Offbeat Academia: Canvassers confused as job vanishes

With the voter registration deadline passed, campus canvassers lose their way.

Plum crazy.

This country gets worse every four years. Presidential campaigns start increasingly earlier for each succeeding election. The political bug has become a nationwide epidemic. The impending fourth of November has caused a catastrophic crisis in all aspects of American lives. We don’t look the same, talk the same or act the same. It almost seems like our futures depend on, rely on, live or die by this Election Day.

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I’m worried. First of all, the symptoms are rather alarming: delusions, paranoia, insomnia and, not to mention, this newfound idol worship of two prominent figures. After Nov. 4, what will be left of the masses? Everywhere, Americans will be left to wander, lost and confused as to how to pick up the pieces of their former lives. In fact, the wandering has already begun now that the deadline to register has passed.

These concerns lead me to take initiative. I want to help these bewildered members of general society to reintegrate themselves. Therefore, I have established my plan of recovery, divided into three parts. Each one will address a negative side effect of the election, as well as how to overcome it.

This week, as implied previously, I refer to the people who were scattered all over campus, urging you to register to vote. They were remarkably committed to their work: stopping you on your way to class, questioning your honesty, commenting on the great importance of this election and even infiltrating classrooms to find you. Obviously, when one completely immerses herself into her work, it is difficult to discern work from reality when it is so abruptly taken away.

The last day to register to vote was Oct. 6. Two weeks later, we see the effects that canvassing has had on these victims. As they have no one left to help register, they find themselves asking, “What can I do with my time now?” The confusion is evident when they continue to carry a clipboard with nothing attached to it. They may also seem startled or shocked that people are no longer ignoring their greetings or avoiding their eye contact.

Although these side effects are intrusive and debilitating, they are common among ex-canvassers. So do not feel alone. Here are words of advice that may help you cope:

1Do not preach, unless requested. For example, when out to eat, if you encourage your friend to order the veggie wrap and she decides against it, do not proceed to lecture her on the significance of this veggie wrap and its imminent effect on her and her future children.

2Avoid interrogations of friends and family members, as they are normally inappropriate outside criminal investigations. When you check if your roommate washed the dishes like you asked him to earlier, and he affirms that he did, do not persist in asking, “Did you put them away?” or even further, “Are you sure?” Chances are that next time he will throw them out the window.

3Don’t be afraid to return back to normal conversations and interactions. Sure, after only the first few weeks, you may let it slip that the youth vote can turn America around, or maybe you stayed in on a Wednesday night only to find out there are no more debates. But sooner or later you’ll be able to discuss completely apolitical topics like…wall clocks.

So to those suffering already, don’t fret. The world will not end, I assure you. Look on the bright side: you’ve already sustained a pretty big blow, and you survived. The rest of the nation is still totally vulnerable and unprepared.

Sarah Sanders can be reached at

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