It’s going to be a long…15 months? Really? Hand me another beer…
I hate Presidential elections. They make me want to unfriend 87.3% of my Facebook friends, avoid discussions with work acquaintances, and then at the end of all of it, I have to choose from two people I wouldn’t let walk into my house or a list of decent people who could do the job better but can’t get elected.
The Presidential race is like job hunting. If you have the connections, you can get elected despite your record or qualifications; if you are qualified and have a good CV but don’t have the connections, you can’t get elected. And every election, the candidate I wanted is a candidate that can’t get elected and the candidate that gets elected is…well, is never a person I would let walk into my house.
I’ve thought quite a bit about this recently, and there are two names that are gaining popularity in this election that have given us a different sort of candidate that we don’t see gain popularity very often. When I name them, note I would never vote for either for very different reasons, but both give us something different:
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
This is the point where if you don’t understand the RPG alignment system, you might want to read up here. I’m going to be using terms from that. If, after you read that, you just don’t care, get off the train and look forward to something cool starting October 1st. Yes, I finally gave myself a deadline and I’m going to do my damnedest to keep it.
(A note about good and evil: in the alignment system, good and evil is a comparison of selfishness versus selflessness. This makes no claims for a faith system, a degree of sin, or consequences of actions. It simply becomes selfless versus selfish, good for others versus good for self.
Okay, now that everyone who is one the train wants to be on the train and understands what we’re talking about, I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around and make sound logical without offending any specific group of people.
The whole gambit offended? Good. One side offended? Bad.
I realized that our political system is run by a group of people who are all, without fail, Lawful Evil in the alignment system. They play within the rules and the traditions, but they care only about their own gain. It doesn’t matter who they hurt, as long as they gain money or power (or both, but one usually follows the other, not both gained at the same time). The system calls them villains, and as an outsider that is what they appear to be. And as Lawful Evil, the rules are set up to keep them building power and money without having the ability to stop them because the laws are on their side.
What the more radical people in the country are desiring is a chaotic good candidate, a candidate who will completely ignore the rules for the good of everyone. Those of us who are a bit more moderate are usually hoping for a neutral good, someone who will play within the law and tradition when it is actually beneficial and goes against it when it does harm. And this is for the good of all, even to the detriment of their own power or money.
At this point, though, even moderates would be thrilled with a chaotic good candidate. Something is seriously – SERIOUSLY – broken with how decisions and laws are passed in this country and a radical candidate who truly has the best interest of the entire nation at the forefront would be a breath of fresh air and actually help heal the damage.
I see two candidate that are not lawful evil: Sanders and Trump. I’m going to start with Trump.
As far as I can tell, Donald Trump is chaotic evil. He doesn’t care about laws; he cares about himself, and himself alone. And I don’t think Mr. Trump would be too offended by that designation. He’s been pretty adamant that he will do whatever to get ahead, and has completely stirred up the culture of elections. He doesn’t care about tradition or law or regulation or the current state of affairs; he only cares about getting ahead.
People are behind him because of his chaotic nature. The draw to him is that the current laws and standards are set up to benefit evil alignment; a chaos alignment ignores the laws, which means it ignores the system set up the benefit the evil alignment.
The problem is that Trump doesn’t care about you or me or anyone else except Donald Trump. He cares only about his wealth, which means those that are wealthy or in a guaranteed path to become wealthy (already started to build up or have the connections to build up) are going to benefit from his evil alignment actions. Those of us who aren’t employers and have no desire to run our own business need income from those who are, and if those who are only have to care about their own wealth and not the lives of those who help build that wealth, they have no reason to be fair except their own conscious.
I would hope that most have a conscious and realize that they didn’t build their wealth on their own backs alone but on the backs of their workers, but the realist in me realizes that is likely not true. Nora and I have worked for enough employers to know differently.
Chaos without conscious is horribly, horribly dangerous. Selfish chaos brings nothing but destruction for everyone but the selfish chaotic person.
