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Should You Be Shorting The 2016 Elections? [The Playbook For Political Atheists]

Dan Carpenter
May 3rd, 2016
The Daily Prep
Comments (42)

The following article has been contributed by Dan Carpenter of The Daily Prep

election(Image Source: Olga Sheean)

If the presidential elections were an investment, I couldn’t be a bigger bear.

That may not come as a surprise, because as a self-declared “political atheist”, I’m bearish on a lot of things that some people can’t seem to understand. But presidential elections are a particularly wretched form of scum and villainy.

Think about it: For roughly 12 months out of every 4 years, the United States presidential race hijacks the airways and water cooler conversations throughout the entire country. As if by some divine duty, otherwise sane and rational people will drop what they’re doing to post infuriating comments to strangers on Facebook. Athletes, actors, and other pop culture icons will suddenly become geniuses on the role of government (one of my favorite phenomenon).

People invest hours, days, and months into this contest of contests. Watching news coverage. Live debates. Attending rallies. In some cases people spend time making phone calls or going door to door for their candidate of choice. It’s utter hysteria.

And yet, if you’re honest with yourself, will anything about your life fundamentally change on November 8th, no matter who gets elected?

Will you have a new job? A new house? Will your kids love you more? Will you stop liking Mexican food? Will you suddenly become a billionaire? Have a different set of hobbies? New friends?

No. Your candidate either wins, or loses. The End.

I hate to break it to you, but the tax breaks, the bread and circuses, the troops coming home, and a million other things aren’t really tied to the election either. Your candidate is not going to “save” America. You’re not getting a shout out. You’re not going to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for dinner. Sorry.

So, in what world is the time that you spent worrying about it all a good investment?

<cue the crickets>

For the heck of it, let’s assume that most Americans (and plenty of folks across the globe) spend 1 hour a day engaged in the elections–news, workplace convos, Facebook debates, political talk radio on the commute, etc. (sadly, that estimate is probably on the low end).

Now, what if you actually funneled that time into something that actually has a positive effect on your life? Something that’s completely within your reach, something that you actually have control over.

Well, because I’m a friend, I put together a handy “quick reference guide” of a few things that will yield a higher ROI on your time than the presidential elections (feel free to forward to any wayward souls).

5 Time “Investments” Better Than The Presidential Elections

  1. Your Health: Let’s get real, your health has a lot to do with your day to day existence. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. It affects who you hang out with, where you go, and what you do. It affects your ability to do the things you love, shapes how you feel about yourself, your relationships with other people, and your overall sense of well-being. Rather than dumping hours and days of your life watching pundits on the idiot box, why not take up jogging? Go hardcore and train for a marathon. Or just find a place you like to get out and walk. Find a rec league and join a sports team. Break out the yoga mat and get flexible. Maybe for you it’s about committing to finally get on a better sleep schedule. Guess what, no matter what you choose to do to improve your health, when November 8th rolls around, you will 100% be in a better place. For sure. Not maybe. Not “if.”
  2. Your Pocketbook: For most of us on the planet today, even generating 10% more income could have a pronounced positive effect on our lives. Well, guess what? Our hypothetical 1 hour a day could go a long way towards ramping up that income. How about using that time to crank away on your side hustle? Do odd jobs. Drive Uber 30 hours a month. Some of us have the ability to simply put in overtime at our current jobs. Awesome, do it! What does 30 hours a month of overtime do to your bottom line? Work on your book idea. If you are ever going to do it, the time has to come from somewhere–why not take it from the scrap pile of presidential nonsense?
  3. Pick Up A Hands On Skill: Today’s generation sorely underrates the value of hard skills, but then again, today’s generation is up in the night about a lot of things. There is a direct relationship between hands on skills and self-sufficiency. So why not get your ass off the couch and learn one? Try your hand at beekeeping. Plant a garden. Practice wood-working. Take a night class at the local community college to learn welding or car repair. Learn about storing and preserving food. Construction. Landscaping. Alternative energy. Maybe it’s a computer program that you’ve been wanting to learn–animation, modeling, CAD. Self-defense. Photography. Shooting. Take your pick. No matter what you choose, you’re still doing something that adds value to your life, instead of sucking the life out of it.
  4. Actually LEARN About Government: While everybody’s arguing about Hillary and Ted Cruz, here’s a question for you–can you actually name your local leaders? (No cheating!) Your representatives? Senators? How about your state officials? City council? What about the Constitution? Most Americans haven’t read it. Most Americans don’t even realize that the entire document can be read in under an hour. If all-of-a-sudden everybody wants to be an expert on running the country, then maybe they should start at the beginning. Take a little time away from the presidential charade and actually learn about the founding document of America’s government. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in the Declaration of Independence too!
  5. Volunteer for a non-profit: Whether it’s saving the whales, saving trees, or saving souls, doing work for a non-profit that you actually care about trumps the presidential nonsense any day. I’m not here to tell you which one–you pick. But think about it–every day that charity that you care so much about could desperately use some help in any number of ways. There are after school sports to referee, roadsides to clean up, phone calls to help make, houses to build, there’s accounting, marketing, website work, and a million other things to help them with… And then there’s the campaign watch every night on the 5:00 news.

