My Super-Secret Agenda Revealed

Arconna said—The fact that Democrats accused Republicans of fiddling with votes and intentionally disenfranchising voters who had names similar to criminals is just as disturbing as Democrats doing the same thing. All that that proves is that no party has the interests of the American people in mind, just their own. I’m absolutely sick of this divide between parties.

YES! That’s it. That’s my secret agenda! I want the Democrats and the Republicans, people in any third parties, and those of us who have NO party that stands for what we think and believe, to work together for the good of the country, and the good of the citizens in it.

All the ceaseless bickering partisanship, all the Democrats Are Bad, Republicans Are Bad, We’re Better Than You Are idiocy, is destroying all of us. The nation is too big and to diverse to speak with one voice. But its varied voices need to start talking to each other, rather than at each other.

The Romans were masters of “Divide and Conquer,” and kept half a world of enemies successfully occupied for a couple thousand years while they ruled with increasing despotism. Both Republicans and Democrats from the far edges of their respective constituencies are using the same “Divide and Conquer” strategy quite effectively to keep people who mostly agree with each other at each other’s throats. So long as we remain distracted by fighting each other about the red flags each side waves in our faces, we cannot force those in power to change.

We are a nation deeply divided by politics and the people who wield politics as their weapon. Yet most of us share the common ground of love of liberty, a belief in human rights and freedoms, the right to the pursuit of happiness, and the value of representative government made up of people we chose who ACTUALLY REPRESENT US. Our divisions are taking all of that away from us, a piece here and a piece there, from both ends of the spectrum. The goal of both sides is to get into power and then stay there. What we want and what we need as a people and a nation does not begin to figure into that.

HUGE SPOILER WARNING FOR TALYN FOLLOWS—–

I don’t like to publicize the themes and subplots of my books, because I’d rather people read them and get what they need out of what I put there, but that IS the theme of TALYN.

The Tonks are conservative. The Eastils are liberal. And by fighting each other they miss the bigger picture—that the rest of the world has no reason to love them, and many good reasons to wish to take the good they’ve both created away from them. Divided, they are conquered. Without each other, they cannot survive.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

8 comments… add one
  • Uscareme Dec 29, 2018 @ 3:04

    Worth noting, of course, is that both the liberals and conservatives in Talyn are pretty decent people who aren’t out make a buck at the expense of human dignity and liberty by, say, disproportionately imprisoning people of color as a workaround for slavery not being socially or legally acceptable. Or by reinforcing the Gordian knot of heteronormative gender essentialism and theocratic fantasy that traps women in abusive marriages.

    Lots of gender equality and communal sensibility in Tonk culture. Pretty unlike the real life politics of social conservatives. But, then, that may well be an archetypal example of a wedge issue. I always hear that a majority of registered Republicans support a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and its related right to choose. Growing up, as I did, in the Bible Belt, however, I admit that’s hard to believe–my personal experiences have reinforced the stereotypes more often than not.

    Polarization is a hell of a thing.

  • Katherine Jun 12, 2008 @ 20:00

    Newt Gingrich, calling for bipartisanship for the good of the country? The guy who helped usher in our current hyperpartisan era? Now I’ve heard everything.

    Too often, “bipartisan cooperation” really means “roll over and let me get my way.” I haven’t followed Gingrich’s career lately, but that’s certainly how he used the phrase when he was in office.

    I too would love to see a real search for common ground. One way to start would be for moderates (in both parties) to actually vote in primary elections, get involved at the local level, and so forth. The radicals (in both parties) tend to win in the primaries because they are more organized and motivated. By the time the general election rolls around, only the extremes are left. (This year is proving an exception, at least on the Republican side, mostly because the Bush administration’s ineptness has single-handedly discredited his own wing of the party.)

  • PolarBear Jun 12, 2008 @ 16:36

    Please consider giving Newt Gingrich’s Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World that Works a read. He strives to critique the reasons both party’s are failing and offers a path to success — it involved just what we’ve discussed here; the need to work together and put party affiliations aside.

    I know he resigned at Speaker of the House under less than ideal conditions, but he’s become a Think Tank since then and is devoted to finding workable solutions to our national problems. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak in a non-attribution environment almost two years ago, and I was impressed with his out-of-the-box thinking and proposals to solve some of our most pressing problems in this country (illegal immigration is one). I’ve only just begun reading this book, but it looks like some of the things he talked about that day are included in this book. I’m glad for that, because then I can attribute the ideas to him and begin talking about them if I wish.

  • vanity Jun 12, 2008 @ 12:45

    Holly, you are right, you haven’t flat out stated it, but I now found the source that I was thinking of: In your newsletter from the 2nd of April, about burying your novel’s themes you wrote:

    “In that novel, the Democrats became one nation, the Republicans the
    other. […] My two protagonists were from warring nations, magic was the physics of the world, and the villain was disguised as a good guy for the first half of the novel.”

    When I read that, I thought “Oh wow, I never got that from Talyn.” – to me it was clear you were talking about Talyn, even though you never mentioned the book by name.

  • hollylisle Jun 12, 2008 @ 11:57

    Vanity, as far as I know, I’ve never publicly stated the theme of TALYN before, because I don’t like doing that. I want people to read the books for the stories, and get whatever subtext they choose to from the experience.

    It has been my experience that people find what they need in stories that are written with deeper meanings built in—but only rarely is what they need what the writer wrote. I don’t write to send a message.

    I write to tell stories, and I get what I need to deal with off my chest at the same time, but trying to force readers to see things my way would cheapen the books.

    So, frankly, I’m glad you didn’t get that from reading TALYN. It means I did my job right.

  • vanity Jun 12, 2008 @ 11:47

    I didn’t get that theme from Talyn, but I do remember that you mentioned it once before. I sifted through the archives and some of your e-books, but couldn’t find where I read it before, though.

  • Arconna Jun 12, 2008 @ 11:40

    I should have added to my comment that it’s equally disturbing that Democrats don’t throw a fit when fellow Democrats do those things, and vice versa with Republicans. We live in a nation that is growing more and more divided and we desperately need to change that. If we don’t, we’re looking at a future disaster. A lot of problems stem from religion, because we can’t agree with religious people about hardly anything due to this thing called faith. Some religious folks are so stubborn, they can’t compromise. The same can be said of the polar opposite (which I guess would be the science nuts or something). The sooner we can all sit down and discuss the issues with open minds, the better.
    This is why I’m registered independent. I don’t like either party one bit. Both are full of idiots. We need a moderate president, someone who has a little conservative and a little liberal in him/her. I think in that event we might actually see some significant change in this country. You can be both liberal and conservative…it’s really not that hard.

  • rcyork Jun 12, 2008 @ 11:15

    I’m glad your wrote this. I consider myself a conservative. I *usually* vote Republican because the candidate in question *usually* more closely shares my views — at least publicly while trying to get elected.

    I don’t really like the term moderate. I guess that is because the image I have is someone who is easily swayed by public opinion.

    I think I prefer patriot or statesman. These would be people that have the greater good of the country at heart. Unfortunately, they are few and far between in politics. The last statesman we had for President was Ronald Reagan and the last patriot must have before my lifetime because I don’t recall any.

    BTW, I’m glad you revealed the theme of TALYN. It is pretty much what I got out of it. It wasn’t transparent, but it was well conveyed.

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