We live in a weird society where people are so involved in putting on the correct face that they often forget to look in the mirror and find their genuine self. The businessman is so involved in the running of his business in the most lucrative manner, he often forgets to reveal the man behind the suit. Performers often become the character they portray more than the other way around. Then there are the politicians...oh yes...the politicians.
Tonight is the first of many debates between politicians who are fighting for the chance to represent their party. We will listen to each debate carefully, and eventually democrats will pick their representative, republicans will pick their representative, and the real debates will begin. Each party candidate will have strong beliefs and a desire to represent our country fairly and help it maintain the status of the greatest nation in the world. Unfortunately, no matter which side we are discussing, these beliefs and desires will slowly erode into a pile of clay that lobbyists will mold into what best serves their interests.
My interest would best be served by politicians who weren't influenced by the mighty dollar or the next voting cycle. Watching politicians play the flip flop game would be funny if it wasn't so frightening. The speeches are always tailored to the group that is being spoken to, and I would understand that, if they weren't all coming from different sides of the issue. A morning speech that pleases pro-life followed by an afternoon speech catering to the needs of pro-choice, must make the candidate as dizzy as it makes the voter.
Unfortunately the typical voter does not have enough money to be heard above the financial roar of the lobbyists. If you think about it, most issues could quickly reach a compromise if finances were taken out of the picture. If we remove the radical fringes of both parties we find decent Americans who want what is best for everybody. Most of us would happily compromise with people that are willing to compromise equally. That is no fun...and no gain...for big business. Cigarette manufacturers, gun manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies would all be in big trouble if we all just got along.
Yes, the many faces of the politicians, businessmen, performers and often our closest friends can make us yearn for a book where the character is exactly what the author wants him to be. We can love him or hate him, but we know who he is. In Sandra Brown's newest book, Friction, Crawford Hunt is a Texas Ranger who gets himself involved in the hunt for a murderer who killed a bailiff in the courtroom where his own child custody case is being heard. We see the good, bad and ugly of Hunt, but we never doubt his genuineness. In Megan Abbott's book, The Fever, Tom Nash, his teenage children, and the entire town, in fact, are characters brought to life in a genuine way. They are not glorified here, and the reader enjoys taking part in searching for an explanation to the horrible illness plaguing the town's young teenage girls.
So enjoy the coming week getting to know the real characters in the two novels that are reviewed following this blog.