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Election Day Humor

To err is human. To blame someone else...that's politics!

Here we are, at long last - Election Day 2012!  It's your chance to exercise your right to vote. Please do! To put a smile on your face before you head to the polls, here's some Election Day Humor:

If Obama wins, I will leave the country. If Romney wins, I will leave the country. This is not a political joke, I just want to travel.

The biggest problem with political jokes is that they get elected!

Politicians are like diapers.They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.

What's So Funny About Diabetes: A Note About Political Humor
Political humor is intensely popular - just ask Jon Stewart! Jokes about President Obama or his opponent, Mitt Romney, work well for late night TV stars - but they can be pretty problematical in person. Etiquette experts tell us that it's best to avoid all humor about politics, religion, and any other contentious subject. Humor advocates, myself included, think that political humor has a place - but you do need to be careful with it.

Politics are intensely personal. The issues being discussed - health care, the economy, foreign policy, and more - aren't abstract concepts. They're central to our existence, on a daily basis. People become very invested in the outcome of elections, because the quality of their life will change based upon the results. For a lot of people, this is no joking matter. When they hear people laughing about the election, they can feel that their concerns are being trivialized or dismissed. This results in anger and upset, which they express - it doesn't take long to discover exactly why political humor has such a bad reputation.

Should You Use Political Humor?

One way to use political humor safely is to keep it general.  Rather than making fun of a particular candidate or party, laughing about the absurdities of our political process allows everyone to enjoy the humor without feeling attacked or slighted.

What happens if you've got a great dig about Romney or a hysterical Obama joke you're dying to share? In What's So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease , I recommend that people "Check their BET" before telling potentially upsetting humor. BET stands for Bond, Environment, and Timing.

Bond: How well do you know the people you're telling the political joke to? If you've worked on the campaign trail together, chances are you share the same style political humor.  If you don't have the first clue if your audience identifies as Democrat, Republican, Conservative or Liberal, you don't know them well enough to do political humor.

Environment: Not all humor works equally well in every setting. Be mindful of your surroundings before using political humor. Sensitive locations like the workplace are probably not the ideal setting for political humor - unless you have plans of finding other employment after the election!

Timing:  Choose the appropriate moment to share political humor. If your audience is relaxed and receptive, fine. If they're stressed out, in crisis mode, or trying to concentrate on something else, your jokes may be seen as an annoyance or distraction rather than funny.

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