A firm understanding of the political environment is more critical now than ever. Every human you cross paths with attempts to bestow their new-found political knowledge onto you. They attack you with a blizzard of facts they diligently “researched” from a Buzzfeed video on Facebook. The only thing you’re aware of is that the mother of all bombs just dropped faster than your annoying friends new podcast. You know nothing of bombs or planes and, sometimes, you think about what you would name a bomb if you had one. If you name your bomb is it harder for you to let it go?
You keep finding yourself pulled into discussions on deep topics of global policy, infrastructure, and the environment. Meanwhile, you’re still unsure of the facts that back your loosely held beliefs.
What does this tumultuous political landscape mean for you, the nation, the world? You have no fucking clue. But you do not fret, because you’re sure that nobody else knows what’s going on either. And, as they say, “chaos and confusion create opportunity.” Today’s chaos is your opportunity to look like a real a geo-political pro, a Washington whiz kid. By following a few simple guidelines you’ll know just enough to politically power bomb your peers into submission. And after you do, they’ll never engage you in a political discussion again.
1. Know the Main Characters – Any good drama series has a character driven story line. Politics is no different. Knowing the characters is essential to pretending you know the story. But in politics, kind of like in Game of Thrones, there are way too many characters to remember. All you need to know are the top four players that people are most likely to talk about – and then one “character bomb.” A character bomb is that random-ass character that few people know or can ever remember. It’s a character that if you mention him or her casually in conversation, you automatically look like an expert in the field. Using the Game of Thrones example, the top four need-to-know people are Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister. Then the character bomb – Byrnden “The Blackfish” Tully. No one knows who the fuck “The Blackfish” is but you know you’ve seen him in an episode at some point and you’ve heard other characters mention him. To properly fake it, you need to know “The Blackfish” in politics. Within the current political storyline, you have; Trump, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer, Vladamir Putin, and your “Blackfish” – Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Sonny Perdue!? Who in the world is that?” Your attacker will immediately feel overwhelmed and under-informed. Blackfishing your attackers will stun them into a defeat. Always remember the Law of the Blackfish.
2. The Polls –The polls that you never understood in the first place were wrong! Good. That’s like finding out Mars has four moons instead of only three. Whether the moons of Mars or the American polling system is accurate never affected your life before. Finding out they aren’t accurate isn’t changing anything now. By the way, Mars actually has two moons. Had to look that shit up. See, it’s never mattered, just like the polls. However, when a person brings up polls as a talking point, it’s essential that you declare that polls are as unreliable as your understanding of other planets’ moons. (Side note – “Other Planets’ Moons” sounds like a romance novel popular among suburban moms). When opponents ask for any evidence behind your polling claim, simply shrug your shoulders and point to the sky.
3. Media Bias – Watch what you’re watching or what you watch will watch you. No idea what that means but it sounded like a powerful intro to this third guideline. Blaming media is one of the most commonly used tactics to discredit your attacker’s argument. You generally trust the media but, for the sake of winning, it’s essential you play the media card. Your dad and your boss watch Fox News but every hot hipster girl quotes CNN like a well-trained parrot. Criticize them all for living in a bubble, even though you get all of your information from Bill Maher.
4. Play the Mediator – Politics is a professional sport, therefore playing referee allows you to look like you understand the rules, while calling penalties on each side. This makes you look like a level-headed thinker, all while never thinking at all. One friend says “the economy always does better under the Democrats.” The other friend replies, “that’s not true! The S&P 500 is up now!” You slide in as the thoughtful mediator and remark, “I believe the market cycle fluctuates naturally no matter which political party is in office.”
And just like that, with these four easy steps, you’ll be able to hurdle your attacker’s questions on democracy’s inner workings with preprogrammed patriotic ease! Just be sure to keep your shenanigans to the script. And be careful: if your opponent senses your ignorance, you’re in for a patronizing 45-minute-long explanation of the electoral college.