I've caused a bit of a stir here at home. There have been unintended, but not in my mind negative, consequences.
K and I have spent a lot of time working together, and I've very slowly begun to peel away some of the protection he keeps wrapped around himself at all times. I don't know facts about him any more than I did a week ago, but he has begun to share some of his views on the larger issues we face. He's surprisingly torn about the situation with the UAS; on the one hand he believes that people have not only a right but a responsibility to defend themselves and their loved ones when threatened, but on the other he's so sick of the violence, so traumatized by it, that he wants to see people avoid the need as much as possible.
It's no secret that I've advocated avoiding a fight where and when possible. This isn't just my desire to live in peace, but a practical aspect of survival. Allowing ourselves to become too reactionary--or in the extreme, proactively violent, which we've done more than once--is too risky. Our purpose and goal is to make something lasting for the little ones outside right now, enjoying the warm day by running around making tons of noise as they play on my street.
Steve was helpful in getting some people to see the point I'm trying to make, that it isn't cowardice to avoid conflict when you don't have to engage in it. Steve is still down south right now as the massive herds of zombies continue to pour across the border into Union territory. The glorious thing about so many communities working together is that united, we have enough manpower and ingenuity to overcome most obstacles. Steve even sent a short piece about what he was facing, which he titled 'The Real Threat'.
The picture inside that bit of mail was of the swarm he was facing that morning, ten thousand strong and blanketing the landscape before him. It was a powerful image.
It spread through New Haven like wildfire.
This morning I see the consequences of me supporting a more moderate path. Nearly a quarter of our population gathered to force a vote, which meant Will and the council had little choice but to come together and hear the people. In a situation like that I would have expected old prejudices to come out; some people in favor or straight up killing the UAS without consideration or mercy would scream that the rest were cowards or too weak, etc. I would have expected some of the people in support of my view--their view, really, but they just needed someone to voice it first and publicly--to counter by calling those people psychopaths who only loved bloodshed, yadda yadda.
That didn't happen, or at least not to any degree that mattered. What followed was a public and even-handed debate in the unofficial town square as both sides explained the reasoning behind their views. In the end there was no argument or schism between them. Neither side of the debate stalked away en masse to angrily plan an insurgence. The larger problem with politics on a national level before The Fall was that it was just too damn big. It was too easy to see the people disagreeing with you as part of a faceless mass of them, as being other than you because you didn't work next to them every day (or so you thought) and didn't share the same values and struggle (from your point of view.)
This debate was among family: all of us here are that. We've bled and died for each other, and that matters. I only stress this point because it reinforces my larger belief that we can come to some sort of equitable solution with the UAS if we put our minds and efforts to it. They are, after all, people. Just like us. It's just that the problems between us and the difference in how we've lived since The Fall have created a vast gulf that turns them from people into them.
Do you see? I think you do. The vote passed, and carried two main sections: to moderate the conflict as much as we can. That much was already happening, but this vote codified it into law. The other half was an agreement, perhaps the first in the Union but I think one that will be taken up by other communities.
Any UAS soldiers or citizens who choose not to fight may join the Union. We will not ask them to bear arms against their friends and family there, and reasonable precautions will be taken to assure any defectors don't attack us from within, but New Haven at least will take them in.
Oh, and a funny little change that sort of fits with this whole idea of providing a safe place: there is a provision in there to change the name of our home. Again.
It's just Haven now.