Sorry to not have blogged or written much lately, but at the moment, I'm not very excited about wargames or the wargaming community. The unthinking partisanship and antagonism of too many people in regard to the current election in the US simply drains any energy and enthusiasm I might have for my hobby. I find myself reading Science Fiction or economic theory texts, and playing RPGs or 4X games, not reading history and playing wargames.
I'm not here to lecture anyone about their views, or to advocate for a particular side. What I will say is that I am bitterly disappointed in people that I have known for years and that I thought sensible, mature adults. Making a democracy work is not a game. It is not a team sport where all that matters is that your side wins, regardless of tactics. It is not something where partisanship is a good thing. What we've proven, as a nation in recent years is that we suck at this. Far too many of my gaming opponents and correspondents from over the years have allowed themselves to be caught up in this. That saddens me greatly.
Let me quote former US Senator Richard Lugar, a man I greatly respect for his wisdom - and who was removed from office by rabid, unthinking partisans for expressing it - on what all of us need to remember about being citizens of a democracy:
“I affirm that members of the other party love our country and are people of good will, and I will avoid portraying them as unpatriotic or disloyal.
“I believe that members of the opposing party can contribute to good policy. I will explore opportunities to work with them and will attempt to include them in early deliberations on my initiatives. I recognize that bipartisan support from elected officials broadens public acceptance of new laws and policies and improves the chances that they will be successfully implemented.
“Even as I participate in partisan debates and work on behalf of my party, my first motivation will be a careful reflection on what is good for the country. I will avoid legislative and policy actions that have no purpose other than to score partisan political points.
“Although I will advance arguments consistent with my own political philosophy, I will study issues in depth with an open mind. I will consider multiple points of view and avoid an exclusive reliance on my party’s positions and talking points.
“I will maintain my civility, even when others around me do not. I will measure my words, to avoid inflammatory rhetoric that often is destructive to the political process and national unity.”
Too many of us in the US have lost the ability to do any of these things. That's what kills a democracy, not the myriad of issues we're manipulated into getting angry about by a some members of the political class that are only seeking power, status, and wealth. It is time for Americans to stop being small-minded and afraid of their own shadows. Time to be grown ups again. Stop letting our national affairs be a reality TV show.
And no, I'm not in the least interested in how you think that your chosen candidate in this election is the answer to any of the above. All of them have proven that to be false, and if you've bought into it, you are a part of the problem. If you believe, as a top official of one of our national parties recently expressed, that the most important thing is to make sure that the other side never wins an election, then you've betrayed the very idea of what it means to be an American. In fact, you've stopped being an American, and become something else first. You disappoint me.
Sadly, that isn't going to happen. But that doesn't mean I have to participate in the stupidity. So, if you don't see me around as much, if you don't see me engaging or as active in forums and social media as I've been, that's why. If I've unfollowed you or otherwise seem to have cut ties, that's why. I'm not going to participate in these games.