There you have it. Five investments that are higher-yielding than the silly elections. You’re welcome.

dailyprep-captainImage Source: The Daily Prep

Vote For You

My message is plain. Short the elections, and go long on YOU. I want you to be your own CEO, the captain of your own ship. If you are going to cast votes and make investments, make them in yourself. Make them in things that will give you more control over your life and happiness, not less.

There are still roughly 180 days until the presidential elections in November. The media, the pundits, and your well-meaning neighbors will doubtless have plenty to say about it all. But while everybody else is spending their time “feelin the Bern”, or talking about what a monster Trump is, do something that actually yields a positive ROI with yours.


Since 2010, Dan Carpenter has published articles, guides, and over 400 videos teaching people how to be self sufficient, on his site The Daily Prep. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer, and a major proponent of alternative housing and internationalization. Check out his self sufficiency guides here, or follow him on YouTube.

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Author: Dan Carpenter
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Date: May 3rd, 2016
Website: http://thedailyprep.com/

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42 Comments...

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  1. Menzoberranzan says:

    I voted for myself last Fri when I bought another AK47 from another individual.

  2. GMAFB says:

    I haven’t voted in 25 years, why ruin a good thing?

    Same shit, new day.

    GMAFB

    • Woogie says:

      I won’t vote this election, as the author says, it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t allowed to vote in our primary anyway, some dimwits just appointed a winner. Screw them.

      The only one I want leading me is ME. The other 2 idiots left can play in the sandbox because in the end it is I who decides for myself.

  3. nunyaBidness says:

    I voted for myself when I bought 4 of the US Mint’s gold Mercury dimes. They sold out in an hour.

  4. Kulafarmer says:

    I vote for the status quo dayly when i hit the head

  5. GruntyMcPhereson says:

    I voted when I got down on my knees and prayed to Jesus this morning and asked for God’s will for me and for the power to carry it out.

  6. DMONIC says:

    Sounds to me that you are saying our votes don’t matter and its a waste of time educating yourself about the candidates. Hmm, wheres that sound familiar? OH YEA! THE GIMMEDATS! Get this DB outta here.

    • Tyson says:

      Are you still under the illusion that your vote DOES matter? If so, give me a break! Your vote hasn’t mattered in hundreds of years. LOL He’s saying to put on your big boy pants, and start taking responsibility for your own outcome. Stop working for free for the candidates that never do a think for you…

      • So true. ESPECIALLY since it seems likely that a brokered convention will mean EVERYONE’S votes were wasted – that someone else, not on the primary ballots, could probably be named as the nominee.

    • Izzy says:

      If you pay attention the dumblacans and rebulacrats are different sides of the same coin-
      Heads they win
      tails you lose
      Now who you gonna vote for??????

  7. Now is the time to educate yourself on the candidates and get out and vote for Trump. No matter how many reasons there are to fear Trump, he is the only candidate who may just possibly keep this Country, US of A, and possibly the world from Nuclear War, and total destruction from aliens who hate the American people. So take a hike Mr. Author. It’s good for you.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Or not. Don’t be so short sighted as to think that Trump will be some sort of political messiah because we really have no idea what he will do. The only record we have is what he says he will do, but as he has never been in power, it is still unknown if his words will materialize into actions we like. He very well may nominate a Supreme Court justice that will rule against the second amendment. He may not. While I will vote for him in the general election to try and block Hillary Clinton, I am under no illusion that he will change anything for the better.

  8. Tn songwriter says:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/RBqjZ0KZCa0?showinfo=0&rel=0&hd=
    You have to see this gimmiedat! Only takes a minute,,, but will tweak you all day!

    • MommaD says:

      Thanks for sharing TN!
      Wow, that was eye opening.
      “Someone need to take responsibility” she says!
      How about she made 15 kids SHE takes responsibility.
      It was so over the top I had to laugh.

