The 3 Worst Side Effects of Every Presidential Election

I am just nuts about presidential campaigns and elections. They're exciting, and crazy, and interesting, and important(ish).

What I hate is everything else that seems to surround every modern election ...


Election Stories and Coverage Are Inescapable

Even though I've never personally been polled in my entire life, nor have I ever met anyone who has been polled, new election polls are apparently being conducted and reported upon every single day. I don't know who is being polled -- it could be just the same six people over and over again, like maybe locked in a bunker until the election is over or something -- just that polls are happening constantly.

"Same question as yesterday, Frank. If the election was held today, who would you vote for, and don't say
'Whoever lets me out of this bunker' again."

If you don't like the Gallup polls I posted, don't worry, Pew is also regularly conducting their own polls. And here's a Nate Silver article discussing why these polls might be misleading.

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But it's not just polls, and articles reporting on polls, and articles criticizing polls that fill up the Internet every election season; you can't escape political coverage, not on the Internet and not on TV. Hell, even Cracked, the least responsible media outlet in history, gets swept up in election fever. I'm obsessed with presidential campaigns to a pretty unhealthy degree, as evidenced by the ten articles I wrote about the last election.

I promised myself that I wouldn't get so wrapped up in the election this year, that I wouldn't let it consume me and dominate all of the articles I write for the site, but this is my second election-themed article in three weeks, so that should tell you just how much willpower I have.

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Presidential campaigns are like real-life car chases; very little is going on and nothing actually happens until the very end, but I can't help being glued to my TV if it's on.

You're Forcefully Reminded That Some People Are Terrible

Yesterday, I was just Internetting, minding my own business, when I came across the following image that, to my knowledge, originally comes from Despicable Tweets:


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Technically, everyone's right. It is called "The White House" for a reason. The reason is that it was painted white, and it was a house. Still, Spider Sense tells me that that's not what these tweeters meant when they tweeted. (Spider Sense plus the fact that that one guy used the N-word.)

I don't think everyone in that image (and the countless others who have tweeted "It's called the White House for a reason") is racist, though I'm sure some of them are. I think most of them are either trolling or trying to be funny and failing miserably. On some intellectual level, I'm aware that trolls, racists and idiots exist year-round. I know that. But most of the time, I'm really good at avoiding those people, because I exclusively hang out with my dog and the seven or eight people who like the same TV shows I like and don't mind that I sweat all the time.

But now it's election season, which means I'm going out of my bubble to consume absolutely everything that's vaguely connected to the campaigns, including horrible tweets like the ones posted above. This year, we get to see the idiots announcing their presence in racist tweet form. Four years ago, they announced their presence at McCain rallies, calling President Obama a terrorist, or again on Twitter, saying stupid, sexist things about Sarah Palin.

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I'd worked so hard building a little world for myself full of positivity and corn dogs, and that world comes crumbling down every time an election rolls around and I'm forced to confront the reality that, even though most of America is full of levelheaded, kind and hardworking people, there exists a pocket of hate-filled morons, right around the corner.

The YouTube Videos ... Good Lord, the YouTube Videos

You can expect every sketch troupe and comedy website to put out election-themed videos every year, because staying topical and relevant is useful in sketch comedy. Your favorite sketch troupe will make some video about politics, and then a month later, a Christmas-themed video, and on and on, because that's what they do.

The weird thing is that this is the time of year when other people decide they need to get on the sketch video bandwagon. These people live their whole lives doing whatever their jobs are, but when it's almost time to vote, they put their jobs on hold to make an Internet video supporting or attacking a candidate. Usually -- and here's the weird part of the weird part -- with a rap song. There's something about election season that makes otherwise normal Americans wake up and say "I need to rent a green screen studio for the day and make a rap video about voting. For the people."

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Some people make earnest rap videos supporting candidates they legitimately believe in, while others use the genre to trash the candidates they hate. Whether they're supporting or condemning a candidate, 9 times out of 10 you can bet that they don't actually know how to rap. It's baffling to me. One of the raps even opens with the lyric "His name is Romney and he's here to say," which is exactly what I say when I'm doing my impression of a guy who doesn't know how to rap and lives in 1996.
"Throw your hands in the air like you just don't rap."

My favorite political fan video to hate last election was "It's Raining McCain," because it involved trying to convince us that "get" rhymed with "McCain," which is one of the boldest stances on the ways that words sound that I've ever witnessed. This year, I think my favorite might be "Obama-Romney Debate Via Song," which dared to combine rapping, Rebecca Black's "Friday" (talk about timely!) and that hip new animation style that looks like what nightmares would make if nightmares took drugs.


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If you think that image of Romney dancing with a cat-faced CG-monster is the weirdest visual in this video, then you probably haven't seen the one of Obama wearing a propeller cap riding a giant pot leaf like a magic carpet, directly beneath this sentence.


The video also includes Obama doing a "Call Me Maybe" parody ...


... and Romney in a leather vest and a pimp hat while "The Hustle" plays ...


If you're anything like me, watching that video would be a good use of your time, because your time is absolutely worthless.

Daniel O'Brien is's senior writer (ladies), and ELECTION ELECTION ELECTION (election). Follow him on Twitter. Or don't!

Check out more from Daniel in 5 Presidential Elections Even Dumber Than This One (Somehow) and The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time.

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