Sanders lies at almost the exact opposite. He wavers between neutral and good and neutral and lawful. Despite disagreeing with everyone one of his political positions, I believe he is benevolent. And this isn’t some sort of radical liberal change in me – I still completely disagree with his politics despite his benevolence – but rather that I think, or at least I hope, that I can finally see someone who cares more about the people of the nation than himself.
There is two problems with Sanders. The first is a very practical problem. If Sanders is lawful good (just work with me here; I’m not saying he is completely, but just what he claims to be) and the laws are set up to keep the evil in power, a lawful good will literally accomplish nothing. A wheel-spinning President will make you feel good in November but do you nothing in the four years after January. A congress filled with lawful evil people and an executive lawful good will never work together, and congress controls the laws so the laws won’t change. The executive is over-powered, but not that overpowered.
The other problem is the weakness of the Lawful Good, or Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral. All of them have the weakness of allowing the law harm individuals for the greater good. They don’t consider that there are wealthy people who are good. They don’t allow you to consider your own self-interest and decide to sacrifice or not. They don’t allow you to be rewarded for excelling and forces you into mediocrity because excelling for no reward and being mediocre for the exact same resources and excelling for the sake of excelling is unsustainable. It creates a system that puts everyone in the middle without any chance of growth.
The alignment system has a weakness as a philosophy of real life: you can have self-interest to create future good and self-interest can create growth if it isn’t placed above the interest of others. Sander’s policies forces the interest of the whole to always be above self-interest. If you have no reason to strive for growth, you won’t.
I just spent 1300 words describing why the only two candidates that aren’t clones of every other candidate won’t enter my consideration for votes. This is why I hate elections.
Does anyone have a solution? Honestly, is there a solution?
I will be praying intently over the next year that something good will come of this. If you are the praying type, I hope you will as well. And even if you are or aren’t, everyone needs to be asking the actual difficult questions of the candidates and not accepting scripted and calculated answers whose goal is simply to garner our support.
That’s what I’ll be doing.
Open a beer, hug your family, and hold on for a long, painful, and frustrating year.
Addendum: So I want to talk about something else because it grates my nerves. Every liberal says that you are stupid for voting Republican if you are poor and every conservative says you are stupid for voting Democrat if you have or every want to have money. If you are seeing that only a small portion of the population isn’t stupid for voting at all in either of these conditions, you see the problem.
I am going to deal with stereotypical politicians here. I am not saying that either side doesn’t have good people – they do, I sincerely hope – but if we are demonizing politicians, this is what those demons are. This is a look at demon strawmen.
The choice you have is greed of money or greed of power. Demon Republicans are always seeking ways to increase the wealthy of the wealthy. They don’t care who is wealthy and who is poor, who is starving or who is fat, as long as they have money. They are not threatened by you increasing your wealth, but they will take advantage of you if it will increase their wealth. Unchecked this will increase the divide between the wealthy and the poor, but it doesn’t automatically make the divide insurmountable, just wide.
Demon Democrats desire power, control over the things that threaten them (note: we are ignoring – oddly – morality here because that’s an entirely different can of worms and may actually involve me working with humans instead of strawmen). Power, unlike money, is oddly finite. If someone increases in power, it decreases your power. They are threatened if their power is reduced or if you can exact some control over something. So, the solution is to give everyone what they need, under the condition that they control your life (aside from morality; it’s way more complicated than I’m making it). You cannot earn, you cannot grow. Yes, you are provided for, but the divide between the powerful and the powerless is blocked by a wall. The distance may be shorter, but only from above.
So you have a choice if you are dealing with demon strawman politicians: being taken advantage of and having to fight to survive and fight even harder to thrive, or being controlled and giving up your control and personal power so someone else will take care of you.
This is all to say, I hate elections. I’ve been called stupid and evil already this election, and we aren’t even in the year of said election. So, instead of demonizing anyone – politicians and voters alike – and deifying anyone, why don’t we treat everyone like humans, flaws but with benefits, and actually elect a government that is qualified and sees themselves as servants instead of masters.
Again, if you have a solution, let me know. I’m all ears…