I had a plan for today. I was going to write about a writing event that I was attending last night, but that was canceled due to the closure of the meeting place.
What else to do than continue talking about the election?
We all love to see a villain develop. Perhaps the villain begins as a Nice Guy. He has a friend that is quite evil, but the friend keeps that hidden, and Nice Guy doesn’t see it. Evil Friend invites Nice Guy along to a questionable activity, and the fall begins.
Little by little, Nice Guy becomes calloused to the things that Evil Friend indulges in. He justifies his actions, referring to earlier debauchery and reasoning that this isn’t much worse. Perhaps there is a greater good that Nice Guy thinks he can serve, and he’s working toward it.
Suddenly, Nice Guy realizes that the greater good is out of site, and that redemption for himself and his friend is unreachable. The fall is complete. Nice Guy either sticks to a delusion, or embraces the actions of Evil Friend. Either way, Nice Guy is no longer Nice. He is only Guy. Or perhaps…
The fall to villainy is entertaining. Perhaps it is because it makes a good villain, a relatable villain. Perhaps it is only because we love to see characters break. But regardless, we need to remember who these Evil Guys used to be.
Whichever side of the political fence you happen to be on, this is where I am going:
Both candidates in this race entered the race with slightly spotty records. With the information we, the general public, had at that point, a person could vote for either with only a twinge of guilt. During the primaries, we all endorsed a candidate, revised our endorsements. Our endorsed candidate began to act worse and worse, and news came to light about their foul deeds. They are the Evil Friend.
As we, the voters (we are Nice Guys, right?), watched this political drudgery unfold, we justified our choices. We continued to say, “Oh, but that’s not as bad as the other candidate,” or “But the policies are really good,” or “oh, but they have changed!”
Now, as we near the end of the race, we see the voters on the other side of the fence, and wonder how dare they support the horrible person that fights against us.
My points are twofold.
One: This is a great character arc. The fall is performed perfectly, for a greater good that might be out of reach (at least for half of the nation, certainly). We, as voters, have accepted so much, and either formed a delusion of denial or embraced the actions of our candidate.
We have fallen so far, in a sense. We can’t stop now, because to fail would be desolation. Bittersweet victory, at any cost, is better than being proven wrong after how much we’ve staked on this election. A part of ourselves has been lost in our support of the candidate.
To lose is to be lost. To win is to be justified, despite all of the wrongs.
The writing in this election is amazing.
Two: I tried my best to say WE this whole time. Yes, both sides of this election have fallen far, and don’t pretend we haven’t. I’m sick of the division. Even if you can’t break your own delusion that you are totally in the right, don’t see the other side for a bunch of Evil Guys.
See them as the Nice Guy in over their head. See them as redeemable. In another two weeks, half of the nation will have lost. The other half will be falsely justified.
We were all Nice Guys in the beginning. Let’s stick together after the end.
(Note: I am in no way telling anyone not to vote. I am supporting an Evil Friend candidate myself, after all.)
See you around!