OK, admit it: You are just as tired of the 2016 presidential election as I am.
The major candidates have been sniping at each other for more than a year now, and after a seemingly endless string of debates and wall-to-wall media coverage, November can’t arrive quickly enough.
Unfortunately — or happily, if you are a political junkie who lives for this stuff — the campaign still has nearly four months to go. And in reality, it’s just now heating up.
This week, Republicans will gather in Cleveland to officially crown Donald Trump as their nominee. Democrats will follow suit next week in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton.
But I’m not going to get all political here. Regardless of how you feel about the current state of politics, you can benefit from the upcoming election. Following are a few freebies you can grab between now and Nov. 8.
Free copy of the Constitution
Before you even think of stepping into the ballot booth, perhaps you should bone up on the nation’s Constitution. Hillsdale College – a liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan – is offering a free booklet-sized version of one of America’s most important documents.
Want to learn more about the Constitution? ConstitutionFacts.com is offering free copies of the book “The U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It.” However, note that in this case, “free” comes with a $3 shipping and handling charge.
Free campaign bumper stickers
Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: Those will be the major choices this Election Day. If you are a Clinton supporter, you can get your free official bumper sticker here. You can also score a complimentary gay pride version of the bumper sticker.
If you’re a Trump backer – well, you’re going to have to pay $5 for your official “Make America Great Again!” sticker. But hey, the guy is a businessman, after all! And to be fair, even Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist,” is charging for his stickers.
Perhaps neither Clinton nor Trump tickle your fancy. Polls have shown them to be among the most unpopular candidates ever. In that case, maybe you can show your support for a third alternative besides Sanders.
For example, free stickers are available for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Both have been mentioned as possible candidates in 2020, and it’s never to early to get the word out about your favorite.
Free electoral college poster
America’s children are its future, so there is no time better than the present to teach them about how our somewhat arcane presidential election system works.
If you are a teacher, C-SPAN is offering a free electoral college map poster for you to hang in the classroom. The next scheduled mailing is set for the first week of August.
Free election apps
More than two centuries ago, could America’s Founding Fathers have envisioned a nation of citizens addicted to their smartphones?
Regardless of whether or not Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and company would have approved, our phones aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And you can use those devices to participate in the very democracy that our nation’s founders cherished.
If you are an iPhone user who wants to follow polling more closely, you can download the Real Clear Politics app, which provides you with the latest news and polling on the campaign.
Finally, if one of the political candidates just gets under your skin, you can have a little fun at their expense. “Punch the Trump” allows you to plant one on the kisser of The Donald. Get it for Android. A similar game also is available for iPhone.
Meanwhile, voters who are not so keen on Hillary Clinton can play “Hillaroids.” Based on the classic arcade game “Asteroids,” it allows people who are less-than-fond of the former first lady to “let off some steam and deal with those frustrations.” Get it for Android.
If you decide to play those games, just remember that our Enlightenment-Age Founding Fathers are probably shaking their heads and wagging their fingers at you from their heavenly perch. Democracy is supposed to be a serious business!
Please remember that fact as the election approaches. And no matter which candidate you support, do not forget to vote. America is counting on you.
Do you know of more election freebies? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.