Is there any greater autumn terror than an election?
The relentless assault of panicky political ads, screaming pundits, frightening headlines, fearmongering speeches, and shrill social media posts suggests that no, nothing is more terrifying than election season.
It’s particularly annoying to some of us. Maybe all of that noise appeals to you. Perhaps you watch all of the goings on while wearing a giant red or blue novelty “#1” foam finger, cheering your team to certain victory, but we don’t. An increasing number of us feel no allegiance to either of the U.S.’s two dominant political parties. In fact, we don’t want any part of the whole mess. We are the Lemeloes, the hideous monsters who just want to be left alone.
The Leave Me Alone (Lemelo) Party was founded on the fundamental principle that people just want to be left the hell alone. We have no party headquarters, officers, or candidates. We have no organization at all. Such things would require us to bother people, which violates our sole mandate.
Lemeloes believe in the principle of the smoke alarm. I am sitting in a diner right now, one that I have visited at least 100 times. It took this paragraph for me to look up and notice the smoke alarm protruding from the ceiling. If I had noticed it prior to this moment, it probably would have been screeching a warning to get the hell out of the building. A smoke alarm does its job quietly and persistently, only bothering us when our attention is required. Lemeloes expect the same from our government.
This is not as outrageous of an expectation as it my seem. Many precedents exist in the private sector for Lemelo relationships. Unless you’re a hypochondriac, you probably only want to think about your doctor when there’s a problem, for example. Imagine him or her calling you every 15 minutes to remind you that you’re okay, or to draw your attention to the side effects of medications that you don’t even take. “Will you please leave me alone?” you’d probably scream eventually. You might even add a Bride of Frankenstein hiss.
Banking, insurance, utilities, accounting–all of these are Lemelo relationships. Few things strike a Lemelo as more absurd than a bank commercial babbling about the institution’s relationships with its customers. We don’t want to be our banks’ pals, we just want our money kept safe. Like a smoke alarm, a bank (or insurance company, utility, etc.) functions best when it is not noticed.
Some may confuse Lemeloism with Libertarianism. This is not accurate. If anything, Lemeloes align with small “R” republicanism (or representative democracy, we’re not picky), which is quite literally the American form of government. In a republic (or representative democracy), the people elect leaders to represent them which, give or take a stolen election, is what we do. Lemeloes are cool with that. We just expect those elected representatives to do their jobs quietly and in defense of our right to be left alone. We see government as a necessary bureaucracy like banking, and we want to see it practiced quietly and professionally.
Still too abstract? Let’s look at some examples:
Civil Rights: Lemeloes believe that government intervention is necessary where any citizen’s right to be left alone is being violated. (Note the word citizen. Lemeloes do not believe that corporations are citizens, regardless of what the Citizen’s United ruling suggests.) For example, being left alone does not mean that white supremacists should be free to run wild in the streets, because that means someone else is not being left alone. Lemeloes believe that the government’s job here is to enforce the bare minimum legislation required to protect everyone’s right to be left alone. In other words, it’s okay to be an asshole. It’s not okay to be such an asshole that you obstruct someone else.
Healthcare: Allowing an industry to hold people hostage is not leaving them alone, and that’s literally what the healthcare industry is doing. People should not have to choose between death and bankruptcy. Lemeloes believe that the profit motive should be removed from non-elective healthcare. On the other hand, if someone wants to pay ten grand for a boob job, that’s between them and their provider. Let the free market work its magic on elective procedures.
Sexuality: Why is this even a question? We’re Lemeloes, for crying out loud. Whatever consenting adults get up to is their own business, including crying out loud. This includes sex workers, by the way, and the keywords are “consenting” and “adults.”
Taxes: We don’t mind them. Again, Lemeloes are not anti-government. Money is required to run a bureaucracy. Take our money, but use it wisely, please. We elected you to represent us, not stuff your pockets.
Environment: The smoke alarm on man made climate change has been screeching since 1896, and only in the last 25 years or so are we beginning to hear it. The solutions, as far as we know, will require significant shifts in our lifestyles. Entire industries may go extinct. Our diets may need to change. We might even have to outlaw lawns in order to conserve water for necessities.
How does one reconcile the probability of such government mandates with the principle of being left alone? Well, being starved, dehydrated, scorched, or flooded out of existence isn’t being left alone, either. Sometimes you have to pick your poison.
Religion: Our founding fathers were the original Lemeloes when it came to religion. Those guys didn’t care who or what you worshiped, or even whether you worshiped. When looking for some folks to work on his house, George Washington noted just how irrelevant religion was to him: “Mahometans, Jews, or Christian of any sect, or they may be atheists…if they are good workmen.”
Lemeloes have no quarrel with religion. Lemeloes have a significant problem with any one religion trying to manipulate the levers of power in a manner that results in any citizens not being left alone.
I could go on and on, but you get the point and piling on is hardly conducive to leaving you alone.
We yearn for a return to the days when we don’t need to know the name of any cabinet member beyond the vice-president, and even that’s pushing it; when another state’s senators are their problem, not ours. We look forward to government once again being a boring task that occurs in the background rather than a reality show that sets up shop in our brains 24/7.
So when you vote this November (and yes, Lemeloes do vote) vote for the boring candidate, the man or woman who promises nothing more than to fulfill the duties of his or her office. Quietly. If it’s good enough for your accountant, it’s good enough for your representative.
Vote Lemelo. Or don’t. It’s really none of our business.