Friday, April 20, 2018

Give Authors A Shot At Congress!

With Paul Ryan announcing he is not running for re-election and that he’ll step down from being Speaker of the House, a wave of change is in the air on Capitol Hill and across the nation.  There’s a real possibility The Republicans will lose one or both chambers of Congress.  What if we had more authors run for Congress?

There are authors in Congress today.  Many of them wrote books as a tool to market themselves for an election, part memoir and part political policy.  But what if we had all kinds of people, who are primarily authors, seek to serve in our legislative branch?

We couldn’t do worse than with what we have now, a Congress filled with rich, selfish, and in some cases, unqualified, individuals, who care about an agenda that serves only the few at the expense of all.  Authors, however, would be great to have in Congress.

They are good communicators, researchers, and thinkers.  They can analyze, empathize, and balance two opposing sides.  They can craft a narrative that leads us to happier endings.  If they can’t enact change, they can at least change the way we view things.

What types of authors would serve us best?

The self-published author is a risk-taking, do-it-yourself entrepreneur with a vision.  We need a few of them.

The best-selling author knows how to take a good idea and sell it, building a loyal following.  We need a few of them as well.

The academic writer from a university press knows how to dive into an important issue and seek out credible sources to draw important conclusions to act upon.  We, too, need a few of them to serve us.

The children’s book author approaches big issues in a simple but loving way, using colorful images and good ethics to help us see certain truths and encourage us to take action.  Like Noah’s Ark, we need a few of these too.

The thriller writer warns us of societal dangers, of the problem with powerful entities or individuals who are out of control. They entertain us while seeking to restore normalcy to our lives.  A few of them should run for office as well.

We’ll need business authors, civics authors, poets, and motivational authors as well.  Heck, every author brings some kind of expertise and unique voice to the table.  They are intelligent, caring, and feeling individuals.  How great would Congress be if it was filled entirely with authors?

Then again, many authors have shortcomings.  They can prescribe what should be done but don’t always lift a finger to get it done.  They are great with words, short on deeds.  They have great imaginations, but can they deal with reality?  They are idealistic, but can’t they be practical?  They write a great deal but do they spend time actually living, doing, and experiencing?

Many authors are individualistic and not team players.  They are loners.  They write well but may shun public appearances or speaking before large crowds.  They have a moral compass – can they adjust to being deal-makers with scoundrels?

Maybe what we need is more authors on the staffs of those in Congress.  Writers write, politicians legislate.  They may be two different animals for which no reconciliation can exist.

But if an author ran for office, he or she would have my vote.  It beats the losers vying for office these days.   Our president was a reality television star (and author) and others have served Congress with credentials of actor, athlete, and businessman and no prior political experience at all. If we are taking in political novices and naïve candidates, we might as well try authors.  Perhaps we should get some erotica authors in office. They know all about fucking others over.  Literally.

“The art of reading is to skip judiciously.  Whole libraries may be skipped these days, when we have the results of them in our modern culture without going over the ground again.  And even of the books we decide to read, there are almost always large portions which do not concern us, and which we are sure to forget the day after we have read them.  The art is to skip all that does not concern us, while missing nothing that we really need.  No external guidance can teach us this; for nobody but ourselves can guess what the needs of our intellect may be.”
--P.G. Hamerton, The Intellectual Life (1882)

“I have decided that there is no excuse for poetry.  Poetry gives no adequate return in money, is expensive to print by reason of the waste of space occasioned by its form, and nearly always promulgates illusory concepts of life.  But a better case for the banning of all poetry is the simple fact that most of it is bad.  Nobody is going to manufacturer a thousand tons of jam in the expectation that five tons may be eatable.”
--Myles na Gopaleen, The Best of Myles (1968)

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.”

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