Friday, September 13, 2019

Why I Wrote an Anti-Gun, Anti-Trump, Environmental Science Fiction Novel



Sherman is an Anti-Gun, Anti-Trump, Environmental Science Fiction Novel. In Sherman, the Trumpian Dick Powers is assassinated and replaced by an automaton that is as much of a trainwreck as the flesh and blood president. Greedy, boastful, womanizing, racist, fascist, and undignified,  Powers is the worst America has to offer. He's a braggart willing to nuke West Virginia to increase his political capital.

In short, Powers is a literary twin to Donald Trump. Sure, Trump hasn't rained down fire and fury, but he's destabilized the world economy, ours with it. He's alienated our political allies and befriended the strongmen and dictators of our day. A recent political faux pas with Denmark, attempting to buy Greenland, isn't even rational. Why does Trump need Greenland? He's so confused and disoriented, maybe he thinks it's a golf course.

But our president's attempt to buy Greenland fits with his idiom. Things only have value if you can buy them and turn a profit. People only have value if they help you grow your Empire. Everything and everyone else is ignorable, a waste of space, nothing.

Feeling that Trump is a blight to my own mood and enjoyment of life, I've often tried ignoring our president. But he's a bit like a circus: loud, gross, and in your face. I spoke with Martin Wooster about this project and he said, "I would hope the world needs more Trump-free spaces." I couldn't agree more. Our country and the world would be much better off if we didn't have an orange wrecking ball for a president. Yet, there he is, daily making our world worse, and I'm not sure if we get Trump-free spaces by ignoring him or using art to protest.

Should you stick your fingers in your ears and shut your eyes or stay alert and report everything? This question is hard to answer. In response to endless gun violence, many newspapers have quit writing about the shooter. America's white supremacist domestic terrorists are looking for their 15-minutes-of-fame. They want their name beside Dylan Roof on Wikipedia and their favorite message boards. They want to add the emphatic period-as-bullet-hole to the end of our president's racist and xenophobic musings.

In the wake of white supremacist attacks on churches, nightclubs, and Wal-Marts, Trump and the rest of the G.O.P. wring their hands and make a lot of promises. In the weeks that follow, they meet with the N.R.A., get some kickbacks, and disavow their promised support of tougher gun laws.

You can't expect much from Trump, but you can expect hypocrisy, lies, and corruption. Because of political inaction, you can expect regular white supremacist fueled domestic terrorism.

It's possible that even without Trump inciting everyone to "Make America Hate Again" we'd still have an uptick in hate groups across the country. Globally, we've seen a rise in nationalism, xenophobia, and clannishness. But Trump's erstwhile senior adviser Steve Bannon still dreams of fomenting global revolution and recreating the conditions that led to World War I.

Whether or not Trump's reign leads to global war and economic collapse, we're stuck with a divisive, bigoted demagogue tweeting racial slurs and sexist comments on the daily. Our president and the base of voters that love him don't align with the Civil Rights Movement. They don't align with the LGBTQ agenda. They don't align with the poor, the refugee, or the non-white. Without pushing to reduce the number of guns in America, they hardly align with the human agenda.

But equality for all is an honorable and achievable goal. And Americans shouldn't have to live in fear that they might get shot by a crazy person or an angry person or a domestic terrorist. We need gun-free neighborhoods, gun-free schools, gun-free country music festivals, and gun-free Wal-Marts. We need a gun-free America. 

So, in an inversion of why violence occurs, I wrote a book in which a group dedicated to getting rid of guns in America perpetrate acts of gun violence against criminals and politicians on the take. We must talk more about politicians who receive campaign contributions in exchange for keeping guns legal. These politicians and gun lobbyist groups should be treated as domestic terrorists and held responsible for the deaths of America's children due to gun violence.

We need a president that stands up for the interests of America and Americans as well as global interests--not just American global interests.

So, I wrote a book that lampoons Trump. Sherman makes Donald J. look little, petty, and limited. 

The book follows William Tecumseh Sherman as he time travels around America's history, talking to presidents that like their guns and aren't interested in instituting environmental protections. 

I realize that it's a bit of stretch that Sherman would get involved politically. Sherman once said if he was elected, he wouldn't serve. But isn't that precisely the kind of leader America needs? Someone disinterested in leadership wouldn't likely have ulterior motives for holding a position of power: no Putins to please, no buildings to build in Moscow or the Middle East.

But the reality of American politics is that those willing to profit from power are rewarded for it. In 2019, the emoluments clause might as well be struck from the record. It clearly isn't taken seriously. But emoluments are only the tip of the ugly iceberg.

Our political landscape is crazy. President Trump's cabinet members were all strategically placed in their roles to undermine the department they were given charge of. Why? Because the president's role is to similarly undermine America. 

So, let's undermine the president. I've started by writing a novel that looks at this administration square in the face and shakes its head. What else can we do to preserve American democracy?

Get a copy of Sherman here.

Ready for Another Rapid Transmission?


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