I have some limited experience with politics myself. I was in the SC State House plenty in 2010-2011 when the laws and regulations for my licensure programs were updated for that big move, and I learned a lot sitting in Senate and House subcommittee and committee meetings. It’s definitely a different world that most of us are used to. I know I went through a massive learning curve back in that day. Oh, I know the process now. I can tell you when a news report comes out about this committee or that committee doing whatever where it could go next (or not at all).School House Rock didn’t scratch the surface of how a bill really becomes a law, and my experience is just at the state level. Take it to federal, and it’s a much bigger – and more complicated - game.
I have to admit that watching and reading these political thrillers is fascinating. The webs they weave securing alliances, putting a positive spin on themselves, and quietly negating their opponents seems almost unreal – and yet, I know it’s based in plenty of reality. One thing’s for certain: in politics, there is no straight and narrow path. The world is a kaleidoscope of strategy and high stakes games were so much teeters on the edge of shifting just the right way. It makes for fascinating entertainment, but I wouldn’t want to live it. That would blow up my brain. I think it would blow up most of our brains. But I can see why people who play elaborate games to move up the chain or to get ahead are referred to as “playing politics,” because politics in our democratic society is a game above and beyond everything else. And a complicated one, at that.
And yet, I am venturing somewhat in this area with my own writing. One of the characters in The Earthside Trilogy is a senator heading a committee, and those scenes are the hardest ones for me to write. I can nail the science, create the mystery, headhop multiple characters, and interweave multiple plot lines – but once we get to Capitol Hill, I slow down and really have to work at those scenes, even though the politics are directly related to everything else. It’s funny. I can write about one species of aliens symbiotically joining with humans at the genetic level and another set of aliens hacking Earth from Alpha Centauri nearly five light years away easier than I can write a scene with politicians debating the passage of a bill. I’ve never been possessed by an alien. I’ve never had myself or my machines hacked by cyborgs. I have been in the State House watching the process of a bill becoming a law. And what I know is harder to write than what I don’t know. Talk about irony!
As I said, politics makes great fiction, but it’s not my kind of reality. So relax, NSA. I won’t be running for office or starting any grass roots campaigns. My hands are full with the simple life I have, and I’d like to keep it that way.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.