Guiding the Gamification of Politics

I read this and this today, both reactions to the political nightmare of the most recent US election cycle. To which I say, "Yes! And Yes!"

The political machine has organically gamified: it's a winner take all muckle that encourages people to withdraw from the process of running the country and lick their wounds until the next election. Every election devolves into mudslinging and a strong Us vs. Them mentality. You can't escape from negative ads. Outreach efforts keep your phone ringing constantly, in some cases to the point of not knowing who to vote =for=. "Don't vote for Them, They want your baby to not have health care." "Don't vote for Them, They will bankrupt the system."

You know what?
THERE IS NO "THEM". It's high time WE started guiding ourselves in a sustainable direction.

If we keep viewing the leadership and decision-making of this country as a zero-sum game, then we're actually playing a NEGATIVE-sum game where everybody loses. If we can't disagree without absolutism and exclusionism infecting everything we say, we may as well start stockpiling ammunition and canned goods. If we can't be civil to each other, then America has already vanished from the face of the Earth.

The point of elections is to air the issues and explore the differences between the various parties who would like to guide the country. If we can't put those differences aside and behave rationally, we have no business guiding our own destiny as a country.

We have choices and I believe we can come to compromise on a fair number of those choices. Can we start rewarding the people who behave rationally instead of punishing those who happen to be in power when bad things happen? I hope so, or we're screwed.

In other terms, how can we consciously enact rules which will reinforce rationality in our leadership and steer us away from the preschool circus that our electorate has become?

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