The aftermath of a presidential election is never pretty. No matter who wins, roughly half the country not only voted against him but believes that he murders old people, hates the poor (or the rich, or both), colludes with our enemies, and rips the "Do Not Remove" tags off his mattress.
With the 2012 election still too close to call, it's important for you to have a plan, should your candidate not get the nod, preferably involving some combination of finger-pointing, denial, dissembling, self-pity, and dire predictions about the future of our republic.
Specifically, may I recommend the following:
Look for something inanimate to blame. Here we can take our cue from Al Gore, who famously opined that President Obama's poor performance in the first debate was a result of altitude.
Fortunately, in the case of Tuesday's election, Divine Providence has gifted both sides with a built-in, fail-safe excuse, in the form of Megastorm Sandy. If Gov. Romney wins, Obama-ites can blame low voter turnout in Democrat-leaning Northeastern states. If Obama wins, Romneyans can point to all the positive exposure for the president, the additional photo-ops and opportunities to "look presidential" offered by the post-storm response.
Vilify your fellow citizens. If your candidate loses, that means slightly more than half of all Americans are complete idiots. Everyone knows Romneyans are greedy, calloused, and racist. They hate old people. They hate black people. They hate the poor. They just want to get theirs, and the heck with everybody else.
Obama-ites, meanwhile, all have their hands out. They don't want and don't intend to contribute anything to society. They just sit around expecting the government to take care of them, preferably using your tax dollars.
Solidify your opposition. Because you didn't vote for the winner, whatever he wants for the country must automatically be bad, period. Begin now preparing your arguments against everything he proposes, or might propose, or mumbles in his sleep, so that when the time comes you can go on talk radio and the political blogs and voice your opposition. (Snark optional; invective required.)
Starting Wednesday, you can also go online to purchase your official opposition gear -- T-shirts, coffee mugs, and bumper stickers with slogans like "Don't blame me, I voted for (the other guy)" and "See, I told you he was a (socialist/fascist/misogynist/Muslim)."
Those items should be easy to find, since they're all made by the same factory in China.
Wallow in despair. You have every right to feel depressed because your candidate lost. After all, he's going to destroy the country. Life as we know it will never be the same. He'll probably cancel "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and bring back the BCS.
Never mind that this country has survived Andrew Johnson, Millard Fillmore, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Your side lost the election, and four years is a long time.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter@rjenkinsgdp.