Behold this handy guide on how you, too, can win an election anywhere, anytime. With these tips, you will be repeating an oath of office in no time.
1.Break the System: To win an election, you must constantly repeat the phrase, “I will break the system.” People love this. Not me. When I hear it, I have too many questions like, “Are you going to break the whole system or just parts of it?” And, “Will this breaking of the system come in phases or in one fell swoop?” Also, “Once you break the system, won’t it be replaced by another system you’ll want to break?” But you can ignore these petty details and the fact that breaking an entire system is unfeasible. Voters respond to “break the system,” much like the way people react to breaking the glass at a Jewish wedding. They yell “Mazel Tov” and celebrate.
2.Anti-establishment/Outsider: To win an election, you must claim to be “anti-establishment” and an “outsider.” Feel free to use this even if you are a wealthy business insider or have been in Congress for three decades. People will still buy it. Now, if you are on this inside yet remain on the outside, it can only mean one thing: Your colleagues can’t stand you. But if you spin this into “outsider” and “anti-establishment,” you can turn “insufferable” and “impossible to work with” into political assets.
3.Those Darn Elites: To get the most votes, you need to complain incessantly about the “elites.” This is often the “liberal elite” or better yet, “the Hollywood liberal elite.” Or you may employ “corporate elite” or, simply, “the banks.” Even if you are a corporate elite who owns a bank, use it, anyway. Don’t get me wrong. The top of the heap needs to be taken on to combat greed and inequality. But if you really want to win an election, you can’t stop there. You need to throw in everything under the sun—racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia or their opposites, not hating groups like blacks, women, immigrants, gays, Jews, Muslims enough. You want to add anything you can think of—mental illness, the violent penchants of humans from early homo sapiens to today, the anxiety of technological change, gingivitis, acid reflux, etc., etc. Take it all and blame it on a mysterious cabal of “global elites.”
4.Have No Experience: Voters love to pull the lever for people who are inexperienced. When you have little to no experience in the vast functions of government, from domestic policy to national security, there is less to know about you to hate. And people just love the idea of having folks who have never worked in government be the ones to run government. This marries neatly with being an anti-establishment outsider who can both break the system and topple the elites. On the surface, wanting someone who lacks experience seems strange. After all, these same voters would never hire a plumber who has never fixed a faucet. But when it comes to choosing someone to be metaphorically the plumber of the free world, they are thrilled with the idea of someone who has never unclogged a drain.
Feel free to comment with your own recommendations. But please, don’t thank me now. Once you are successfully ensconced in power, I will say to you, “You’re welcome.”
Hilary Schwartz is a comedian and writer based in NYC with love (and hate) for politics. She is a regular contributor to Political Storm.