An Interview with A Former President, Phoenix Coalition

An Interview with A Former President, Phoenix Coalition
By: Guess and Check, Editor-in-Chief

Hey everyone, and welcome to Everyday News's third interview! This epic interview took place within this month, and the nominee was an absolute pleasure to talk to. But to go more in detail about the nominee:

Phoenix Coalition joined the Union in 2017 as a representative from the Phoenix Coalition, although he would quickly jumpstart his Union political career that same year. Since then, Phoenix has served in a variety of roles including Chief Justice, Senator, and Forum Administrator. However, Phoenix's most notable role, however, is his Presidency. Following a time period of internal decline, Phoenix's work as President oversaw a new period of revival for the Union - marking him as one of the Union's most prominent leaders. Nowadays, Phoenix can be seen managing the Union's stamp recruitment and forums.

As a prominent former President, I felt it would be prudent to discuss Phoenix's inner thoughts on the Presidency - alongside his opinion on certain Union-related things and a bit on his personal life. Overall, Phoenix was really great and insightful to interview, not to mention fun to talk to. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! ^-^

And so, the interview~:

Guess and Check:
Hey there, Phoenix! First, want to thank you for interviewing with me. uwu

How are you doing right now?

Phoenix: I'm pretty good, waiting for Grand Thief Auto V to load up, heh.

Guess and Check: Good to hear! Never personally played GTA 5, but I feel focusing on that may make me look like a nerd so let's move on :p

So for the first part of this interview, I really want to explore you in relation to the Union. So the first question is pretty simple to help the readers contextualize you: what are your positions and every-day work in the Union?

Phoenix: My positions within the union on the out of character side is Senior Administrator. I also own the web hosting that the Union uses and manages it financial wellbeing with oversight from Thatcher and Ark -- the Chief and Deputy Chief Administrator. On the in character side, I'm currently a Ministerial Assistant of Census and apart of the Foreign Affairs Advisory Board I believe still. In the past, I've mainly been Census Minister but have had time as Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister and most importantly, President.

Guess and Check: Definitely makes sense you are an honorable citizen! xD Lots of positions as well @_@ - but the Presidency is definitely the most interesting one out of all of them, and I wanna ask you some stuff about your Presidency later.

But for now, I want to go over something more recent. Around half a year ago, you had declared that you would be "leaving" the Union, only to rescind that decision and return to working in the Union full time. I know you've addressed this partially elsewhere, but if I may ask, why did you the Union and what, exactly, brought you back soon after?

Phoenix: To put it plain and simply, frustration. I felt wronged and still do to this day, about how NSM won the election against me. Watching, in my view, as some stuff in the region had declined Then all the sudden Kron was going to run and that perked my interests. She had something I could get behind and I wanted to help.

Frustration wasn't the only reason, but it was a idiotic driving point which I regret and hope it didn't hurt my relationship with NSM at all. I did want to branch out and I tried. Euro was interesting but it wasn't the region I wanted to try to lead. It's a very reputable region and respected but it has it's own problems and enough babysitters/people who want to try to do something. TNP was an attempt at a GCR and it was... eh. It felt boring, bloated and unfamiliar.

For somebody like me, I like to start in something small or relatively new and build it up - stay apart of it and grow further in it. That's how my entire gaming and online career happened. I got to join smaller sections of a group and build it up.

I'm one of those people you can't get rid of easily 😅

Guess and Check: On loosing an election and just wanting to branch out - both are definitely things I've personally experienced and yeah, that feeling of wanting to just get out and do something different can be a bit overpowering at times. But I'm glad you're here and not easy to get rid of ^-^ You've helped build something great in the Union \o/

Personally, I feel one of your most notable roles in your career of building up the Union is, as you said, being President. So I want to hon in on that and ask - what was the one action/thing you did as President that you were proud of? Or in other words, what was most notable about your Presidency in your opinion?

Phoenix: My career is only as notable as the accomplishments of my Ministers and Vice Presidents. Everything we did was either in part of them or their assistance. I suppose the one notable feat of my Presidency was the handling of the Drew Rush. While we might of not did the best in rentation, it was a epic ride.

Guess and Check: I feel you're underselling yourself there - of course a Presidency is always made up largely due to Minister and Vice-President work, but you probably did more than you are saying. :p But I digress. The Drew Rush was definitely a rush for sure, agree very much with that.

But anyways, based on your thoughts of your Presidency, what do you think was the biggest issue of your Presidency? In other words, if you had to criticize your Presidency, what would be your number one point to address?

Phoenix: I'm not underselling, I know very well what I accomplished. I just don't like boasting myself or taking credit 🤷

I think one of my errors in my presidency is actually something you focused on. I was there to save the political instability and the massive dwindlement of our population. Something that I missed though, is that I didn't exactly focus on the community. Yes, I did things to repair (or tried my best) the things that were making a lot of people upset but asides from that... I really didn't focus on anything community wise. Not even the roleplay. I mean... I have never really enjoyed the RP anyways, so I really didn't focus on it. In a way, I stopped the strangling but didn't get rid of the assaulter.

Guess and Check: That's a fair critique, although one could always say there was a bigger need to focus on regional instability at that point uwu

Well, since then we've seen a variety of Presidencies with different focuses. So as a past President and someone who has worked closely with your successors, what do you think should be the ideal role description of the President? As in if we were to look at the Union for the next 1-2 years, what should Presidents be doing/focusing on?

Phoenix: Ideally they should have an equal focus on both the community and political side of the Union. The Union will always have a political climate but it needs things to do. The community needs constant attention to keep people engaged and retention up. The President has to be that center piece that can - theoretically be a out of character community leader as well as a in character driving force to events and political activities.

