Political Novel-Allen Drury


Novels and movies about politics in America for years were off limits.  I suspect authors and writers were afraid that their novels might, in a subtle way, influence national elections, laws and bills in Congress, and even Supreme Court decisions.  Law Suites were  a constant fear.

Of course no writing is free from bias.  Even so, I don’t think that reporting true stories, even with this certain bias, poses a real problem.  The subtle message is what worries the authors.   Writers can gradually influence public opinion or erode confidence in our basic ideas set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other historic documents.  That is the real threat.   Also, writers will not mention the political party but just state the Majority and Minority party.

Finally readers should not attempt to find real life counterparts to the characters in the novels.  Or if done, to keep to an absolute minimum.   Otherwise, readers will spend too much time in character analysis and lose the whole meaning  of the plot.


In virtually all of Allen Drury’s books the two central themes are the Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and our attempts to maintain law and order in this country.  Here are some basic ideas.

–We must have a National Defense second to none in the word.  This includes the latest  most sophisticated systems from Research and Development to Procurement covering both first strike capability as well as pure defense against attack.

–Defense has a higher priority than Social Programs.  Defense is all that worries our potential adversaries.  Social programs exist at all levels of government; defense is all within the Federal Government.

–Drury views organized labor as a great threat.  Drury mentioned labor unrest in the novel The Throne Of Saturn with left wing sympathizers sabotaging the entire effort.

–The last point the author made was his distrust of the liberal media in television, newspapers,  and movies.  Drury feels that they downplay the threats from  Russia, Mainland China,  and smaller Left Wing Governments.   At the same time, the media holds our country to  standards which perhaps are too high to be realistic.  Drury certainly does not deny that social problems exist in this country.   He does make a valid point.  Meaningful progress will most always be slow.

The media should state and show where improvements have occurred.  To use a phrase from President Nixon;  it’s time to state what’s right about America.







The Conservative Movement I

There is some disagreement as to what started this country on its shift to the right.  So far I have not heard my idea from anyone.  Just hold on.

Barry Goldwater was a high minded most likable person who was effective in writing and speaking for his beliefs; but the 1964 Presidential Election was  not the beginning of this country accepting Conservative ideas.  I have read his book the Conscience of a Conservative many times.   Goldwater was neither a racist, a warmonger, or a man insensitive to human needs.

Having said this,  this book contained many proposals that were impractical and even dangerous.  He wanted to withdraw our recognition from the Soviet Union and not even consider a mission to Communist China.  Goldwater wanted private philanthropy and state governments to  handle all social welfare.  He voted against the landmark Civil Rights bill of 1964 driving minorities and the urban poor away from the Repubican Party right into the lap of the Democrats.

His nay vote on the Civil Rights Bill did enable the Repubican Party, for the first time since Reconstruction to easily  carry the five sates of the Deep South-Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.   Elsewhere it was a disaster.

Consider his home state Arizona.  With the exception of 1996, Republicans have easily won Arizona.  This Copper State did go for Bill Clinton in 1996. The only other time the Democrats  came close to winning Arizona ironically was 1964 when Barry Goldwater defeated Lyndon Johnson with 50.2% of the popular vote or a margin off just under 5,000 votes.  For the only time since 1952,  the Democrats in 1964 won with President Johnson  in Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

In January of 1965, Republicans held a meeting in Washington, DC with the idea of bringing the GOP more in tunes with the times.  More later















ersnally like Barry Golwarter but the 1964 Election certainly no mandate for consrvative values.  Golwater carried fiv states of the Deep South snce he voted against the Civil Rights Bill of that year.  The timing was bad since this ocyyred  Goldwater carried his home state of Arizona but by a slim margin of 5,000 votes.  Incidently, this was the closest wim of any Republican uitil Bill Contin carred that state stare in 1996.

After the bug loss Republicans met in Washington to attempt to bring the republican party to the chabgges of the day.  They new that mere negation would not do anything but was a step backward.

Thelma and her Quaint Store-McLean, VA

I didn’t know her last name but in McLean, VA it seemed that virtually everyone knew of Thelma’s General Store.  It was in the heavily traveled and traffic congested Northern Virginia at the intersection of Lewinville and Spring Hill Road.   Thelma’s went up of course when McLean was a distant suburb 12 miles south of Washington, DC.

Going into Thelma’s was a real treat because it brought us into another world in the distant past.  Outside was a gasoline pump that had not been used for years.  Travelers could fill up but had to pay cash at times without even coming into the store.  Service here depended on how busy the place was inside.

To your left as you entered the store were postcards and cheap tacky souvenirs of the Washington area.  Want a Coke?  Go operate the antique vending machine and press the lever down.  Out rolled the thick curved bottles that I have not seen elsewhere for many years.  There was a limited selection of groceries.  Thelma packed Ice Cream in those white cardboard containers as customers ordered  from the six or seven varieties.  There was nothing Thelma prepacked or as seen in grocery or convenience stores.

