a Confusion Corner columnist who wants to go back to enjoying political memes without considering the fate of our nation.


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