Orson Scott Card is a great science fiction writer, in part because he understands our culture so well and sees where choices made today could take us, given one implausible push or another (such is the nature of science fiction). He is believable inside the fiction because he knows what a reasonable person would do.
He is also a political commentator. He came and spoke to my military unit, in part because we were using his fiction to imagine a real military future. (i.e. – how could we use his book Ender’s Game to suggest a training program for future commanders.) And he maintains active engagement with society and writes thoughtful editorials on a regular basis.
On the occasion of Solzhenitsyn’s death, Card wrote that famed Russian writer’s believed that “the Western world has lost its civil courage.”
Card put that in context as it relates to the approaching election. He says, “we face the kind of choice that shapes the future of nations. On the one hand, we have an irascible Republican who is wrong as often as he is right, but at least has the courage to act according to his conscience often enough to earn the enmity of party hacks.
“On the other hand, we have a candidate who has shown himself to be a complete captive of the intellectual elite, voting their party line in Congress, sneering in private at ordinary citizens that he does not even try to understand, wrapping himself in ersatz victimhood, changing his mind whenever it seems politically prudent while denying that he ever had any other view.
“We are at the great political divide, and most Americans — especially the young, who have been so grossly miseducated by the intellectual elite.”
Which is exactly the point made by Sarah Palin, and why the media – and the Democrats – don’t get it the way the American electorate does. Even if Card is right, and John McCain is a flawed leader, he at least is the only one (among the elected elite) who understands how powerful the Palin candidacy is, and why her election (more than his) is critical to the political future of this great country.