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.
BASIC MESSAGES IN HIS BOOK
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.