I’ve been kind of quiet this cycle with regard to politics. At least online.
Not because I don’t have opinions, because Lord knows I have those.
It’s mostly because the process this time around has been so gods-damned tiring. And disheartening. Like, “occasionally hating on the entire human collective” disheartening.
The United States is a nation of over 300 million people, covering some three and a half million square miles. Which is to say, it’s massive, complex, and requires a lot of infrastructure to maintain. When you factor in our relationship to the other 190-odd nations and 7 billion or so people on the planet…
Let’s just say I think we need smart, dedicated people running things.
I like smart people. I like smart people that are passionate about things, like studying those things, and wonder how to make those things better. I love talking (and listening) to these kinds of people, because I learn stuff.
It usually doesn’t matter what the subject is — math, literature, physics, film, sociology, video games… I typically find myself enriched. Knowledge and understanding are awesome.
As a tabletop game developer, I appreciate passion for systems. Understanding how a tweak in one place can have repercussions in another. Being able to follow the thread of cause and effect. Looking at numbers and testing outcomes to steer towards the most desirable outcome. (Not perfect because… well… strive for perfection, but don’t make it the enemy of the good.)
Humans are… messy creatures. As a result, politics and governance are messy and only get messier the larger the group of humans involved. But it’s how we live together, maintain the support required for the society we’ve developed, and solve the challenges we face as a species.
I understand and sympathize with the many, many people who are frustrated with the way things are. I’m there with you. I wish it was easy to change the world.
But it’s not.
With so many people, and so many competing interests, changing — improving — the world is a slow process. Strive for ideals, know where you’re aiming, but fight one battle at a time. Make deals and work out realistic compromise. Accept three steps forward when you can’t get five.
Work towards a better world, but understand that it is work, and is sometimes (often) a dirty, unsatisfying, thing.
But in the end? Worth it.
As recently stated in the excellent Luke Cage series on Netflix, “Always forward.”
(You may notice I didn’t talk about any particular candidate. That’s on purpose. I’m laying out my general political philosophy — after a fashion — and not interested at this point in diving into the morass of spin und drang that dominates current political and social media.)