Based on the polls, I'm really nervous about the outcome of next week's election. I worry that if the candidate I support doesn't get elected, we're all in a lot of trouble. If my candidate doesn't win, I'm thinking about moving to Toronto. Should I?

Okay, everyone, take a deep breath.

2004_04_bushkerry.jpgIndeed, this is arguably the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high: war, national security, unemployment, etc, etc. And it is a close election, so it could still go either way next Tuesday. But don't pack your bags yet.

Cary Tennis, Salon's advice columnist, answers a similar question (pay subscription required, or get a free day pass by clicking through an ad). And we agree with his response: even if the candidate you support doesn't win on Tuesday, you can't do much to make America better from outside the country. Tennis writes, "If we feel this country has been lost, let's find it again. If we feel threatened, let's vanquish the threat. In whatever sense we feel that this country is no longer recognizable, let's refashion it. Let's re-create what we have lost. If the media have become enslaved, let's create new, free media, and support the few independent media that survive. If the country has taken reckless foreign adventures, let's rein it in." We couldn't have said it better. If next Tuesday's election doesn't have the result you are hoping for, then become an activist after the election. Join up with a cause you agree with, and help work towards changing our future. Fleeing the country seems, to us, like a cop out.

Besides, we love New York too much to leave it. (Hee, maybe secession is a better option.)

We still have a couple of days left. If you want to get involved, go to a swing state this weekend and volunteer your time, or participate in phone drives and call potential voters. Or, you can help out at home, too. If you've got a car, volunteer to drive your friends or neighbors to the polls. And most definitely vote on Tuesday.

So what will you do if your candidate of choice loses?

Photo from AP