This week’s presidential election has inadvertently exposed the secret to world domination — and it all comes down to deep-fried pastries and the power of the Internet.

Let me explain: The folks at Google provided some updates on the hottest search terms throughout Election Day. By mid-afternoon, 87 percent of the most commonly searched terms were election-related. No surprise, right? But of those election-related searches, 17 percent were about finding free stuff for voting. Namely, food.

Places such as Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s, and Krispy Kreme offered up treats all day to anyone wearing those fun little “I voted” stickers. (In what we can only hope is a coincidence, the 18th hottest Google search term by midday was “‘I voted’ stickers.” Come on, people…really?)

Here’s where it gets good, though: By about noon, those hunger-driven searches actually outnumbered searches for terms like, say, “Barack Obama,” or “John McCain.” Maybe it’s a sign of America’s ever-expanding weight problem. Or maybe it’s a sign of this country’s real currency — delicious things. Because, let’s face it, a warm donut with some ice cream and a frappuccino is pretty damned delicious. Republican, Democrat, independent — doesn’t matter. It is tasty. End of story.

So perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here, and it’s one anyone who works in an office can attest to. When you want something done, offer free food. Even better, publicize the offer on the Internet. Are you listening, Mr. President? Make it delicious, put it online, and they will respond.

Mmm…donuts. Sprinkles good.

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