So, Your Dad Is Voting For Vermin Supreme

Photo: Bobby Jones


It’s been a brutal 18 months. This election has subjected all US citizens and the watching world to a sort of torture that’s shattered hope for the future of the human condition.

American citizens have been dragged through the slime of national security scandals, sexual assault recordings, and f lopped Twitter campaigns. This election has produced a fractured GOP, a wary and scandal-ridden Democratic Party, and a nation of slack- jawed voters glued to their screens in shock. “He said immigrants were what?!” “How many emails were released—wait, that info was in a private server?” “There are people who don’t know Aleppo is a city?” “Is bird-whispering a valid presidential qualification?”

All this nonsense will be over in a few days, thankfully. People will dare to peer at news sites again, the “I Voted” stickers will lose their glue, and CU Denver students will cautiously  look forward to fall break.

But fall break means Thanksgiving dinner, and Thanksgiving dinner means family, which means uncomfortable conversation topics like your relationship status, your cousin’s questionable career choices, and—inevitably—the election results. Political conversations with family are like a herd of caffeinated sheep charging through a field of tar : eventually, everyone is stuck screeching at each other and feeling generally doomed.

A piece of advice: have the political conversation. Advocate what, albeit subjectively, is best for this country, but don’t allow this election to fracture your families like it has the rest of the country. After a few beers and hard ciders, it’ll be tough to talk sanely about politics without getting angry. Still, hearing mom or Aunt Helen rail against a particular candidate doesn’ t detract from the candidate’s legitimacy, nor does it undermine anyone’s right to vote as they please. Have some empathy to see where your family member is coming from. They’ve endured this painful election as disgustedly as anyone else.

We’re all in the same boat: voting for a carefully-branded, groomed, glossy performance personality whose speeches, comments, and image are curated for audience appeal and donor groups. We’ve put our votes down for a sentient advertisement. Everyone feels awful about it, so try to be the one who genuinely seeks to have a constructive conversation about this election.

Right now, maybe that means sweetly threatening weird Uncle Todd with writing in Elizabeth Warren or desperately trying to convince mom to not vote for the Sweet Meteor O’Death. Nevertheless, bear in mind that America has become a vicious, backbiting, scared nation because of this election. Protect family relationships from those effects. Learn empathy. Shut up sometimes. Permanently destroyed family unity is genuinely not worth a debate about gun control, gas pipelines, and spending policies.

Voters might hope to make America great again, or believe we’re stronger together, and some just want to see old Harambe frolicking about in his pen again. Regardless of core political beliefs, though, everyone has the responsibility to vote next week. Vote for the candidate with the best plan for this country, but remember that family is going to be around a whole lot longer than this presidency.

Elsa Peterson
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