    • What is MISSING from this story, is how many OTHER children has that “daddy”* fathered with other women (most definitely plural). Given the looks from his picture (mug shot?), “responsibility” is most definitely NOT one of his qualities.

      Sad thing is, those kids don’t have a chance. Feed them and pay their rent. Fine. Letting her keep custody of them, they will learn from what their “daddy” does and MORE SO from what he FAILS to do. They won’t be teenagers very long before they turn that corner and are lost. They TOO will expect everyone else except themselves, to “take responsibility”.

      *PS. I shouldn’t speak TOO harshly about the “dad”…from his looks, somebody could give a national press conference and say “He could have been my son”!

  9. TheGuy says:

    Keep up this bullshit and you’ll get Hillary.

    Guns = bye.
    Fiscal responsibility = bye.
    Marriage in general as a concept = bye.
    Any remaining shredded semblance of international half-ass civility = BYE.

    Hello taxes, hello ObamaCare 2.0 the sequel on steroids, hello removing the term “illegal” from illegal immigration…

    Yeah tell ya what let’s all just ignore it.

    “At this point what difference does it make?” (sarcasm).

    B**ch can’t win a fair fight. She can’t. So be sure to follow this advice as it only serves her.

  10. Billy says:

    I don’t want to resort to hyperbole so it will suffice to say elections are merely a charade, designed to make the masses believe they have a say in the affairs of gov’t, society, and the nation. Those who don’t see that are easily misled and manipulated. All these people voting in the primaries, regardless of parties are useful idiots; helping to bring about their own end. If I was a dictator I would want a country full of people just like them; they believe what an official or the government tells them, and are easy to control. And, to top it off, the gov’t considers them disposable. As for the rest of us, the gov’t despises us because we see it as it is, and do as little as legally possible to support it in any way including not lending any legitimacy to them with our vote. In fact, I publicly ridicule politicians and government.
    All independent and thinking persons should make a point to publicly comment on their lies and hypocrisy, and then refuse to vote, Don’t believe the lie if you don’t vote you don’t have a right to complain. This is backwards; instead, you don’t have a right to complain if you did vote because by voting you bought into the system. Those of us who don’t vote have more of a right to point out the fallacies and corruption of officials.
    Stop living for them, live for yourself ! You should be finding ways to use your time, energy, and resources for you. Stop being willfully shackled. Your vote doesn’t count anyway. They really don’t want to empower you, they want empower themselves; to strip you of your wealth and personal power and rights so you can be used as they see fit. You only merely need to ignore them, maximize what you do and have for you, minimize for them.

  11. Jim in Va. says:

    Regardless of who gets in we are done. We are broke physically and mentally. Add morally and the soup is done!

  12. Frank Thoughts says:

    London, the world’s number one financial city, is having an election on Thursday. The mayor could become a politician known to share public podiums with radical Muslims. With all the problems in European cities with encroaching Salafism, it is a stark choice to be made and the future of the Western world’s economy is at stake.

  13. rellik says:

    Improving your lot in life by doing things you have control over is pretty standard advice. Expecting a sea change with an election is typically a fantasy.

    Trump could be interesting. They won’t hesitate to impeach and remove him so he can’t cause too much damage.

    If Hillary gets elected kiss your guns and any freedoms we still have left, goodbye. Society will breakdown, and someone will assassinate her. She is so hated she will not become another JFK or RKF god figure. The Secret service just has to do an “aw shit” like assign her an all female protection detail that occasionally includes token male Moslems for diversity.

    The reason elections don’t really count anymore is the Federal bureaucracy is full of union Democrat workers, managed by Democrat liberals, and is designed to serve only Democrat liberals. The only real solution is to kill them all.
    EMP may be our friend.
    Meanwhile I’m going back to my welding self study course.

    • Warchild Dammit! says:

      Rellik,the only solution is to “Kill them all”,hmmmmm……,not saying I disagree but certainly sounds like a “Final solution”!

      • rellik says:

        Give me some credit it is not a race based solution, it is ideology based, which is a thing that education and critical thinking can fix. You can’t fix stupid.

  14. It is already down the tube economically. Morally? Not so much, read history and you will notice that people have never been moral.

  15. GardenNut says:

    This article is not advocating not to turn out on Election Day. All it’s saying is, don’t let the election consume your body, mind, and soul. By all means, go vote! Vote for the candidate you think is best. But the act of casting a vote is over in what 20 minutes? Maybe an hour if there is a serious wait at the polling station? It’s an infinitesimally small amount of time! The “News” makes it out like this great big be-all-end-all.

