Dear future me; election and post-election decorum

Seth McDuffee
Eclipse News-Review

Dear future me,


Hey you, it’s me: you, but from earlier. I wanted to write you a letter for you to read because you’ll be existing in the Election Day world (or perhaps post-Election Day if you read this later.) A very charged and politically divided time, where both sides of our political spectrum believe the “other” guy is bad news bears, and their chosen political leader is the true way towards a brighter future—plus, there’s a pandemic to boot!


Things couldn’t get more “2020” if they were in hindsight, which, conveniently for you, me, it is.


As such, I have some questions:


Is everything on fire?

Is everything underwater?

Is everything on fire AND underwater?

Does money still exist?

Did this corn kernel that’s currently lodged between my teeth ever find its way out?


Now that we’ve gone through the usual pleasantries, I wanted to take some time to say a thing or two to you, me. Just some helpful tips of advice from someone who isn’t being chased by the obviously inevitable mutant laser cougars that Political Candidate B released during the tallying of the election results against Political Candidate A.


Results take time. This will not be an election that is decided on election night, and could take days or weeks to be decided. Heck, there will be people calling it for one candidate or another while people are STILL VOTING. It’s important to keep your head and your wits in these scenarios. If you are in line to vote, and results begin pouring in—stay in line. These numbers will fluctuate throughout the evening, so don’t listen to those who are telling you it is done before polls even close. Also, make sure you know that if you are in line to vote when the polls “close,” the poll station is legally required to allow you to vote (as long as you were already there before the cut-off.) Don’t allow others to persuade you into compromising your inalienable right to mark your ballot the way you like.


Don’t feed the reactionaries. There are people from both sides planning to “poll watch,” taking it upon themselves to be democracy sentinels and ensure some metric or another is being met by their illusive standards. These people have no legal authority to ask you or request that you do anything. No matter which banner they fly, don’t engage them, as the majority of them are only there looking for a reaction.


Lay low in your expectations. If “your guy” wins, don’t gloat. If he loses, do not despair. This has been an ignited campaign, and a lot of people will be feeling either sweet or sour depending on where we wind up in the end. Be kind to your fellows. Many people feel as though they have a lot riding on this election, and no matter who your choice is, the people supporting them seem to have strong convictions about the disasters that will transpire on the other side if they lose.


Stay calm. Don’t make big financial decisions or investments made out of fear or market speculation. Wait for the dust to settle. Every election, because of the gloom and doom spouted by both sides, many people think (and as I joked about) it is the end of the world. This means that often, individuals make drastic and dramatic changes to their savings and wealth based on illusory notions of extreme financial worry. But you know that better than that right, me? Out of every election that has warned of an apocalyptic crescendo if a particular candidate hasn’t been elected, the amount of Ragnaroks we have actually experienced is precisely zero. This one seems likely to follow in the same vein.


Hopefully, this helps. It can be anxiety inducing, you, but remember, it will all be okay in the end. Either because things were not nearly as dire as were predicted to be, or because Candidate A replaced the “fear” section of our brains with complacency modules.


P.S. I left a full-size Twix in the freezer for you. You’re welcome.



Parkersburg Eclipse News-Review
503 Coates St.
Parkersburg, IA 50665
Phone:  319-346-1461

Mid-America Publishing

This newspaper is part of the Mid-America Publishing Family. Please visit for more information.