So far, not too much has changed. Not that I really expected it to. You see, the whole idea of leadership in the here and now isn't anything like the media-driven, personality centric carnival it once was. No one here expects me or whoever they eventually vote into my place to live up on the hill, to come down only to hand out judgement or some commandments. This isn't church, nor is it American politics.
Essentially, my job is to act as an arbiter on arguments that can't be resolved by whoever has them. This, of course, rose from our problems about the captives. The women who had once been their captives were mostly for execution. I can understand that, and part of me feels the same way. Others were for some sort of forced imprisonment, using them for labor. But come on, we all know how well that was working in the US before society crumbled. None of us are all that interested in starting up bad habits again. So after the vote, I sat down and talked with the committee about it, and we decided on the middle of the road option: we sent them away, exactly as I said was my inclination. It made both sides of the debate unhappy, so apparently we did something right. As I recall, no one was ever truly happy when politicians made decisions about pretty much anything.
But really, that's about it. My snarky provision that I would be allowed to make rules as I see fit wasn't really taken all that seriously. They know well enough by now, as I would think that anyone around here does, that we try to keep the rules at a minimum. No need to clutter life, which is already harder than most of us could have ever dreamed, with needless strictures that pander to the wants of a few. Instead, we all want the same thing: a basic statement that covers what we stand for, and stand against. That should be clear to all readers by now.
We support those who want to work together to live, and keep humanity going in our little corner of the world. We want to form a real, lasting community of folks that choose to live in a spirit of cooperation. We are against the ideas that the looters seem to stand for; killing for pleasure, out of rage (or for no reason at all), dominating others through whatever means.
Anything else we'll adopt as we need to. But we want to keep it simple.
Other than being the last resort for arguments, I don't have to do anything else to be the "leader". If it helps some of the folks to have someone to blame, then fine.
Some folks have this idea that I'm supposed to have been voted for in some wave of huge support, like everyone just adores me. That's not the case at all. I got unanimous consent mainly because my core group of friends and I were keeping out of the argument. The rest of them declined even the possibility of being voted for. I don't blame them. I declined, but when it became clear that no one else was even remotely interested, I let them. Hopefully it will stay as simple as I have described it.
What really helps out for us is that we have here among us some great survivors. No one could have made it this far if they were dependent on others, or stupid, lacking in creativity or drive. Which has worked out great for us. Folks around the compound don't need me or anyone else to hold their hand. They just want a neutral third party who, apparently, worries themselves to death over their well being to settle disputes when no solution can be reached. Which is why I wanted a committee. None of the people on it are inclined to agree with me just for my sake. They all have distinct, reasoned opinions of their own, which is something I value highly in friends and family.
I am reminded of some of the writings of Robert Heinlein. In Time Enough for Love, he spoke about the importance of keeping societal rules to a minimum in any pioneer situation, which is pretty much where we are. Don't kill unless it's needed, no rape. Basic things. But also no stupid restrictions. Don't meddle in the lives of people. Why try to force anyone to change what they do in their private lives?
People have been talking about Jess, Me, and Elizabeth. A few talking about how scandalous we are, yadda yadda. Let me clear the air, because the whispers behind my back annoy me.
There is nothing going on. Period. Elizabeth planted her kiss on me in a moment of happy victory, but I made it clear to her afterward that I was not interested in what she was offering. While I find her attractive, I don't think her interest in me is genuine. In high school, I was her safe person to come back to when she was out of a relationship, and I have NO desire to move backward in that fashion. I am a different person now, and if she wants to have a familiar face as her comfort blanket, she will have to hope that another old flame shows up. Because she's not staying in our house.
Jess is neutral on this. She has some very open views on relationships and sexuality, but they aren't my views. I try not to be held back by what others think, but for me, right now, I need the stability of my marriage and only that. Maybe I will regret that and change my mind down the road, but for now, I am content.
Hope that clears up the situation as of now. I'm not Barack Obama. I am, at most, the vice principal of a school, able to be overruled on anything by those I trust to keep my choices honest. No power, no prestige. Doing guard duty just like always.
It's nice to have so many people here, by the way. Construction has picked up a lot, and enough houses are reinforced that Jess and I are now blessedly alone in ours, for the first time in a month.
Time for a nap.