I am working on the end of my sci-fi comedy novel, Stardusters and Space Lizards. It is about an alien world that is dying from too much warfare and ignoring of pollution-created climate change. So today, after personally declaring war on the Trumpinator yesterday, I want to talk about politics. Not Earth politics. Alien politics. Any resemblance to real-world politics will be coincidental, or the result of truth being far stranger than fiction.
Let’s be thoughtful for a moment and analyze the way politics works on an alien planet. The political world always seems to devolve into two sides. Remember, we are talking made-up alien worlds here. So let’s give the two sides completely made up names. Let’s call them Dumbocrats and Ratpublicans. They are nothing like we have here on Earth. These are aliens, remember, nothing like us.
On one side you have the party that is totally self-centered and cares more about business and profits and what the individual can gain from those than it does about anything else, even insignificant things like other alien people’s lives. These are the conservative, me-party folks who try to maximize benefits for themselves and the relatively small circle of alien people they care about and think of as their own. We’ll call them Ratpublicans, again, totally randomly, for no particular reason.
Then, on the other side, you have the selfless ones, the ones who are more interested in making everybody happy, an exercise in futility that invariably leaves no one happy in the long run. I mean, if you give everything away to help others, eventually you are left with nothing. It is the reason liberal alien people often starve to death. It is also the reason that these selfless beings get so used to being poor and having nothing of their own. We’ll call them Dumbocrats, only because it is the name we have left over.
What always works best is when neither side gets everything they want. It is far better that the two sides grab the Enchilada of Happiness from opposite sides and pull with relatively equal force. That way it stays about in the middle and no one gets the whole enchilada. If the Ratpublicans get the whole thing, then the most powerful, ruthless, and evil among them will selfishly eat what they want and horde the rest, letting everyone else, even less-powerful Ratpublicans starve. If the Dumbocrats get the whole thing, they will give small bits to everyone, even the space rats and space pigeons, and visiting Space Goons from other planets, and no one will have as much as they want. Keeping the whole enchilada in the middle of the great political tug-of-war is the whole trick to making things stay balanced and under control.
If something throws the whole system out of balance, say an orange-headed alien in a gold-colored fright wig suddenly uses the magic of corrupt business practices to seize control of the Enchilada of Happiness, then the whole system starts to break down.
Now, you may have noticed already that instead of outer space aliens, I have used old movie clowns to illustrate this essay. I think it is entirely possible that the best people to listen to when it comes to the matter of politics and what to do about them are the clowns, the comedians, the mockers, and the fools. They have looked at the way things are with a keen eye to find what they can make fun of and make us laugh about. But because they are looking with a keen eye, often they are seeing the truth for what it is. Did you ever hear what Charlie Chaplin had to say?
Of course, we all know this whole discussion is about aliens on other planets. It doesn’t apply here. How could it? We are nothing like them. We’re smarter and better and have all the answers… if only we would take a moment to realize that we do.