I’ve been away a long time, but that means plenty of time to think about things; things like why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings – to steal a thought or two from Lewis Carroll. Trying to get my back into shape (two ruptured discs from the car accident) and trying to wrap my mind around the thoughts of how certain groups and individuals are trying to rend the physical United States. This is the theme of my new novel, on which the CIA’s Publications Review Board remains perched like a hen on a fertilized batch of eggs.
I am always intrigued by those who preach the need for unity but insist that such unity must be upon their terms. In other words, “surrender yourselves to our cause, for only we know what is right and good.” And there are too many – far too many – who do just that. They do not question the premise, they do not ask questions, they just follow and do what is expected of them. Too often the idealist mesmerizes their followers with seemingly impressive yet simplistic ideas of equality of place, wealth, power and rightness. Yet, when deconstructed, the only practical way for these ideas to be real is to tear down what now exists and replace it with a new, better, more enlightened system – headed, of course, by the idealists themselves. In no small part this idealism often cloaks hatred and acts as a revenge mechanism. Thus, it is the hatred in the hearts of people to which the idealist appeals, and not to that part known as the better nature. As a society we are engulfed in a sea of opinion full of undercurrents, riptides and maelstroms each seeking to pull us under in surrender. Only the strongest swimmers can avoid these phenomena. So, we must practice our swimming, and teach our children to be strong swimmers as well. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves struggling to survive, shouting for help from the shore.