Oh, crap. Tristero throws me into despair with this sad quote.
Science is a gift of God to all of us and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, arguing for the bill’s passage. “And that is the embryonic stem cell research.”
And here I’ve got a “Pelosi ’07” bumper sticker on my car. How could she say something so idiotic? None of the Democrats are meeting my minimal standards for competence so far.
I know we have a fair number of nerds here, so I thought one way to illustrate the situation in American politics is to use the D&D alignment system. This is a two axis scheme for describing the ethical worldview of the characters. They can play along the continuum from good to evil, which is obvious; there is also a second axis from lawful to chaotic, which describes a character as a “by-the-book” kind of person or “by any means possible” type.
I think we need a third dimension, from intelligent to stupid. Will the character think before acting and try to follow the most intelligent, sensible path to achieve his ends, or will he stupidly bumble along from minute to minute, with no consideration of long term consequences? We can use this new alignment scheme to determine the alignment of our political parties.
I’ve left out the lawful/chaotic axis because it would be too hard to draw, but I think they’re all pretty much in the self-serving category on that axis, with the Democrats maybe leaning towards lawful and the Republican aspiring to chaos. Otherwise, though, this table reveals the lack of balance in our political game.
Our whole problem is the complete absence of Intelligent players in the game; the process of running our country looks a bit like Monty Python’s Upper-Class Twit of the Year competition in progress. I can almost sympathize with the popularity of the Republicans, because I remember from those late weekend nights years ago that the evil characters were particularly fun to play. Adding the Intelligent/Stupid axis changes everything, though: who would want to play the bumbling, sloppy Igor instead of the cold, cruel, cunning arch-mage who wants to rule the world, even if he has to reduce it to a wasteland to do it? We’ve got a president who set out to conquer an empire and tripped over his shoelaces on the way out the door. Boring!
I’m so tired of going to the polls to choose between blue stupid and red stupid. Can we please get an Intelligent Good party? Something where candidates are smart and educated and wonky and secular, and also committed to doing the right thing not just for the country now, but for our long term position in the world? If nothing else, getting the diametric opposite of the current Stupid Evil party would make for political battles that would mean something.