There’s no point denying it. I love US President Barack Obama. In fact I often peer devotedly into his eyes via the embroidered Obama cushion that adorns my couch. So in the history of bromances it’s arguable that my love for him even exceeds Karl Stefanovic’s ardour for Alan Jones, John Howard’s beautiful and tender devotion for former US President George W Bush, and even Paul Henry’s besottedness for himself.
And it appears that when it comes to fellow countrymen, I’m not alone. An online poll of 1,000 Australians by UMR Research revealed that a landslide 72% of us would vote for President Obama. While a Lowy Institute poll put that figure even higher at 80%. (A level of popularity statisticians mathematically define as the ‘One Direction + Gangnam Style to the power of fluffy kitten memes’ principle.)
With numbers like that, Obama could probably go all Chavez, change the constitution and become the grand high ruler of time and space. But that’s if Australians could vote in the US election. With only a few short weeks left until the election, the President has to face a much more evenly split audience – the American people.
At this point it looks touch and go, although his spirited performance in the second debate should
help wrest some of the momentum back. There will also be a lot hanging on the coming onslaught of swing state advertising (both official and ‘Super PAC’ unofficial).
But in case of emergency, I’ve prepared a step-by-step guide of how to cope if Mitt Romney does become the President-elect of the country that provides the remnants of Channel 9 with the bulk of its ratings.
Step 1 – Accept the loss
Acceptance is hard, but essential. We can see the effects that denial had on many Republicans who joined the ‘Birther Movement’ after the last election. I don’t want to see any of us starting the ‘Martian Movement’, no matter how much evidence there is to prove that Mitt Romney’s hair is a glorious gift from Uranus.
Step 2 – Open up about your feelings
Don’t hold your pain inside like our always-demure Kevin Rudd. Instead, let it out like an irrepressible, cross-dimensional meandering worthy of Clive Palmer. This way you’ll be able to share your grief, loudly and often with friends, family, coworkers, fellow commuters and trusted talkback radio hosts or mummy bloggers. And don’t be afraid to cry. If Obama actually does lose, I’ll be ready to show even North Koreans what unedifying public grief for a fallen leader really looks like.
Step 3 – Ignore the trolls and the doubters
As always there will be those around you and on the global interwebs who’ll take great joy in rubbing hand-milled Murray River pink salt into your wounds. These bandwagon jumper-on-er-ers will be hard to ignore but it’s best that you do, as feeding them is like giving iron ore licenses to chiffon-muumuu-clad mining magnates. Trust me, you’ll never hear the end of it. It’ll be, “Let them earn enough to eat from the $2 McValue Menu” from now until The Rapture.
Step 5 – Remember the good times
If there are dark days post-November 6, then take heart in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson - ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ Remember the feeling that electrified the world when a very green senator from Illinois became the first African American to win the White House. Also recall what he achieved for his country: passing health care, stimulus and Wall St reforms; bailing out automakers; ending the war in Iraq; improving support for returning veterans; repelling ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’; killing Osama Bin Laden; reforming student loans; etc, etc.
Step 6 – Give yourself time to recover
Finally, allow yourself time to heal. As revered thinker and great philosopher Rachel Hunter once mused, ‘It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.’ And inoculate yourself by knowing that if President Obama does lose on November 6, that while the world could be worse off, at least we won’t have to wait another four years for his next book.
For my sake (and for my so far very tolerant girlfriend’s) I hope I never have to use these tips, and that President Obama manages to hang on to his swing state firewall. This may very well see him scrape home with the 270 electoral college votes required to stay the man of my (and many Australians’) dreams for yet another four years.
And most importantly, it’ll give my beloved Obama cushion continued permission to brighten up my lounge room – and my life – for many years to come.