So you want to run for public office, to really make a difference in this community, to devote yourself to the principles of civic service upon which our nation was founded? Are you inspired by those idealistic political ads flooding cable TV about returning Ohio/America to its former greatness? Well unfortunately cable is for poor people, and poor people don’t get elected in this country.
We elect people with premium channels, and Netflix subscriptions, and in-home movie theaters. After all, why would you watch a shitty network drama when you can recline a plush chair in a private screening room and watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Blu-Ray? Now that’s how electable candidates consume entertainment.
We’ve compiled a list of other essential advice for how to get elected, like tip number two: Be rich! See how useful that is? Two strong, good words, and a desirable standard to which everyone can aspire. That’s some good politickin’. Now get out there and kiss some hands and shake some babies!
Watch House of Cards, both seasons. Politics is exactly like this, except no one ever says anything cool or pithy, or kills anyone dramatically, just very slowly, by bleeding them dry of money and the will to live.
Be rich! Just generally good advice if you’d like to accomplish things, in politics or otherwise.
Have rich friends. Also helpful, though it would really be better if you were rich because eventually you’ll have to sell your friends’ allegiances for help from a richer, more powerful third-entity.
Build a website! It’s a fun expression of who you are as a candidate, assuming you are a vacuum of out-of-context ‘Merican buzzwords like freedom, liberty, and democracy. And you also get to choose a color scheme! What’s your favorite color? Green? Too bad, your website is red, white, and blue, just like God intended when he ordered the military to invent the internet. No one has a green website. Except the Green Party, of course, but that’s no way to get elected to anything unless you live in Vermont.
You should believe in God. Preferably the Christian God, but the Jewish one will do in a pinch. You at least have to fake it or you’ve got no shot. This is the most important thing other than being rich.
Talk like regular folk. Frankly, you should say the word “folks” a whole lot. “People” is for elites who see themselves as being above the salt-of-the-earth types who built this country with brawn, sweat, blood, and a whole shitpile of Chevy Silverado 3500 Heavy Duty diesel trucks.
Secretly, you should see yourself as being above public folks though. Like way above them. The unwashed masses are pretty gross. Better bring some Purell to those rallies.
Admit to using drugs. Surprisingly, this isn’t that big of a deal for candidates anymore unless they lie about it. In 1992, Clinton had to act as if he somehow smoked but never inhaled; W. simply pretended he remembered nothing before 1977; Obama wrote about using marijuana and cocaine in high school and brushed it aside as the stupidity of youth; this year, Rob Ford smoked crack on video while in office and he’s still the mayor of Toronto. Granted he’s Canadian and they’re a laid back group, so maybe stay away from rocks, but this isn’t the career-killer it used to be.
Break promises. Did you watch House of Cards? It’s how business gets done when your business is blindly groping upward for personal gain. Make a promise, pretend to work toward a common goal, subvert the original intention, break the promise, reap the rewards. It’s pretty simple really. You can also pound on a desk occasionally if you’d like. It shows strong willpower.
Bribe someone to rig the election. We don’t recommend this unless you’re really, really rich, and all your friends are really, really powerful already. Here’s a quick test to see if you can get away with it – is your surname Bush or Kennedy? Then no.
There is no 11th step. Boom – broken promise. Can we have your vote?