“I can’t believe we let Provincials like you wander around Skyrim.” – Trump Supporters
I’ve been playing Skyrim again lately. This time on the PS4. As I’ve been playing through again, it has struck me how many social issues are addressed in the game and how there are quite a few similarities between Skyrim and where the United States is right now.
The Empire is the United States government, full of rules, laws, regulations, accords, and treaties that not everyone agrees with. It has its flaws and it can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes the rules, even if they came from a well-intended idea, just don’t work well, or violate the rights of citizens (can you say Patriot Act?).
The Stormcloaks are Trump supporters. They have some valid grievances. They make a few decent points about how the Empire has left them behind, how the smaller cities face economic challenges that larger cities like Solitude don’t face: where “elites” have forgotten the farmers and miners, who have been hit the hardest by bad economic times.
While the inability to practice one’s Talos worship freely has been actually banned by the Empire thanks to the White-Gold Concordant (the Skyrim equivalent of the boogeyman UN for the New World Order conspiracy theorists), many Trump supporters feel like their religious beliefs are under attack by “liberal elites.” Of course here in America, that’s simply not true.
People think that the fact they cannot force their religious beliefs on others or use their religion to discriminate in the business world, that somehow their religious beliefs are under attack. The fact that you can’t force others to adhere to your beliefs, especially through law, doesn’t mean your religion is illegal or under attack: it means your religion is YOURS. YOU have a constitutional right to believe what you want, not make others adhere to your beliefs.
Opposed to abortion for religious reasons, then don’t get an abortion. Opposed to birth control for religious reasons, then don’t use birth control. Opposed to homosexuality because of religious reasons, then don’t put your lips around a penis. Your religious opposition is yours and yours alone, that’s your constitutional rights, but others have a constitutional right as well to not agree with your religious beliefs and to live their lives to their own accord. But I digress…
The valid concerns and points that the Stormcloaks have are diminished because of the other elements behind and intermingled within their movement.
First and foremost is the willingness to use violence to overthrow the tyranny of government. Never mind the fact that the government is not tyrannical (although now that Trump’s in office it might actually go that way – the irony of creating a tyranny while thinking you were getting rid of one). How many of your Trump supporting friends and family were ranting about overthrowing the government if “Killary” won? How many of them were buying more guns and ammo waiting for the revolution to start? How many are looking forward to the day they can exercise their Second Amendment rights to overthrow the government (without concern for the innocent lives that would be lost in such a battle), regardless of the fact that they clearly have no idea what “tyrannical” actually means.
The second is the underlying racism. When the Empire says “true sons and daughters” they mean anyone who lives in the Empire and supports it, regardless of their species or race or ethnicity. When the Stormcloaks say “true sons and daughters” they mean Nords: white people. They hate Provincials and outsiders. Do all Stormcloak supporters hate outsiders? Do all Stormcloaks despise every Argonian, Kajit, or Elf they meet? Of course not. However, they’re openly supporting a cause led by Ulfric, a man who does nothing to assist anyone who is not Nord. Ulfirc, who willingly allows Dark Elves to be treated badly and live in The Grey Quarter, a special part of his city (aka forced segregation). The Grey Quarter is pretty much synonymous with ghetto. This racism can even be heard by the guards. Empire guards will say, “Stay out of trouble Argonian,” while Stormcloak guards say, “Stay out of trouble lizard.” Empire guards refer to Kajit correctly and Stormcloak guards refer to Kajit as cats.
I feel for the Stormcloaks. I really do. They have some legitimate gripes and grievances. However, I cannot support their cause because of the blatant racism and racist undertones. I cannot support their cause because of their inability to understand the consequences of their actions and how it will affect their fellow countrymen and women. They want to burn the system down and replace it with what? In our modern real-life comparison, they elected someone who promised to “drain the swamp” and then immediately filled his surrounding space with insiders and lobbyists and his fellow billionaires. He made it swampier. He then selected white nationalists, concreting what those of us not in denial already knew: he is a racist.
Now the Stormcloaks are in charge in America. The racist element is running around engaging in hate crimes across the country: going after the easy to identify targets first: Argonian, Kajit, Dark Elf, etc. How long before they start going after the Provincials, who aren’t as easily identified by their skin color (or scales)?