Bruce Watson's Lifestyles: Let the healing begin

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Barring some rerun of Election 2000 escapades or the start of the long-awaited GOP apocalypse, our long national nightmare election appears to be over.

Over. Finished. History. You don’t have either candidate to kick you around anymore. One of the two has won and that clinking you hear is the sound of the long knives sharpening. But what about you? And the rest of America, which has been dragged through mud and slime, fear and rage, Democrat and Republican for nearly two years? How will we recover?

As always, post-election recovery starts with a shower. A long shower in which you sing your favorite American anthems. While you croon “Shenandoah” and “This Land is My Land,” let the warm water wash away the scandals, peel off the innuendo, gently bathe your battered sense of patriotism. How long a shower? A good 20 minutes was enough after previous elections but this year, set aside next Tuesday.

Now that you feel better, sort of, it’s time to revive your crippled faith in what used to be called, with a straight face, “the election process.” The revival starts with reminders that the “process” has, on occasion, worked. Presidential biographies help, if you can avoid the hernia they often inflict.

At some point in the recovery process, of course, you must repeat the old Winston Churchill chestnut about democracy being the worst form of government, except for all the others. This won’t make you feel better but it’s a mantra in several states. Or if you prefer, try H.L. Mencken: “Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” Feel better? A little? Onward.

Post-election recovery continues by canceling your cable TV subscription. A simple phone call does the trick, although after this campaign, many will prefer a well-aimed tire iron.

As your recovery progresses, remember that not all addicts share your resolve to restart their lives. Be supportive of those sorry political junkies who lack the diversionary tactics needed to stop saying the name of You Know Who in every other sentence. They are to be pitied. But also scorned. With the first mention of the loathsome candidate, I recommend whistling loudly, spilling something on the carpet, or marching out of the room. If you prefer to stand your ground, try handing out the new pill Trumpecac which makes users vomit upon hearing the name.

Next, it’s time for some myth busting. The first myth to go should be the one that “any kid can grow up to be president.” Alas, bullies will now take it seriously. So if you know a young bully, some pathological kid already known for small acts of arson and felonious assault, please inform him that the old adage no longer applies. Tell the little punk that the Constitution explicitly forbids bullies from running for office. He won’t read the Constitution, or anything longer than an expulsion notice, so you won’t have to worry, and neither will the rest of the country.

All of the above should aid in your post-election recovery. However, if you still find yourself waking up at 3 a.m. screaming a candidate’s name, if you can’t stop eyeing one-way tickets to anywhere beyond our borders, if you have an urge to leak some emails, tweet obscenities, or call your dog a “loser,” take another shower. Then recite Churchill.

Finally, book a trip to Washington, D.C. After 2004’s scuzzy election, I took the kids there so they could see that our nation’s capital is not a sucking hole of corruption and stench but a beautiful city with heritage and history abounding. Just happens to have a hole in its center. Onward.