We could learn a lot from our British forefathers when it comes to politics -- how their multi-party system works, why their elections don't last two years, what the deal is with all those powdered wigs -- but there's one tradition, above all others, that we desperately need to liberate if the republic has any hope of surviving the midterms: #dogsatpollingstations.
Although it's only been around for four years, #dogsatpollingstations -- or if you can't read hashtag, Dogs at Polling Stations -- is one of the UK's most important, adorablest customs, making an appearance during yesterday's local elections. It's not hard to take part; you just have to own, borrow, or steal a dog, take a photo of them outside a polling station (the place where people cast their votes), and post it to the hashtag. The best thing is, elections now seem to be happening over there every single year, so why not take advantage of that political clusterf*ck and reap yourself (and your pupper) some sweet, sweet internet praise?
It's such a phenomenon that not only did one animal charity launch a successful campaign to make polling stations more dog-friendly by providing water and shade, the UK's Electoral Commission -- the government body that runs the election process -- even issued advice on how voters could take part, which is up there with the RNC and DNC issuing advice on how to produce the sickest political memes.
The hashtag also serves a second purpose, in that it gives the media something to do on election day. In the UK, all major broadcasters -- including television, radio, and internet -- are prohibited from reporting on election campaigns and anything too politics-y whilst voting is taking place, in order to prevent fake news and biased reporting from influencing the result. #dogsinpollingstations, then, fills that gap by allowing them to talk about something current, without fear that they'll wind up getting beheaded.
It wouldn't be too hard to import over here; the name still works and, if dogs aren't your thing, it could be opened up to other types of animals (as some people have tried with horses, rats, and cats). It's important that we get this figured out, though; in these hyperpartisan times, it'd be nice to find something that we all agree on...and since it doesn't look like that's going to be anything political for a long while, we'll settle for "look at these scads of fine puppers."