I’ve recently begun to feel that presidential campaigns and Election Day are going the way of Black Friday.
1) They both get earlier and earlier every year.
Sure, Election Day remains on the same schedule (as does Black Friday), but the preparation starts years in advance (or days, in the case of the sales). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the (unofficial) campaign for 2016 started about half an hour after the results are announced tonight. And half an hour is generous.
2) They bring out the worst in people.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a wave of Black Friday shoppers descend on one of the more popular sales of the day. Supplies are limited and these shoppers don’t mess around. There can be elbowing, shoving, and some definite boxing out. All on minimal sleep.
Leading up to an election, the elbowing, shoving, and boxing out is (usually) all verbal. I’m sure that people still have rational discussions about the merits of each candidate, but you wouldn’t know it from Facebook. I’ll be glad when status updates get back to sports, food, weddings, and babies.
3) Expect long lines and cold weather.
The lead time gets longer and longer, but that doesn’t make the lines any shorter, or the November weather any warmer on the day of. You could spend just as long outside waiting to vote for president as you could to buy a new winter coat. And the coat might last longer.
(No, that’s not an election prediction.)
4) There are lots of promises to get you in the door.
All of those circulars that you get in the mail promise the best sale you’ve ever seen on devices you didn’t know you needed until then. But you don’t see the fine print until you’re checking out. (Buy 1, get 2 free only applies if I get here before 5am?! I have to revamp my whole strategy!)
Naturally, there have been plenty of election promises this time around. And though I can’t fully judge if it’s any different from past years, I know that the fine print is just right around the corner.
5) Both days should be celebrated/concluded with a big glass of wine.
Or choose another beverage of your choice, but seriously, celebrate. The way things are going, there won’t be a lot of down time before the next one.