Congratulations! You've made it. You're one of a mere seven Republican hopefuls left standing in the final weeks before the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
Just over that hill is another small town full of people who will determine your fate, and subsequently the fate of America. Fortunately for you, Iowa and New Hampshire -- the two states that decide which candidates the other 48 states get to choose from -- are almost entirely comprised of white people. Just like you.
Even with such optimal credentials you must always be on your guard, because it only takes one simple mistake to lose it all. With the world watching, breathless with anticipation, every word that comes out of your mouth must be carefully crafted to avoid all substance. Substance leaves you open to thoughtful questions and criticism, and, quite frankly, you don't have time for that nonsense.
Some may consider it an art, but its actually surprisingly simple. Just follow the simple guidelines below and you'll be hemorrhaging campaign funds for weeks to come.
1. Tell a story. A really, really longwinded story.
This is your go-to. Think of irrelevant anecdotes as ammunition to fend off the most assertive and thought-provoking questions. Just as in real life, the more ammo you have, the safer you'll be. Practice exaggerating details about who was involved and how much of an impact meeting the poor had on your life and character. Use this opportunity to appeal to the audience's emotions, to express yourself as a human being with real feelings and real struggles. Whatever you do, be sure to draw out the anecdote for as long as possible so that the audience forgets the original question and the media can't edit a short sound bite with any semblance of context.
2. Blame Obama.
ISIS? Obama. Immigration? Obama. Starving children in Africa? Obama. That's right, everything wrong with America and the world is Barack Obama's fault. You know it and the American people know it. All you have to do is remind them repeatedly. Cut and dry.
3. Make up facts and statistics.
If you can cite a nonsensical statistic and sell it as gospel, you will win over the masses. No matter what the question, be prepared to divulge data that is simultaneously inaccurate and irrefutable. Know these numbers and hold them close. With statistics you can be dishonest while telling the truth. Feel free to fabricate any reality you desire. The world is your oyster.
4. Instill fear.
Same-sex couples entering homes, stealing children, guns and receiving a tax benefit for doing so? Bingo. North Korea, Iran and Russia simultaneously launching nukes while ISIS and Mexican immigrants coordinate a ground attack on the mainland United States? Now you're talking. This sort of irrational fear mongering should be a pillar of any effective political strategy. It doesn't take much to convince your fellow Americans that their lives, liberty and prosperity are in constant mortal peril.
Once you've done that, go on a tangent about the "bigger issues" at play, about the importance of security and upholding intolerance and prejudice as essential American values. Remember to integrate this tactic in every possible argument. It's incredibly effective convincing someone to vote for you by suggesting that if they don't, they will die.
5. Talk about "Christian values."
Don't want to answer a question about working rights and benefits for the disabled? Then say a heartfelt prayer for their wellbeing. Don't want to address a young person's concerns about paying for college? Just tell them to have faith. Whatever you do, take care to draw a direct line between traditional Christian values and the U.S. Constitution. The key to victory is convincing people that supporting you is pre-requisite to honoring their personal religious convictions, and that supporting your opponents is tantamount to having unprotected anal sex with Satan.
So there you have it. With skillful acting, manipulation and perseverance (and lots and lots of money), you'll be sipping scotch in the oval office in no time.
See you in the White House, champ.
Andrew Gisch is a freelance filmmaker and writer currently covering the New Hampshire Primary for The Huffington Post.