At the cashier’s counter was a small selection of over the counter medications and bathroom items.   Finally, there was Suzie, an senior Basset Hound, who roamed around the store at intervals throughout the day.   No doubt building codes prohibited dogs in stores.  Nevertheless, Thelma was there before the city government passed the codes.

I am no suggesting you readers should go out of your way to visit Thelma’s; but if you’re in the area it might be interesting.

McLean, VA,-Just Outside Washington DC

Many offices in McLean VA have pictures showing what the city looked like 50 years ago.   It was completely rural leaving the impression that it had not changed much since colonial days.  That is the story all across America and further details  would only be redundant.

Washington, DC has one big advantage.  Few cities have the Light Rail system found in the Washington Metropolitan Area; or, if seen elsewhere,  the rail map is far less extended.  Washington gradually moved into the suburban areas of Maryland and Virginia. 

Having looked at this movement of cities to the suburbs, it’s to look upon the next stage somewhat better defined-the movement of the suburbs to the suburban suburbs.  This is of course is just part of urbanization of our country which has ongoing since 1776.  This is shown from the television coverage of news, weather, sports, and traffic.  To illustrate:

Back in the 70s,  Washington television stations covered the news from the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis triangle to all immediate areas.  By the 80s television stations carried news and weather from as far as west as Roanoke VA, northwest to Somerset, PA,  north to Harrisburg, PA, northeast to Philadelphia, PA, and south to Norfolk, VA. 

The Washington area was growing.  But one small shop remained until 2002.

























The Man From Laramie-Horse

A wealthy old cattle baron is facing blindness. He and his foreman are climbing a small hill on horseback and getting close to where rifles are hidden. The foreman is real scum and has been selling his items on a piecemeal basis to the Red Men.  He knows he cannot sell them all at once. The foreman is trying to dissuade his boss from going up there. He pushes his boss over the small cliff and rides away quick and fast. 

An itinerant cowboy finds the unconscious old man and brings him back to the ranch. The doctor said the old man will be okay but he has gone blind.  It is no surprise. His eyesight had been failing for years.  The fall merely hastened the inevitable.  In the living room, the cowboy says “I would like to know who pushed the old man”. Doctor: The baron with his failing sight has no business riding on a horse over that terrain.  Cowboy: “There is nothing wrong with the horses’ eyes.




Quarterbacks and Reserves

There is still some hope that the Eagles can keep Carson Wentz and Nick Foles on their roster.  Teams need two tried and tested quarterbacks.  The coaches can switch players if the starter either is not having  a good game or gets injured.  Experience is the key here; quarterbacks should not enter the game cold from no previous playing time.   This is the only area where fans can fault Doug Pederson in 2017.

There were at least five lopsided wins during the Super Bowl season and, if memory serves, two this past year.   To keep things basic,  let’s look at the NFC Championship Game in 2017.  The 38 to 7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings was a genuine masterpiece.  Fans no doubt have watched this game in the condensed format many times.  The one regret- Philadelphia missed an opportunity to give reserves some much needed experience.

Notice I said reserves.  Neither Eagles nor any other team should run up the score with starters intact.  Why risk injury? The losing team might use this unnecessary scoring as a rallying point when the two teams meet again.  Put simply, a team making an opponent look foolish for no good reason is bad sportsmanship.

Having said this what Philadelphia did in the late stages of the 2017 NFC Championship Game was not good  either.  Moving like molasses, our guys ran the clock down to the two minute warning.   Enter Nate Sudfeld who performed the degrading task of taking  snaps from center and kneeling to end the game.  Pederson should have called a few pass and run plays to see how the team might move the ball with Sudfeld at Quarterback.

At any moment, a first stringer might go down for a few plays or maybe the entire season.   A team suddenly has to depend on second or third string players.  Experience will play a big part on how well he performs.

Dallas Records the only Interconference Win for the Eastern Division in 1965.

Of the 14 Inter conference games in 1965, the East won just one game.  In mid-season,  the Dallas Cowboys defeated the San Francisco Forty-Niners 39 to 31.  San Francisco gained  411 yards to just 242 yards for the Cowboys.  It was a combination of big defensive plays and special teams.  Dallas had only nine first downs.

For San Francisco-George Mira completed 14 of 30 passes for 274 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Ken Willard carried 25 times for 91 yards.  Dave Parks caught six passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

For Dallas-Don Meredith completed 11 of 20 passes for 216 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions.  Bob Hayes caught four passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns.  There were the following:

—Defensive Tackle Bob Lilley intercepted one pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.

—Mel Renfro  returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

—George Andre recovered a fumble in the End Zone for a touchdown.

Cowboys 39 49ers 31.