November is fast approaching, and across the galaxy, it seems impossible to escape from the inundation of politics. Hither and yon the conversations spread—like a pack of orcs at times.
Which candidate is more qualified? What scandal will pop up from the shadows like Gollum?
And almost everyone who’s anyone must bare his or her soul on the matter
In a SpecFaith article a few weeks ago, I delved into the topic of political candidates from fiction. Which characters would make good candidates?
Following that line of thought, let’s hear the opinion of the spec-fic genres.
- Superhero (Super)
- Space Opera (SO)
This quirky quintet last appeared having a dinner conversation. At the request of a reader, they have returned with their unique perspectives to discuss the most burning of topics: politics. Particularly the election season and the characteristics of a model candidate.
A Political Discussion
*the setting is a Starbucks patio on a crisp, clear fall afternoon*
Super: Hey, all. Imagine meeting you here. Anyone like a drink?
Steampunk: A spot of tea would go lovely. I’m relieved to see you’re wearing a shirt this time.
Super: Gotta be realistic sometimes.
Fantasy: Does establishment serve mulled wine, perchance?
Super: Sorry, bro. Pretty sure that doesn’t have caffeine. What is mulled wine, anyway?
Fantasy: It’s a combination—
Dystopia: For heaven’s sake, let’s not. Please. I’ll take a Caramel Frappuccino with an extra shot. Actually, no, a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I could live on those things.
SO: I’m fine with water.
Super (after returning with the drinks): Okay, let’s drill down to the root of this problem.
Dystopia: Remind me why we’re here.
Fantasy: To discuss the current political climate and offer reasonable solutions.
Dystopia: That’s easy. Rebel. Duh.
SO: I believe such a reaction is premature. Childish, really. Such situations require more tact.
Steampunk: Like swooping in with a spaceship and blowing the offenders into thousands of pieces?
SO: That’s definitely an option.
Super: Spaceships are overrated, bro. So much. What’s a machine with firepower when you can be the firepower?
Fantasy: Let’s not argue, please? This election has created enough of that already.
Dystopia (muttering into her cup): I still say rebelling is easier.
Steampunk: Personally, I want someone accomplished, someone who can lead with confidence and elegance. Their inner strength is more important than any external features. *raises an eyebrow at Super*
Super (flexing): My biceps beg to differ. And don’t get me wrong. Solid personality, good values. All that’s great. But sometimes you need that extra “oomph” to really grab attention. *winks*
Fantasy: I agree with Steampunk. History has repeatedly shown that one’s internal fortitude is essential. Even the smallest, least impressive person can do great things.
Dystopia: I agree. And I also want someone who’s not a jerk. Seriously? Can’t we have someone whose DNA isn’t coded to be a benevolent tyrant?
Fantasy: Yes! That’s one of my chief concerns. We’ve suffered enough oppression.
Super: Sounds like you two could use my number. It’s 314-AWESOME. I’m ready to help, day or night, rain or shine.
SO: That doesn’t solve our current dilemma. I have some strong beliefs myself.
Steampunk (in a dry tone): Do please enlighten us. Without referencing to missiles and spaceships if possible.
SO: I’m not as one-dimensional as you seem to think. Granted, I’d want a leader whose policy was strong on defense. Someone who knew the ins and outs of military strategy. Who promoted exploration and technical and scientific advancements.
Fantasy: A noble desire, but misguided.
Super: Oh yeah? What’s your position?
Fantasy: A leader must be dependable. Unshakable despite adversity. Committed to the truth and to combatting evil. Those are the pressing needs, as they always have been, but more so now than ever in this dark time.
Dystopia: So a perfect angel? Puh-leeze. No offense, but get your head out of the sand. People like that don’t exist. Everyone is either trying to use you or kill you.
Steampunk: You have a sad outlook on life, my dear.
Dystopia: Why not?
Super: No one’s mentioned looks. The physical WOW factor.
Steampunk: Have you not been listening to us?
Super: Don’t get your nose out of joint. I’m just saying people nowadays want the pizazz. They crave the cut look, the perfect features, the resonant voice. Don’t discount that.
SO: We’re not. But we are voicing our preferences.
Fantasy: At this time, I fear agreement seems distant.
Super: No worries, kid. This is part of the process. It’s not like we have ultimate control anyway. But if anything happens, I can definitely fix it. *flashes a grin*
Dystopia: I bet you’d like it if someone crappy became the leader. Then you could fly in with your stupid cape flapping like an injured duck and…*dramatic tone*…save the day.
Super: There are definitely worse fates. That’s all I’m saying.
Fantasy: I also believe a leader is more trusted if he wears a long beard and smokes a pipe.
SO: Ha. That’s a mental picture. Vote for me because of my beard and pipe skills. You’re behind the times, son. We do things differently in this century.
Steampunk: Yet you can’t ignore the value of looking to the past.
Super: And I bet you’d want a candidate who lowered taxes on steam usage and advocated the mass production of monocles and top hats.
Dystopia (guffawing): I can see it, too. So lame.
SO: I don’t see you offering any alternatives, other than doom and gloom and life sucks so why bother?
Fantasy: Calm down, everyone. We need not sacrifice a civil discussion.
Steampunk: They’re making it difficult to remain calm.
Fantasy: I’m sure we can reach a solution, a conclusion of some type. We need not be at each other’s throats when the true enemy still lurks beyond our circle.
SO: Well said, Son.
Super: Pretty sure a wise guide mentored him in the way of wisdom.
Dystopia (with a snort): I can see that, too.
Steampunk: Even if our leader of choice isn’t selected, we can continue to work together.
Super: Exactly. Among us, we have enough talent and know-how to take down any opponent. We’d be unstoppable.
Dystopia: I’m in!
Fantasy: Dismantling evil empires is a skill I’m thoroughly acquainted with.
SO: Just say the word and I can be there with my beauty, the Starcrosser. No ship like her in the galaxy.
Steampunk: Don’t forget the potency of steam-powered weapons. Quite effective.
Super: We’ve got this, team. Politics and stupid candidates and endless policies don’t stand a chance against us.
Based on the discussion, which genre’s candidate would you vote for? I’d love to hear your thoughts.