I am a product of Irish politics. That is what I do and know. In this global society people often assume we are all into ‘cool’ stuff like elections in the US. So if, like me, people often invite you to parties where you are expected to know your stuff but actually find it all a bit ‘meh’ here are some secrets for navigating the party without looking like a fool.
Start of the night lead off with turnout. ‘Watch for the inner city and minority turnouts’ wherever you are from you can’t help but have noticed that Trump has offended as many minority groups as he can. So saying this lets you sound like you have a point to make. You will stimulate debate now between your friends and can quietly sneak off and grab another beer.
So you have now made a good start. You head for the popcorn bowl and then another nerd asks you for your thoughts. This is the chance to wheel out a reliable old nugget. ‘It’s hard to say. There is a big urban/rural divide.’ Of course there is a divide. There is always a divide. People will nod and say ‘That’s an interesting point actually…’ while listing off their favourite fact about a previous election. Eat your pop corn, nod sagely and shuffle on about the room.
At some point you will meet someone pretty of the opposite sex. Now you want to appear knowledgeable but you want to give them the chance to talk to you. The safest bet here is to ask a question ‘How does this play out in the electoral colleges now?’ You have now demonstrated that you know something but have deftly hidden just how little. It’s ok, most other people don’t have a clue how this crazy system works either so they may bluff too. However, you may have found a genuine nerd who will be only too happy to bore you with all the details. This is fine if they are good looking so use this wisely.
As conversation goes on the result will be debated and you have a few hours of indicators to endure. Here is where you talk about the ‘Brexit effect’. You can say how results surprise people and then move on to discuss ’political disillusionment with the establishment’. Don’t worry you don’t have to actually say much. Just say those words and watch the conversation take flight. Now sit back and nod eagerly at certain points and gently point your beer bottle at people as you nod. Calm and in listening mode you will be well impressive.
As you mill into the chicken nuggets people will be starting to pour over the early results. Get your spake in early by asking ‘Are any of the swing states in?’ Someone will be only too helpful and fill you in on what is in and what is yet to come in. Now you know. Remember the names of some of the ones yet to come and hover around other groups telling people ‘Watch for Florida and Iowa’ or something like that.
As the results come in talk about the losers ‘lack of empathy’. Trust me it works for any side. People will agree with you. Equally you can say there was some ‘confused messaging’. Everyone will point out the examples for you. As for the winner you nod and say ‘I don’t envy the task of delivering now’.
The party will be grand. The beers and popcorn will be consumed and you can start having fun. Best of all everybody will think you are quite the nerd yourself. You might even be invited back next time. (But ssshhhh if you see me, this is our secret right?)