Dear Rosa: Why is election season so depressing?


Dear Rosa: I am so depressed by all the presidential election rumbling already going on. I guess this is mainly because I am suffering from PTSD from previous elections since each and every one of those ended badly. Plus it just reminds me of how deeply broken and fundamentally flawed the American political system is. It just seems like a bad and boring TV show or consumer survey. Every time I go on social media I feel like I’m a data point in some nefarious “market research” project that will, once again, figure out how to manipulate me into caring about the election, only to dash my hopes against the rocks once again. Please help! I don’t know how to feel about the elections!

— Depressed Detroiter


Some people get PTSD from drone attacks and natural disasters. Then there’s you, DD, getting PTSD from too much NPR. What can I do with you Americans? You drown in a bowl of borscht. Anyway, here are Rosa’s tips for being less miserable and more useful during this election cycle:

1. Drop the whole Debbie Downer thing. Capitalism defangs the left by encouraging its male members to brand themselves as “very deep”, “brooding” types instead of becoming revolutionaries.

2. I know it’s hard to break out of the neoliberal identity trap, but your ceaseless negativity is not a sign of intelligence or creativity. It’s boring and has not been attractive since 1994.

3. I hear you though — our society is deeply broken and stupid. Dwelling on that fact, however, is unlikely to produce positive results. Instead, devote time each month to door-knocking, passing out lit, and entering new member email addresses into Nation Builder

4. Your brain will say, “this is pointless and beneath me.” Do not listen. It’s just your reactionary narcissism talking. The revolution will be fueled by grunt work, not your ego.

5. Winning the presidential election is a strategic campaign that will help us build a mass movement for socialism in our lifetimes. You shouldn’t need to be manipulated into caring about it. But go ahead, get it out of your system: “Mehhhhh! I hate electoral politics. You can’t vote out capitalism!”

6. Feel better? Great. Unless you have another plan for seizing the state, we need to win elections. So let’s go get Daddy Bernie elected.

7. It is good that your hope in charismatic tall things has been dashed upon some rocks. Hope is what empty vessels like “Beto” O’Rourke prey upon. It’s the currency of neoliberal con artists.

8. What we need is a totally uncharismatic, disgruntled, lifelong socialist with soft white hair. Someone from the movement with no fucks left to give, who will do what we say, who will get on the debate stage with Trump and scream for 2 hours straight.

9. FEEL THE BERN, baby, for the only candidate in the race who will deliver on Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, defunding the military industrial complex, taxing the rich, and providing every man, woman and child in America with a pony.

10. Since you don’t seem to have a healthy relationship to social media, you should probably stay away for the primary cycle. Learn to garden. Find seasonal bandanas for your dachshunds to wear. Make nut milk.

11. But if you insist on posting, I recommend that you store up all your toxic aggressive energy and devote it to dragging the other Dem hopefuls online. Here’s some invective to get you started:

Pete Buttigieg is so boring gay people are now considering identifying as straight.

Cory Booker thinks dating Rosario Dawson is good for his image. But actually it just makes everyone vomit in their mouths.

Joe Biden plans to run on a men’s rights platform if any more “stupid ungrateful b*!#hes” come forward with malarkey against him.

Amy Klobuchar eats Caesar salad with a comb for breakfast while making her staffers shave her legs.

The Pod Save America bots told Elizabeth Warren to launch her campaign with a movie about how she is 1/1,024th Native American — and she did!

Kamala Harris will soon announce plans to prosecute families at the border for truancy.

Butthead O’Rourke recently bragged about proposing to his wife while standing on his pickup truck as an April Fool’s joke. She said “yes.”

Gillibrand is…what is her name again? Kirsten or Kristen?

Julian Castro is successfully combating the harmful stereotype that all Latinos have spice.

Andrew Yang wants to replace the final vestiges of the welfare state with a Universal Basic Income (UBI) payable in cryptocurrency.

12. Once you purge all of these mean-yet-totally-accurate thoughts from your system, you will be temporarily transformed into a “good person.” Enjoy this feeling while it lasts, call your mother, smell the roses. Then take all those good vibes door-to-door for the one, the only — Bernie M.F. Sanders.



Disclaimer: Rosa’s advice is not based on facts, science, data, logic, or experience. You should follow it anyway.