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I Disagree with P.Roth.. again

This may become a thing but I feel like it is worth it to respond to a (from what I can tell) well meaning post by an intelligent person who writes pretty good books. So before we get going too far, you should do a few things for me. First, look up the definitions of disenfranchise. Really look up the word and its associated variations. Get a good feel for it as it will be part of our discussion. Even if you think you know, do it anyway. I did.

Secondly please go and read Patrick Rothfuss' blog about the election. I will wait...

Actually I did not wait, that is a technique writers use to gain rapport with the reader. It brings us closer together. Do you feel closer to me? Okay, not that close. I probably needed a little rapport with you though, at least some of you, because you likely felt insulted I made you look up disenfranchise. You may have been thinking "The f&$^%g SM! I know what disenfranchise means!" or you may not have been thinking that but were miffed I made you work for the pay off. Either way I wanted to get back into your good graces by building some rapport through the illusion that I was waiting for you to come back from reading Rothfuss' (can I call him just Rothfuss? I mean we are both old fat guys with beards, so sure let us go with that) blog. To be sure both the call to check out a word and the rapport building were subtle manipulations on my part to keep you reading. Do you feel manipulated? You should, by Rothfss and myself.

Writers are manipulative because what we can do with a well constructed piece of literature or literary media (like this blog) is powerful and has an effect on you. We want you to think and like our stories and in some case, we want you to vote for our candidate of choice. Most people, almost all people, do not like the idea of being manipulated but it happens with regularity to all of us. For instance, the typical admonishments of people who are too lazy or too invested in the two party dynamics of American politics telling you not to waste your time voting Third Party. That kind of manipulation is a form of disenfranchisement; someone wants to take away your power by limiting your choices and in the case of Rothfuss alluding to your immaturity should you choose to do so.

Wait! What? The man wrote these great books! He came to our con! I have a selfie with him! Patrick Rothfuss didn't imply I am an idiot if I vote Third Party! Heh, the f$^k he didn't. Go back and take a look at his "Perot" flashback. He starts off telling you what an idiot he was and then goes on to infer that if vote Third Party that you are at least wasting people's time and at worst... Well at worst what, Rothfuss? What is the implication of worst case scenario if we vote for, in this case a proven moderate and his (apparently) more polished VP or a woman who is a trained Doctor and despite some odd beliefs (or not) appears to be the best human being of the four candidates? What exactly is the worst case?

So since we are in story time, let me tell you a story. There once was a great war on Earth, centered in Europe and in the Far East but encompassing almost everyone (because colonialism). One nation in particular allied with what is acknowledged as the most heinous of the antagonists and suffered heavily for their choice, which was no choice at all. The nation, let's call it Finland (it was Finland), allied with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. Well the Finns are not Nazis (as a rule) but they did not feel like they had a choice in the matter. The Soviet Union had attacked them and NO ONE came to their defense, certainly not Britain or America or France. This same Soviet Union had invaded Poland after Nazi Germany had invaded Poland. Indeed these two ideological enemies had carved up Poland like a roast. Germany had invaded weaker nations, but then so had the Soviets. The Soviet Union then attacked Finland, who for a time beat off the communist juggernaut but eventually succumbed to greater numbers and material.

So when Finalnd was offered the chance to have a go at the USSR by Nazi Germany, they took it because they felt like they did not have a choice. They could have sat out the conflict, but one way or another the winner may have come looking for them. So Finland embarked on a horrible war with a heinous enemy against an equally heinous foe. Finland had no one to turn to who was willing to stand up to Germany or Russia. How do you think that made them feel? Disenfranchised?

Rothfuss is a celebrity and good for him. Celebrities use their status to pimp their agendas. There is nothing wrong with that. He wants you to vote for Clinton. Sure, go ahead. What I object to is the insulting and disenfranchising way he does it. That does not speak well of him or of his candidate of choice. Vote Shaming has been a thing since long before "shaming" was an acknowledged recidivist behavior. Shame on you if you are too stupid to vote for my candidate! is the message. Do I think this makes Rothfuss a bad person? No. Will I never buy his books again? Pfft, the man has a right to his opinions and how he expresses them. It does not affect how good a writer he is or my enjoyment of his writing. If anything, he is participating in the same kind of election year patronizing that goes on all the time by a lot of people. Folks with some celebrity status bank on you giving great credence to that status in order to influence your vote.

Well I am in my 40s, fat, bearded, and a writer. The difference is Rothfuss is published and I do not. He has a larger audience than I do and he can reach more people. Ironically, he even mentions his "moderate power...moderate responsibility" mantra and then uses his moderate power in an irresponsible way. No one should make you feel stupid in order to get you to vote for their candidate. Remember how you felt when I had you look up disenfranchise? That was shitty of me even in an attempt to be humorous. Still not cool.

So who am I telling you to vote for? No one. Vote for whoever you want, my only requests are these:

-Take responsibility as an American and work with the new President whoever she or he is.

-Don't Be Finland

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