Militant Rants

Before You Vote – Which Candidate Is Pro MMO?

by Aaron Turpen, KG

The elections are upon us and as red blooded Americans, we must at least pretend we give a crap about which of the Tweedles running for office wins next week.  Running for President of the United States this year, we have no less than six men and women who will be filling the ballot nationally.  Candidates from the Constitution, Democratic, Green, Justice, Libertarian, and Republican parties are all vying for your vote.

The issues that matter to gamers?  The economy, civil liberties, and marijuana policy.  We’ll get into these issues and discuss how each of the candidates feels about them.  After all, if you’re going to make an informed choice as part of the gamer community, you’ll need to know where each candidate stands on these key issues as well as how they view gamers in general.

We’re a mighty voting block, folks.  Let’s make it count!

The Economy

The economy is extremely important to gamers since, when it sucks, we don’t have as much to spend on our game subscriptions and extras.  That affects not only our ability to play, but also the industry itself as it fights for our more and more limited dollars.  So how does the economic policy of each candidate pan out in terms of gaming?

Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode has a solid pro-business, anti-tax policy that could help promote a better gaming atmosphere.  Gamers who are dependent on public money, such as those on welfare or Social Security, however, may cast a leery eye on the ultra-conservative Goode’s plans.

Our current President, Democrat Barack Obama, seems to be promoting a policy of “keep doing what we’ve been doing.”  While a few may believe that this will eventually pay off, most of us are probably aware that this seems unlikely.  If you’re on public assistance, however, Obama is one of the better choices to keep your benefit payouts well-heeled.

Similar to Obama, Green Party candidate Jill Stein seems content to keep the status quo in economics with one exception: she wants to put even more public money into environmental projects.  A good idea for gamers?  Honestly, outside of the higher taxes it would obviously cost, this would have little impact on most of us.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, running with the newly-formed Justice Party, has a more moderate approach to the economy.  His plan is to raise taxes for the wealthy while cutting or eliminating them for others while at the same time increasing environmental spending.  In short, his policy is basically the same as Stein’s.

The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, has a policy very much like Goode’s.  The main difference is in foreign and military spending, which may create some plot line loss for firs person shooter (FPS) gamers as the sudden lack of bad guys in turbans might mean a new meme will need to be found.  Welfare recipients should also beware of Johnson.

Republican Mitt Romney, father of the mis-named Obamacare healthcare law, is the opposite of Johnson on most things fiscal.  If you enjoy your vaguely Arabic bad guys in your FPS, then Romney’s plans to expand the military further and blindly support Israel will be to your liking.  Welfare recipients and others will like him too, unless you’re a fan of Big Bird.

Civil Liberties

For gamers, few things are as important as our freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and right to privacy.  After all, how are we supposed to dress up for cosplay, hang out in weird outfits while madly waving lore paraphernalia at conventions and carnivals, and convince the TSA that the light saber in our baggage is only a lethal weapon when wielded by forces of good?

Ya, civil liberties are extremely important for gamers.  So before you blow off a candidate’s record (or lack thereof) on letting you be free to do your thang, best know how their taking office could affect your gaming lifestyle.

Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode is very pro-freedom.  But if your plans on exercising that freedom infringe on his Christian values, you might find yourself in trouble.  The CP platform says that we’re free so long as God says we are.  It should be apparent that this means members of the Horde and those from the Dark Side will be subject to detainment. Any “alternative lifestyle” is frowned upon by Goode, in fact.

Democratic candidate Barack Obama is in the party traditionally believed to be very pro-freedom, but that in reality seems to be not so much so.  Since taking office, Obama has proven himself to be about as GW Bush as you can get when it comes to destruction of civil liberties.  On the up side, he is rumored to play Farmville.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein loves freedom in that weird Hollywood way.  That is, she loves it so long as it doesn’t interfere with tax collection and doesn’t appear to have any “right wing” connotations to it.  If you like practicing for Call of Duty using real guns.. well, she doesn’t think you should be able to do that.

Justice League Party candidate Rocky Anderson is sort of halfway between Stein and Obama on this one.  He’s not as hardcore about gun control, but he retains a lot of that Hollywood ideal to his view of what civil liberties are all about.  As a former lawyer for the ACLU, his views are not exactly balanced.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has the advantage in this arena.   For libertarians, civil liberties are where it’s at.  They have one simple view of how freedom works: everyone can do whatever the hell they want.  Just don’t try to tax anything while you’re at it.  Think how much cooler World of Tanks would be if you could practice using an actual tank?!

Republican candidate Mitt Romney is like most of today’s GOP.  He wants to continue the policies of freedom (to be imprisoned) GW Bush while putting even more effort into blowing up foreigners.  Like Obama, he thinks that civil liberties are what he says they are.

Marijuana Policy

Not to stereotype or anything, but frankly, most gamers I know are either occasional pot smokers or they wish they could be, if the law allowed.  So this issue, which is taking center stage this election season thanks to places like Colorado voting to fully legalize the stuff, is right up there in importance.

Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode is decidedly anti-drug.  While he admits that the War on Drugs has badly eroded civil liberties, he thinks they need to be banned anyway.  Just because God made the plant doesn’t mean we should be allowed to smoke it.

Democratic Party incumbent Barack Obama favors continuation of the drug war.  Although he has talked about marijuana legalization in the past, his administration has continued the fight against drugs and has expanded its reach into states which have legalized marijuana in some form (usually for medical use).

Green Party candidate Jill Stein thinks that pot should be legal across the board and that we should all be growing hemp in our back yards in order to save the planet.  That, in a nutshell, sums up her view on marijuana.

Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson agrees with Jill, except for the growing hemp in your backyard thing.  That should be done on farms.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson again has the advantage here.  One of the LP’s most consistent sticking points has been that all drugs should just be legalized.  It would save a lot of trouble, the theory goes.  So if you’re idea of a good time is to fill your lungs from a scale model of an Aion ship.. have at it, he says.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon, so he doesn’t think any drug, including alcohol and caffeine, is a good idea.  Of course, since the Utah vote won’t carry him, he doesn’t publicly go that far and has only said he hates pot and other kinds of dope.

Conclusion

So there you go.  Which candidate best fits the gamer in this election?  That depends a lot on the gamer.  Those who want to continue to live on welfare will like Obama and Stein while those who prefer to just be left alone will really like Johnson.   FPS players who want to keep their bad guys obvious will want to go with Romney or Obama while those who just hate Mexicans and other illegal immigrants can stick with Goode.  Of course, if you’re a big fan of DC Comics, then the Justice League choice is obvious.

And if you live in Maine.. well, a Senate candidate there is a big time WoW player.

Before you send me hate mail, please look up the definition of “tongue in cheek.”  Thanks.

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