Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Which novelist would you vote for?

Daniel Akst notes that William Weld is both a politician and a novelist.

The candidate’s dark literary past immediately casts a shadow on his motivations. Everyone knows that novelists will do almost anything to sell a few books; I’m thinking of running for president to move a few of my own. Is it really so far-fetched to imagine that Mr. Weld would launch a gubernatorial campaign to gain better placement at Barnes & Noble? What novelist wouldn’t? If the gambit succeeds, I wouldn’t be surprised to see writers emerging like termites from the literary woodwork, driven to run for offices all over the country just to escape midlist hell.

Which living novelist could you support if he or she ran for office? My vote goes to Mark Helprin, though I’m also somewhat tempted by Leon de Winter. Those more widely read than I am are more than welcome to enlighten me.

Discussions - 28 Comments

I like Gregory Maguire, although I have no idea what his politics are.

I’d vote for Helprin but his principles would no doubt get in the way of his electability. He’d tell unpleasant truths and that would be it from the Party. Gee, kinda like now.

I’ll take sci-fi author Orson Scott Card. He’s a conservative Mormon Democrat who’s serious about the war on terror and clear headed enough to handle the domestic side as well. His political commentary is insightful and trenchant, and always worth a read.

I have no way of knowing if I’m more widely read than you, but the living novelists who would likely get my votes if they were to run are John LeCarre, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, and Gore Vidal.

William F Buckley Jr, of course!

If we stay with living authors, I’d have to go with Orson Scott Card, as well. Unfortunately, I’m sure he neither wants nor would willingly accept the headaches being president would give him. The same goes for previous sci-fi "dean", the late Robert Heinlein. Dorothy Gilman would be my recommendation for Secretary of State in Card’s cabinet, with Lillian Jackson Braun for Secretary of Education. Diane Mott Davidson would be a shoe-in for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Maggie Brown could be Attorney General, with Janet Evonovitch as head of the FBI. Jerry Pournelle is the ONLY candidate for Secretary of Defense, and Larry Niven should be appointed as the Director of NASA. James White (Sector General) would be the Surgeon General. Anne McCaffrey should be the National Science Advisor. I’ll leave the rest for others to have fun with.

I didn’t know that Buckley had written any novels. Sign me up right away! I bet there great! Well, other than Buckley I’m thinking about Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the Left Behind series as candidates Id vote for. Tom Clancy and John Grisham could also make interesting leaders I would bet. Maybe Tom Wolfe too.

Norman Mailer, without a doubt! Also, Don DeLillo...

I’d vote for Jan Karon, not so much for her books but because I’ve seen her on television, and she’s a lady who can hold her own with good graces and who seems to know how to keep things in perspective.

(P.S. For wm and Mack Sandpaper - Hillsdale College has an online Buckley archive, including books.)

I’d vote for Ann Coulter. Sure, she’s "extremist", but we need someone who shoots from the hip and can back herself up with facts in public office.

Robert Parker

I’d vote for Michael Savage anyday. Not sure his works count as novels, but I believe they do. He is not afraid to speak on the side of true freedom and liberty no matter the cost and he is free from political party bias. As for Ann Coulter, a bomb thrower such as herself would not be a very suitable choice for the White House. ALthough her writings are indeed interesting, she merely plays the role of demogogue for the sake of sales.

On second thought, I would vote for C. Bradley Thompson for president. We could use a good libertarian in the White House. Too bad he good shooed from the almighty and upstanding Ashbrook Program, im sure he didn’t fit the "ideological profile" of being a blind follower of Schrammism.

John’s Gultch -

A novelist is someone who writes novels. Please check the definition of novel. I don’t think that either Ann Coulter or Michael Savage would qualify as novelists. Your distinction between the two is laughable. How is Coulter a "bomb thrower" "demagogue for the sake of sales" but Savage is not?? They’ve always struck me as two of a kind.

Also, is the name a cute Rand/Objectivist thing? I don’t think there’s a "t" in gulch, though.

I don’t care if there is a T in Gulch or not, you get the point. And I remember saying I don’t think Savage is a novelest (emphasis "I" think they do, not "J Montgomery" thinks they do). Actually the definition of novel is very broad and his works could, to some extent, be considered novels, but enough of splitting apples. But thank you for correcting me, I now feel enlightened. I really do not care, im just glad I gave you something to write about. Probably the first orignial idea you’ve had in a while. Congrats! Wait, that wasn’t orignial nevermind. Keep walking blindly and you’ll never know what hit ya.

I forgot to answer the "bomb thrower" question. Savage is an insightful individual with years of education and an ohhhhhhhhhhh here it comes.....objective point of view. Coulter on the other hand is merely taking advantage of the current political situation, right majority and all that. I did not say Savage wasn’t a bomb thrower. I said he would be a better pick for president. Your spin on words does amuse me however. And to the point of sales, Savage is already an accomplished immunologist. Petty proceeds from book sales don’t seem to be his major motivation. As with Coulter, though I like her work, she doesn’t have much else going for her, kind of a one angled entertainer. But we can argue stupid grammer and punctuation all day. I’m after content and ideas, those without either resort to picking at paragraphs to bring out a minor grammatical flaw in order to debase the author in some way. True this tactic may work for politicians, but not in silly blog’s.

Easy Tiger!! You said "Not sure his [Savage’s] works count as novels, but I believe they do." - as in, you believe that Savage’s books count as novels. I’m not sure how your belief matters here, since neither of their "works" could reasonably be considered novels.

You wouldn’t happen to be related to Dain, would you? ;)

"Actually the definition of novel is very broad and his works could, to some extent, be considered novels, but enough of splitting apples."

From dictionary.com: "Novel- A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters."

Not sure what definition of novel you know of that dictionary.com doesn’t, but I don’t think any of Savage’s books fall under the definition above.

Also, there’s really no "arguing stupid grammer and punctuation all day," since you have to have a POSITION to be in an argument, and not knowing how to spell or use grammAr is not a position.

(Regarding Comment 16) - My argument is that Savage and Coulter don’t write novels. That has nothing to do with "grammer (sic) and punctuation."

No not related to Dain, though I have read some of his posts and they are interesting. In retrospect, I don’t believe Savage’s books count as novels. I just wanted to insert his name into discussion so that a different line of argument could be opened, the other thread was very boring. Also, my second remark was my futile attempt to maintain my argument. I concede the point. I still think he would make a better pick however.

About comment #19 - Wow. I hardly know what to say. You conceded the point. I’m not used to such honesty and maturity in this blog’s comments. Thanks! I’m being completely serious, and not at all sarcastic here. I do disagree that Savage would make a good president, of course, but to each his/her own, I guess!

Actually, C. Thompson is not a novelist either, but I understand your reasoning for inserting his name in "this" blog site.

Sorry buddy, didn’t see that you’d conceded the point already.

What in the heck is "Schrammism"?

I would give $10 to find out who John’s Gultch is, and how he knows about Schramm and Thompson! That is a standing offer, email me to accept it or to work out other arrangements.

John is a mysterious being from another world. He is like a continuem transfunctioner, his mystery is only exceeded by his power.

no seriously, I was just messing around, I have no interest in this blog site, I was just bored at work today. Thanks fure pruvidin’ me with sew much enturtanement tuday. ola

Vote for Flava Flav!

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