    How many people here are going to change their opinions of who to vote for by Nov? If you’ve already decided on your candidate why frit away time that could be used for so many other enriching and wholesome things?

    Spend a night or two doing homework, researching the candidates. Decide on which best represents your interests. Choose to vote. Then let it go.

    Does it really matter that running mate X fell off a stage? Husband of Y said something stupid? In the vast scheme of the election, does the minutia truly matter? Or is it more important to know the general inclinations of the person. Gun control, border control, religious freedom, freedom of speech, school policies, healthcare, all these stances are pretty firm for each candidate and have been since the beginning. Their core platform is not going to substantially change no matter how many hours the “News” obsesses over hairstyles and soundbytes and who-ate-what-on-Thursday.

    Live.

    • Exactly right Garden Nut. If you absolutely have to vote, doing it the way you’re talking about isn’t gonna kill anyone.

      My point is: Life is short. Stop letting the suits and talking heads tell you when you should care about something.

      Thx for reading and chiming in.

  16. Anonymous says:

    When a celeb or somebody like them dies, it is not earth shattering, breaking news. Breaking in on regularly scheduled programs should be reserved for emergencies that effect the public only. Unless you know these people personally a fan is just a meal ticket. Just another DISTRACTION to real issues.

  17. Hay, wassamadda you doan vote?

    We are #1. Them dang socialists are pieces of shit.

    And when ya vote ya better be wearin’ that there merican flag pin in yer lapel or yer jest another commie pinko that doan luv the USA and all the heroes.

    Prolly a dang hippie, to. Prolly dint support the eye-rack woar. Yer either with us or agin us.

    ———————————————————

    Ron Paul was the last hope. Now, it’s over the cliff we go.

    Wheeeeee!

    Happy landings…

  18. aljamo says:

    This article reads like a dictate from the establishment. Don’t worry, be happy. Ignore the election because there is not a damn thing you can do about anything. Accept your no rights servitude, be good little sheep and support the status quo. That’s what I got out of this drivel.

  19. anon says:

    When do the riots start?

  20. Archivist says:

    “Will you suddenly become a billionaire?”

    That’s the one I’m hoping for.

    Actually I spend a lot of time doing work on the side, learning things like PHP programming, and prepping. I have four websites, I’ve written a number of books, and I also work on computers. I am an expert researcher and make pretty good money in genealogy. That’s where I made the most during the last few years. I’m also spending a lot of time downloading books and other information. Archive(dot)org and Google Books have thousands of books that are free downloads.

    One of the sidelines mentioned in the linked article (“side hustle”) was hauling. I know someone in that business. But what he hauls is drunks. He is now looking for a large van so he can haul more at one time.

    The headlines on Drudge tell me most of what I wish to know about current politics.

  21. watching and waiting says:

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,we won’t get fooled again!
    The Who 1969

    but do vote

  22. Anonymous says:

    “And yet, if you’re honest with yourself, will anything about your life fundamentally change on November 8th, no matter who gets elected?”

    Maybe not specifically on the 8th, but certainly on and after the inauguration of whomever wins.

    It did after Obama was elected, and not just “anything” but a whole lot of things, vital things, ranging from my healthcare to who gets to share a bathroom with me and whether or not I can run my business in harmony with my religion with a with lot of very fundamental and important changes included in between.

    Why wouldn’t it make a difference this time as well?

  23. Marcus says:

    holy shit, this is possibly the most SANE and well-adjusted election year piece of writing I’ve ever read.
    Thanks!

  24. Archivist says:

    Well, Cruz just dropped out of the election.

  25. Son of Liberty says:

    What a bunch of hooey if ever I heard it. While my life didn’t change overnight at the election of Obummer 7 years ago, it has DEFINITELY CHANGED!!! And NOT for the better. If you’re going to write articles, do it with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

    Blessings,

    Son of Liberty

  26. Terminator says:

    So, Gore would have taken us to war in Iraq? McCain would have given us Obamacare? Romney would have toppled stable, albeit tyrannical governments in Egypt, Libya, and Syria? Grow up and get involved in the future of western civilization and stop telling yourself it doesn’t matter

    • Marcus says:

      “Grow up and get involved in the future of western civilization” by doing what? discussing the latest BS media poll, what lie the candidate promised, or argue over who’s team.. er I mean “political party” is right? All the while the choices are narrowed until you get to vote for one head of the same snake??

      How exactly is that growing up?
      How exactly does that positively impact the “future of western civilization”? Isn’t your energy better directed towards improving and stabilizing yourself, your family, your community, and ultimately by effect… WESTERN CIVILIZATION?