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Politics is BORING!

awnlee jawking

Just a little anecdote to support the argument that discussing politics in stories is a big turn-off for audiences.

The last meeting of my local writers' group had a writing exercise. When I started to read out my contribution, it was obvious from the outset that the story was political in nature. The eyes of the other members glazed over and their expressions went blank.

So if you're tempted to stick a political diatribe into your latest sex story, reconsider carefully and then still don't do it!

AJ

Replies:   sunseeker  Ernest Bywater  REP
sunseeker
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

maybe they didn't want to listen to someone else's political views? Personally I'll (almost) always listen to another viewpoint even though I may not agree with it. Though I know some people that won't even consider listening to anyone else.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Aj, I strongly suspect a lot of it is how you present it, and if you suddenly throw it in. I've included some political commentary in some of my stories and they've done well as ones without any politics. However, I've not tried to shove it down someone's throat as the only way to do things. I've also given fair warning that there are some politic issues in part of the story and what's there is my interpretation. In each case I've tried to be fair and unbiased in presenting what information is presented.

The sections on the background to the US Civil War in Boone the Early Years is a good example (in my view) of how to present the issue. Present the points, give an interpretation, but try not to be pushy or controversial in it.

In most stories where politics are mentioned they're very heavy handed and very biased. Thus they don't go well.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I didn't present my own political views, but sketched a possible situation a decade or two into the future.

Oddly enough, everyone suddenly woke up when I mentioned the name of the US President ;)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

I can think of at least one do-over story where the hero becomes a congressman, a Vice President and then President as part of a very long story and the story was very good.

Replies:   sejintenej  madnige
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

I can think of at least one do-over story where the hero becomes a congressman, a Vice President and then President as part of a very long story and the story was very good.

Yes, and then he becomes Vice President again, becoming President (again) to replace the resigning President and then appoints a past President to become his Vice President. (Maybe I'm wrong - wasn't he President in the chapter before being an equerry so that might make three separate sessions - but I could be wrong.)
I haven't worked out exactly how many terms he has served but don't you have a two term limit?

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
REP

@awnlee jawking

The eyes of the other members glazed over and their expressions went blank.


Being a captive audience to someone's political views causes me to disconnect also. Especially when I am familiar with their position and disagree with it.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Crumbly Writer
madnige

@richardshagrin

...and I love the way he gets to become president

Not_a_ID

@REP

Being a captive audience to someone's political views causes me to disconnect also. Especially when I am familiar with their position and disagree with it.


Even when you agree with them, more often than not.

Present day "Political Fiction" is very hard to write. Probably because so much of present day politics is disconnected from reality as it is.

Right or left doesn't matter, unless you're specifically writing for that audience(and even then), it is more likely to alienate or disillusion readers enough to keep them from pursuing further works by you.

StarFleet Carl

@sejintenej

I haven't worked out exactly how many terms he has served but don't you have a two term limit?


I don't think the two term limit applies if you're President, get killed, then get reincarnated into a younger body and get made President again.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I didn't present my own political views, but sketched a possible situation a decade or two into the future.

That's the best approach. Authors have long written about 'current events' by casting them into fictional universes, so readers will listen to the situation and absorb the message without getting defensive over the specific names.

I've got a new book coming out shortly, and you'd never associate it with the currently political situation, although that's much of what inspired it. It's not directed at anyone in office, but about when a people give up their will to think creatively due to an external threat, and how that can permeate the entire culture.

Sometimes, figuring out how best to disguise a situation is half the fun in writing it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Being a captive audience to someone's political views causes me to disconnect also. Especially when I am familiar with their position and disagree with it.

I had a disagreeable encounter with a few loyal readers, who took a particular misguided character as an attack on an entire political wing (I stupidly named a specific TV network). That effort to 'reflect' a specific type of misguided individual, rather than an entire class of people, earned by several permanent 1-bombers (though I have more than enough 10-voters to permanently cancel out their protest votes now that I can no longer see them).

It was a fun protest while it lasted, but it never stopped them from reading my stories.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


I don't think the two term limit applies if you're President, get killed, then get reincarnated into a younger body and get made President again.


Technically, the two-term limit hasn't been around all that long, so if someone went back, it might not apply, though generally, once you're replaced as President, you're unlikely to come back. The only one who has was Grover Cleveland, and that was a very different time.

No, if someone went back one time and become president, and then went back again to become a different president, then that's a completely different story, and why fiction is so fun!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Technically, the two-term limit hasn't been around all that long


The two term limit was originally suggested by George Washington.

While Cleveland was the only President to serve non-consecutive terms, he still only served two terms.

The only president to run for more than two terms was FDR. And when he went for 4, it resulted in a constitutional amendment to impose an enforceable two term limit.

Interesting point, it's actually possible to serve up to 2.5 terms as president, if you start out as vice president.

