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Rodenbaugh: A 12-step program to getting along with the idiots who don’t think like you this election season

Step 1: Us vs. Them

Some people say the first step is to admit you have a problem. Whoops, did I say you? I meant them–they have a problem.


Thats right, your friends and family–people who you loved and trusted, get ready to say sayonara to that relationship of mutual respect, because you’re not an enabler, and their way of thinking is evil. Of course, others will suggest that you just change the subject, or they’ll remind you that it’s better not to talk about politics in mixed company. They’re wrong too.

Folks it’s time to confront the elephant (or the donkey) in the room. Your loved one isn’t voting for your candidate. They don’t have your same political values. Once you can admit that they’re wrong, everything else will be easier.

Step 2: Lead Them to the Light

Now is the time to exercise any of the power you have over all of your loved ones. You can start by sharing all the politically motivated shit you can find on your social media. This is the time to bring awareness to the issues that you care about. Really wear your politics on your sleeves, so there’s no question what the right choice will be this November.

Make sure that you’re sharing the kinds of content that will immediately shame the other side. That always changes people’s hearts and minds. In fact, the worse you paint those who don’t share your political beliefs, the better. You want them to really feel terrible about the way they think. After all, this is America.

Once you’ve shared to your heart’s content, its time for the next phase, and possibly the most important one thus far.

Step 3: Debate the Merits of Candidate A or Candidate B.

This is what you’ve been practicing for: now is the time to completely obliterate your foes, err, I mean, your family. Make your case. Why are you voting for your candidate? What’s most important to you? Lay it all on the line here and be ready to rebut in any way necessary (even if you have to interrupt).

I’ll admit, in this stage, your heartfelt defense of your candidate can be a little half-baked, but it’s still early. There’s time to make ground before the next debate showdown. Besides, more than likely, you’ll have a long, quiet pause after this debate to collect your thoughts.


Step 4: Utilize the Cold Shoulder

Unless you’re a spineless phony shill, you had better be ready to stop contact with Auntie Shirley or Uncle Sam. This part is vital as it really shows your dedication to the political values you uphold.

Be the change you want to see, especially if that change is a really quiet, peaceful change. Go dark. They don’t agree with you, they don’t need to see you.

Step 5: Re-affirm Your Politics Online

Okay, now is the time to break your silence, but not directly. No, that would be too personal. Engage with social media again. For ideas on what to post, see step 2.

This time, stop pandering with your sources, though. You don’t need to keep it moderate anymore, you’re fighting to win. Make sure whatever you post comes directly out of the mouths of the [insert explicit bias here] media.

Step 6: Research for Your Second Family Debate

While you’re at it with those social media articles, it’s time to start pulling up facts and figures for your next debate. This time you’ll have no excuse for being caught off guard by your loved one’s moronic opin- I mean, facts.

Make sure to source directly from the agenda you’re trying to get across. For example, if you’re going to bat for Candidate A, make sure you reference at least 3 times.

Step 7: Use Thinly Veiled Passive Aggressive Tactics to Highlight your Superiority

If you’re a writer like me, now is the time to bring up an incident with your loved one that went terribly, but remember to leave out any names. You don’t want to spoil the mystery. Just put enough in there so that they know you’re mad at them, but not enough that they have any real reason to be upset that you published something about them. After all, you have plausible deniability on your side.

No matter what medium you use to portray them, make sure in the end they come off as totally stupid, and you come off authentically–as a hero.

Step 8: Stage your Second Debate, the Battle Royale

Put all that confirmation bias to good use, because it’s time for another family fight. You fleshed out all your weaknesses in the last debate (although lets be real, the weaker link is always the other side) and now you’re ready to redeem yourself.

Of course this is a double edged sword, expect your family to have also redoubled their efforts to argue for their cause. By now, you’ll get a sense of where everyone will fall (spoiler alert: you will find several morons in your midst.)

Step 9: If You Haven’t Changed Minds, Write Them Off

So, you’ve presented the case extensively, and you still don’t agree with these insufferable people. In extreme cases, it may make more sense to move away and change your name, but usually, you can get by just by affirming how brainless these people really are. I mean candidate B, are you serious?

Step 10: Bring Up Guns, Abortions, or Immigration with every Meal

Just in case your zombie friends and relatives could be swayed. Not likely, but don’t give up hope. You never know what will reach past their thick skulls.

Maybe these terrible people can be redeemed. Maybe you can convince them to be good people, like you. Wouldn’t that be a story? Think of the headlines: Hero Girl Saves America from Collapse by Brainless Zombie Assholes.

Step 11: Challenge Your Friends

Since your family is clearly a lost cause, challenge your friends to spread the good news of your political epiphanies. This is of course after you’ve pared down, since you couldn’t possibly be friends with people voting for the wrong candidate. Make sure you all think the same way; it’s easier that way.

It’s worth mentioning, if you’re dating right now, make sure you also never date someone who isn’t voting exactly the same way. You wouldn’t want to dirty your hands (if you know what I mean).

Step 12: Repeat at Thanksgiving

Pretty self explanatory. Good luck, and remember, you’re better than those insolent bigots. Knock ’em dead.

A note for the brain-dead: Please understand that this piece is satire and should not be taken seriously. If you do take it seriously, we all hate you, and you’re probably voting for the wrong candidate.

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