Election Day is upon us, people. We cannot even begin to count the minutes, hours, days, and months since this whole boondaggle started to consume the media's attention, but it's safe to say that it has been way too long. And, once it's over, we can return to normalcy, which is a prolonged period of time when any utterance of the phrase "swing state" is prohibited by law.
But that's not to say that this election season was for nothing. The quadrennial spectacle of American politics is always introspective for the nation; we learn about ourselves, our brethren, and just how dirty and disrespectful our elected officials can act toward one another. It's pretty great. Except we usually forget all those lessons the minute the curtains close in the ballot box and have to re-teach ourselves everything the next time around.
With that being said, as the Biggest Story of 2012 winds down, we are left with memories, projections for the future, and, of course, the aforementioned lessons. So let's step back for a second and take a look at all of this from a student's point of view.
Preach, Election 2012:
1. Rick Santorum is actually insane. His views on gays; his views on contraceptives; his views on women; his views on the separation between church and state (or lack thereof); his views on Palestinians; his views on Satan in America; his views on waging war with China; his views on Darwinism; his views on any policy issue since the birth of the Constitution. And he almost became the nominee.
2. During an election, social media can be leveling, enthralling, informative and funny. Also, it can be very, very annoying. The information overload and second-by-second commentary during the debates really nailed this one down. We all follow that one person on Twitter whose more than willing to call shots in this election but couldn't tell you how the tax structure in America works. Or that friend on Facebook who posts statuses about the election that are neither intelligent nor coherent. Yes, social media gives all of us a voice in the democratic process that we've never had before. But, keyword: all of us.
3. Unfettered private equity is, uhm, not good.
4. The vice presidential debate can be (and was) more entertaining than the presidential debates.
It's a bunch of malarkey if you disagree.
5. Kid Rock will never be cool.
And singing "Bawitdaba" with Paul Ryan is not helping anyone
6. Mitt Romney has a love/hate relationship with New York's wealthiest.
7. If you run for President, ask yourself this over and over again: "Do I really want Clint Eastwood's endorsement?"
8. Whether it's the killing of Trayvon Martin or what happened in Aurora, our elected officials will always be hesitant to talk about gun control.
And that's a damn
9. At one point, polls had Herman Cain in the lead among prospective Republican voters. Therefore, polls are bullshit.
10. Never let a House Republican talk to you about rape.
11. Do not listen to a band if you're running for one of the highest offices in the free world and not only not share, but also vehemently oppose, their political views.
Because they'll call you out
in front of everyone.
12. In the Big Picture and long-term scheme of things, trends are irrelevant. Who the hell is Big Bird? Is he voting for Mitt Romney? Am I voting for Mitt Romney? How did Obama do in the first debate? Was he asleep? What are binders full of women? Is Newt serious about a moon colony? Does any of this even matter on Election Day? No, it does not at all.
To America (or whoever is reading this): your job over the next 24 hours is to memorize these lessons. Like, really, really memorize them. Don't forget them. If you do, we're all screwed come 2016.
Oh, and go vote. That, too.