Year 18 | 09 January 2021
THE RECALL BROUGHT OUT THE WORST IN US
Anonymous | Guest Contributor
When discussing the proposed recall of Minister of Culture Swifty I was about to type something in response to a fellow legislator; then I stopped myself. I read my message out loud and thought about how it would make Swifty feel. I tend remembered the Golden Rule, one oft-repeated in both elementary schools and defender circles - treat others how you want to be treated.
The outcry at the lack of activity from the Cabinet stemming from the SPINN government review article, coupled with the proposal to recall Swifty due to his reaction to that article, has brought out the meanest environment the South Pacific has seen since the Timscade affair. Now, don't get me wrong - criticism is necessary, very necessary. I agree with the SPINN premise that the Cabinet is asleep at the wheel, and I feel that public pressure on the powers that be is a desperate need in a functioning democracy. However, I feel lie some on this debate brought it to a whole new level, including people who, frankly, I expect better from.
This has brought something to light for me that I now see has been fostered in the region for years - people taking politics to the extreme.
Yes, it's an online political simulator, so these things are to be expected. However, there is a difference between playing politics and just being flat out mean; and I think that that line has sadly been blurred. We're excusing behavior that would not otherwise be acceptable, painting it as "politics", "telling it like it is", or "being blunt". Eventually that takes a toll on people; not players, but people. Human beings.
I've experienced this for a while in my South Pacifican political career. While I've learned to roll with the punches and take criticism in stride, some attacks and behavior have left me doubting myself and my self-worth, making me think that I'm not up to par, like I don't belong here, and that's a serious problem.
For a while, NationStates Gameplay's toxicity has been a trope, a cliché, a punchline in the community. You either say it to get a laugh or say it seriously, the response being recognizing chuckles and a "yeah, that's how it is". But I really do think that on occasion we need to do some introspection and recognize the toxicity that is able to be fostered and normalized. Do I have a solution to this? No, no I don't. But the first step to recovery, as is always said in the movies, is admitting you have a problem, and I think that NationStates Gameplay, the South Pacific, and even myself do need to admit it: there is a toxicity problem in NationStates, and we need to work on eliminating it.
The author chose to remain anonymous.
The South Pacific Independent News Network (SPINN) is an independent news organisation established in 2003 with the goal of providing good, insightful and timely commentary on regional events for the citizens of the South Pacific. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board. Content is published with the name of the author unless they explicitly request to remain anonymous. The SPINN is not associated with the Government of the South Pacific.