A Democrat Speaks Out

A science fiction writer named Orson Card has a great op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal which is subtitled, “Some of my fellow Democrats are unpatriotic.” Read it all; here is a sample:
“I watch the steady campaign of the national news media to try to win this for the Democrats, and I wonder. Could this insane, self-destructive, extremist-dominated party actually win the presidency? It might–because the media are trying as hard as they can to pound home the message that the Bush presidency is a failure–even though by every rational measure it is not.
“And the most vile part of this campaign against Mr. Bush is that the terrorist war is being used as a tool to try to defeat him–which means that if Mr. Bush does not win, we will certainly lose the war. Indeed, the anti-Bush campaign threatens to undermine our war effort, give encouragement to our enemies, and cost American lives during the long year of campaigning that lies ahead of us.
“Am I saying that critics of the war aren’t patriotic?
“Not at all–I’m a critic of some aspects of the war. What I’m saying is that those who try to paint the bleakest, most anti-American, and most anti-Bush picture of the war, whose purpose is not criticism but deception in order to gain temporary political advantage, those people are indeed not patriotic. They have placed their own or their party’s political gain ahead of the national struggle to destroy the power base of the terrorists who attacked Americans abroad and on American soil.”
Is there something about science fiction writers that makes them politically sound? Our frequent correspondent Daffyd ab Hugh is a science fiction writer. Ray Bradbury was, by literary standards, anyway, a conservative. Maybe it’s a coincidence; if not, perhaps Dafydd can explain the phenomenon.
The Rocket Prof emails us: “Card is originally from Utah, though he now lives, I think, in North Carolina. He’s very popular around here, and has written at least two classics worthy of note (the first of which anticipated, with remarkable insight, the phenomenon of internet communications and blogging, though it imagined them, not surprisingly, in a more centralized and controlled form). They’re ENDER’S GAME and ENDER’S SHADOW. The books are…an amazingly insightful exploration of child psychology. Good, fun, quick reads; great pacing and suspense.”
It wouldn’t hurt to add them to your Christmas shopping list.
DEACON adds: Ninth graders at our local public high school read ENDER’S GAME as part of the English program. The students love it, even my daughter who says she’s not into science fiction. My daughter has e-mailed Card’s piece to a bunch of her liberal friends, hoping that their literary hero will “talk” some sense into them.
HINDROCKET adds: Reader Bruce Holder says you can’t generalize about the politics of science fiction writers: “SF writers cover the whole spectrum. Ursula Le Guin appears to be an anarchist. Asimov was a humanist. Heinlein was a libertarian. An interesting contrast between Heinlein and Anne McCaffrey; Heinlein’s characters believe all religions to be more or less equally bogus but recognize how deeply religion is built in to all human societies. In contrast, religion is conspicuously absent from the Pern books, and the substitutes McCaffrey posits strike me as remarkably lame.”


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