I first was introduced to this crazy card game as a Christmas present a few years back. It came with the base deck and an expansion deck called Christian. For those of you that haven’t had the chance to enjoy this game, the reason that this game is interesting is because no hand of Fluxx is the same. The core of this game’s mechanic is that the game keeps changing.
What it takes to win, the rules, everything keeps changing depending on what was played, and you have to hope that you’ll have the items you need to make the goal when the game stops.
There are many different flavors of Fluxx, from Marvel, to Star Trek to Jumanji, with different rules and items to add to the game, which makes it all the more enjoyable. I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The reason I bring Fluxx up, besides it being a fantastic game, is that the current state of our politics feels to be a lot like this game. We have a set of rules, and we’re told we have to abide by them, until it seems someone is losing, and then we should be able to change the rules so that we don’t have to lose.
That’s what I get about all the talk around the election and the electoral college. If Republicans lose the Presidency, the House or the Senate it’s, “Better luck next time” or “You need a better ground game” but if Democrats lose either of these three things it’s “Gerrymandering!” or “Abolish the Electoral College!” or “We need mail in ballots” or “So and so is not going to concede and we’ll have to get them out by force!”
It’s worse than being sore losers, it’s that you have a level of disbelief that anyone can disagree with you or not see things the way they are that you feel that the only way the other party one is by cheating, so you have to change the rules, to make sure you don’t lose again.
In this view, the baseline of what is acceptable in a candidate is so far to the left as to make no one on the right palatable.
This went up another notch because of the Supreme Court. The left has spent 50+ years using the courts to advance left wing legislative priorities instead of using the House and Senate because they can’t win elections in sufficient quantities to get their agenda through. So they have benefited from a left tilt in the courts. When a new leftist gets on the court, the GOP wails about what new rights will be invented and morality squashed, but now that the right has the turn to define the court, it’s time to talk about packing the court, ignoring the court, or impeaching a President or Attorney General to keep the Senate from confirming to the court.
It’s not that these tactics are not in the rule book… they are. Just like there are cards to play in Fluxx to keep anyone from winning, or to harm your opponent so you have a better chance at winning.
Play by the Rules?
So it’s not as simple as saying that everyone should play by the rules, because they make the rules, and the rules can constantly change. It’s more about finding a way to turn down the partisan temperature, and realizing that if you keep changing the rules of the game, you may find out that you’ll create a circumstance where your opponent wins. Just like in Fluxx, when you aren’t paying attention and change the goal to something your opponent has on the board.
Fluxx is just a game, but what we’re seeing today could impact our future and our children’s future. If we can’t get along and see nothing redeemable in the other side, and the other side can do no right, maybe it’s time to find different games to play before we do something we’ll all regret.