Our political affair is over. It might be time for a group hug. While I am not much for hugging myself, I understand it's quite popular and it would make a change from the recent unpleasantness.
Not having clairvoyance among my many gifts, I do not know how your beloved candidates performed, as I am writing this on Election Day, the morning before the morning after.
But I do know a thing or two about hangovers and disappointments, which is one thing a career in journalism is good for. So for those of you who feel defeated, especially those of you who counted your chickens before they were hatched, indeed before the rooster met the hen, I have some encouraging words to salve your pain.
Here is my list of reasons to rejoice:
-- The winning candidate will soon be the incumbent. Can you think of a worse possible fate? There's only one thing worse than losing and that is winning. Everything that is wrong in the world will now be his or her fault -- the economy, the national debt, the behavior of North Korea and stink bugs.
Besides, your losing candidate can enjoy something better than incumbency; he or she can revel in recumbency and sleep the whole thing off.
-- Your candidate lost because he or she didn't lie enough. Really, how hard is it to make things up? The airwaves this election cycle were full of falsehoods. It was as if Pinocchio was on every ballot. It's a wonder the noses on some of these candidates didn't knock over the cameras. On the other hand, what is an effective character trait in a politician is a rotten thing for a human being -- and no lie.
If you think about it, you will say thank goodness your candidate lost. The temptation might have proved fatal to his (or her) fundamental goodness. It is the lesser characters who sell their birthright for a Biblical mess of pottage -- or pollage in this case, which is like pottage but has more data and talking points in it.
-- Your candidate mistakenly thought this was the 21st century, not the 18th. This was a certain way to lose in the Tea Party age. If only your candidate had promised to bring back the stocks and pelt illegal immigrants with vegetables, he or she would be riding to Washington, D.C., on a horse right now. As it is, your candidate's butt can rest easy. Someone else can gallop off like a latter-day Paul Revere, shouting whatever nonsense is fashionable.
-- Your candidate liked reality too much and was a reluctant recruit to join the war on reality. By contrast, the winner was able to persuade the voters that if they did not support the war on reality, the realists would win. The voters, who wanted theories based on political fantasies simple to understand, believed your candidate to be an elitist because of his (or her) snobbish rationality.
-- Now that your candidate has lost, you have no reason to indulge in juvenile displays of gloating. You won't have to say "Whoo, whoo, whoo!" or the traditional "Get over it!" -- indeed, you can reject all the snide little sayings much loved by old retired guys trying to fire up a little testosterone for nostalgia's sake.
Of course, you would not have said any of those things because you have too much class, but thankfully you won't even be tempted now that your candidate has done a Hindenburg impersonation. Or was it the Titanic? In any event, I am sure we can all now agree that this defeat was a blessing.
-- Your sense of humor has received a gift that will keep on giving. This is something I appreciate in my scratching and laughing line of work. Your opponent is a goof, right? Excellent! Congress and state governments are likely to be full of goofs, each one with an idea more crazy than the next. While the country may suffer, people with a sense of humor will be set to howling. Thank the Lord for passing us this ammunition.
Yes, your candidates lost, but now you can merrily repeat the famous concession speech of political prankster and failed candidate Dick Tuck: "The people have spoken, the bastards." You can't be blamed. You told us so.
Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. E-mail email@example.com.