Orson Scott Card’s Alternate Future

Orson Scott Card’s Alternate Future August 16, 2013

I don’t care for Orson Scott Card’s stance on gay marriage or gay rights, but he is an excellent writer. Dave Weigel over at Slate has a good example: a political column from last May. It is truly a masterpiece of breathless right-wing paranoia.

Take this chunk, first Card’s writing followed by Weigel’s commentary:

Obama is, by character and preference, a dictator. He hates the very idea of compromise; he demonizes his critics and despises even his own toadies in the liberal press. He circumvented Congress as soon as he got into office by appointing “czars” who didn’t need Senate approval. His own party hasn’t passed a budget ever in the Senate.

In other words, Obama already acts as if the Constitution were just for show. Like Augustus, he pretends to govern within its framework, but in fact he treats it with contempt.

Here on Earth, Obama has actually signed off on a series of compromises that fell short of what he demanded—the health care law, the debt limit increases—and he’s only the latest president to appoint a series of advisers who are termed “czars.”

Obama has angered many progressive by being to centrist and too willing to compromise on what they consider central principles. I know folks who still haven’t forgiven him for scuttling the public option in order to get health care passed. Yet to Card, Obama is clearly a dictator.

But Card isn’t done with his world-building. Now he starts to reveal Obama’s plans for political control using modern brown-shirts:

Where will he get his “national police”? The NaPo will be recruited from “young out-of-work urban men” and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities.

In other words, Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.

Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.

Maybe it’s time we take a second look at the hyper-militarized world of Ender’s Game. Maybe Card thought he was writing non-fiction.

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