Guess and Check: That sounds like a pretty good balance for the Presidency, yeah. Now I have to ask - how well do you think past Presidencies (excluding me 'cuz I'm interviewing you) have matched with that ideal? Including yours? Has the average President hit the mark, or missed it?

Phoenix: Kron been close, I think she focused less on the political side of things. Anyone else? I don't think anyone did.

Guess and Check: If you had to guess in a generalizing way, why do you think they didn't meet the bill? As in, what caused them to fail in holding that balance in your view?

Phoenix: NP didn't have time.

I had a whole f*cking project to handle in both terms.

NSM didn't really focus on the political side at all I feel. He did very little.

Kron did the best, I don't think she met the balance I have going on in my head, but she was damn close. Her entire team was badass.

Guess and Check: I can see your points there - and hell yeah, Kron's term was dope as anything uwu

Well, now I have another interesting question: you had planned to run for President this election, but had dropped out due to in real life concerns. Considering your ideal role of President and your past experience, could you give us a generalized overview of what you were thinking to accomplish as President? What was going to be your general policy and the major projects you'd do to realize said policy?

Phoenix: So, my plans for the President run this time around was to continue policies done by your administration and exercising the President's authority to give his underlings certain authority to run the community side while I focused on the pollical/inner workings. My vision was yet again to innovate how the Executive worked, setting a hopefully good precedent of choosing a Vice President who had the community in mind or had the leadership to ensure the cabinet was prepared to carry out goals on a double edged sword. Burnout occurs, and while I had hopefuls for the Cabinet, I believe some (like yourself and possibly Kron) would've passed but that wouldn't of stopped me from bringing up new blood and showing them the ropes.

I was very content with how you ran things. I watched a lot, I'm a decent observer I'd hope. Is there things to improve on? Should I have things to stand out? Not always. Old people like me carry weight, and while I still need something to stand out, I think I've proven over time that most times I am in office that I am extremely efficient and can be very innovative.

Guess and Check: nods You have definitely proven you're innovative - especially with that proposal regarding your Vice President o.o

I do have a question on that, though - the Vice-President is typically seen as a very unrestricted, general role that's supportive of the President's overall efforts. So why do you think it would be a good idea to deviate from that norm, with the VP specializing in community affairs and the President (you in this case) with more political things?

Phoenix: I don't believe I would be deviating from the norm all too much. The Vice President, is yes, seen as very unrestricted, general, supportive role but behind the scenes, if the President was to task their Vice President with something and the general census was an agreement, they would be inclined to follow. In all reality, I am simply giving the Vice President a direction or a directive. Somebody could make it as fancy as to make an Executive Order about it if we really wanna go full on USA with EO directives haha.

Guess and Check: Yeah that makes sense - my reasoning was that President's don't typically give their Vice-Presidents such a general directive, but I can see your point in that doing so isn't alltogether that different from the directives most VPs get. It's still a pretty interesting take on how to handle a VP, I think. xD

Now, considering we've delved a lot into your plans for your potential campaign last election AND how you're really a Union oldie who has a lotta experience, I want to ask what you think is the greatest issue(s) the Union currently faces as a region in your opinion? And what is a potential solution(s) to said issue(s)?

Phoenix: Being too content in it's own devices, if that makes sense.

Guess and Check: I get whatcha mean - but for posterity's sake, could you elaborate a little more? And can you think of any specific areas where that's especially been an issue?

Phoenix: Just being content, falling into this fallacy that everything is fine. I don't think the government in particular should ever be content.

The Senate? Eh. They're boring. They just make bills and amendments when sh*t comes up now a days.

Guess and Check: That's basically the Senate's purpose, though. There's a reason the Executive is where all the fun stuff happens in pretty much every region 😛 But in general yeah, I think that's a fair point - competency is something a region should always fight, and we have a lot of stuff we need to be addressing anyways.

That being said, with most bads there comes a good - so what's your favorite thing about the Union?

Phoenix: The friends I made. In fact, I was shocked last night when a certain vice president returned to the Union.

The union has a lot of great qualities, but the friends I've met and made is one of my greatest blessings.

It teared me up, to be honest. When he came back.

While we weren't super close, I sure thought I was the reason he left, or relating to it. I was worried he might've got COVID and something bad happened.

Guess and Check: Definitely can agree with this - and I'm glad it seems the situation with the friend has been resolved. Not to mention I'm also glad they've returned to the Union!

But that's enough about Union-related things. I wanted to ask you now about the things you do outside of NationStates itself - namely to start with, your hobbies? Favorite movies?

Phoenix: Gaming is my passion, community building and a lot of other misc projects, like the forums for example. I love messing with em. I love Discord servers. Etc

Guess and Check: Do you participate/help develop any communities outside of the Union?

Phoenix: Yes, many. Some I cannot name for reasons I would rather keep personal.

Guess and Check: That's fair! Another question I have is about your gaming passion - what's your favorite game of all time and why?

Phoenix: Grand Thief Auto San Andreas and Wolfenstein Enemy Terrority -- two games that I started my life on with the computer ❤️

Guess and Check: Both sound like pretty awesome games! - and I like Wolenstein game raps soz

And a last question on your outside of NationStates life - what is the worst color in the world and why? :>

Phoenix: Sh*t Orange. It's so Orange, it looks like sh*t.

Guess and Check: Beautiful lmao

Alright, last question: do you have anything to say for the Unionists reading this interview? Could be anything uwu

Phoenix: Work hard. Get that paper. Spend wisely.

Guess and Check: Solid advice. AND, thank you for allowing me to interview you - it's been awesome!

Phoenix: YW homie
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Oct 16, 2020
Thank you so much for the interview, Zuk. It was a pleasure :)
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