If a vice president takes over for the elected president due to death or removal, if it's before the mid point of the term, that term counts against the vice president's presidential term limit, but if it's after the mid point, it doesn't.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

The only president to run for more than two terms was FDR. And when he went for 4, it resulted in a constitutional amendment to impose an enforceable two term limit.


Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third term after becoming disenfranchised with what his successor was doing in office. He ran under the "Bull Moose Party" and IIRC, Woodrow Wilson won in that cycle.

So FDR wasn't the first to try for a third term, he just was the first to have one.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


So FDR wasn't the first to try for a third term, he just was the first to have one.


He was the first to try for three consecutive terms. Technically, FDR had four terms, but he died just a few months into his fourth term.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third term after becoming disenfranchised with what his successor was doing in office. He ran under the "Bull Moose Party" and IIRC, Woodrow Wilson won in that cycle.


There has been some debate over the years as whether the presidential term limit amendment is lifetime or consecutive terms.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  BlacKnight
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Technically, FDR had 4, but he died just a few months into his fourth term.


True enough, but as he was the only one to get a 3rd term, anything involving a subsequent term could only involve him at present.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

There has been some debate over the years as whether the presidential term limit amendment is lifetime or consecutive terms.


If they meant consecutive terms, they would have said so. They didn't, so it reads as a lifetime restriction.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That's the best approach.


Yet it didn't work. Glazed eyes and drooping heads!

And guess what, a thread started as a warning about discussing politics has morphed into a political discussion!

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

And guess what, a thread started as a warning about discussing politics has morphed into a political discussion!

Now you just have to mention the second amendment and/or socialism and the thread will be totally botched in no time at all.

mimauk

Sorry can't resist -

The best two sayings I've ever heard about politicians are -

1. How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their mouths are open !!

2. Scum floats to the top !!

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@mimauk

Scum floats to the top !!


Politicians resemble bottom feeders to me.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Politicians resemble bottom feeders to me.

Hey, everyone loves lobsters and crabs, but most want nothing to do with power-hungry, lying and backstabbing politicians. I joyfully introduced my young kids to fresh lobster, home cooked crabs and sushi, but wouldn't dream of exposing them to politicians.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

And not all bottom feeders are tasty.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Politicians resemble bottom feeders to me.


You, Sir, should be horsewhipped by abusing bottom feeders like that.

BlacKnight

@Dominions Son

There has been some debate over the years as whether the presidential term limit amendment is lifetime or consecutive terms.


This is not ambiguous:

Amendment XXII:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.


Also:

Amendment XII:
[...] But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

You can't be Vice President if you've already been President for more than a term and a half.

Teddy Roosevelt was elected VP (as a Republican) as McKinley's running mate in 1900. McKinley was assassinated in September 1901, and Roosevelt succeeded him and served out the rest of the term, three years and a bit.

Roosevelt ran on his own merits in 1904, was elected, and remained President until 1909. He declined to run again in 1908, and Taft (R) was elected.

Roosevelt became frustrated with Taft's conservatism, and in 1912 he founded the Progressive Party and ran for President again, against Taft (R) and Woodrow Wilson (D). This schism in the Republicans meant that Wilson won in an electoral landslide. (And this is why third parties don't work in the American system.)

So Teddy Roosevelt only actually ran for President twice, non-consecutively, and lost the second time. He actually served only one full term. If the 22nd Amendment had been around at the time, he would have been forbidden from the 1912 run, because he served too much of the term McKinley was elected for, but he didn't actually run for President three times.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@BlacKnight

You can't be Vice President if you've already been President for more than a term and a half.


Is there a limit to the length of time someone can be VPOTUS?

AJ

Michael Loucks

@awnlee jawking

Is there a limit to the length of time someone can be VPOTUS?


Nothing in the Constitution prohibits serving as many terms of the office not worth a pitcher of 'warm spit' (you figure what was REALLY said) as he or she is willing to subject himself or herself to.

BlacKnight

@awnlee jawking

Is there a limit to the length of time someone can be VPOTUS?

Nope. So long as you haven't triggered the Presidential term limits, which requires having been elected as President at least once, you can keep being Vice President forever.

Though, as Vice President John Nance Garner put it, "the Vice Presidency isn't worth a pot of warm piss."

Dominions Son

@mimauk

1. How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their mouths are open !!


I've never heard that one that way, it's always been "Their mouths are moving."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

The version I've heard most is 'Their lips are moving'.

UK politicians must be inordinately poor ventriloquists ;)

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
mimauk

Their mouths being open also connects to a third saying about them being oxygen thieves.

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

UK politicians must be inordinately poor ventriloquists ;)


AJ; is there any doubt about that?

As for term limits the idea of a two term limit is good - just look at recent politicians who have changed the law from two terms to more or even "for life" like Mugabe! 'nuff said?

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