We are living out the first act of The Godfather. Remember the cliffhanger. Near Christmas, like today, five Mafia families execute a coordinated attack on Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), riddling him with bullets. In the immediate aftermath, there is a profound sense of doom. Everyone expects the Godfather to die, and all seems lost. Only he does not die. He lives to initiate a counterattack against the five families with his successor son, Michael (Al Pacino).
Donald Trump is the American Godfather. Last Tuesday he got hit, perhaps lethally, by a combined five forces of the Swamp: the corrupt Democratic electoral machine, Big Tech, the Deep State, RINO turncoats, and the leftist news media, which unfortunately includes the current Fox News. Now conservatives have to be Michael Corleone to save the first principles movement that Trump almost single-handedly relaunched, whether he survives or not. And we artists are in the front ranks, right behind the courts.
I leave it to brilliant scholars such as Victor Davis Hanson to explain what a tragic disaster the radical left-controlled Biden administration will be to the nation, and I’ll stick to my forte, the arts and the culture. Conservative writers are anxious right now, with good reason. We had long been working outside the progressive hegemony to create good stories unshackled by intersectional and narrative demands. Consequently, we have been impeded from mainstream publication or film production, canceled when we broke through, then blocked from promoting our work. In President Trump we have a champion at the very top of government fighting for our endangered freedom of expression. Now that he’s wounded, social media is censoring him.
This too evokes The Godfather. What Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) says to Sonny Corleone (James Caan) regarding Don Corleone’s precarious fate could perfectly apply to Trump’s. “If we lose the old man, we lose our political contacts and half our strength.” I was feeling the squeeze even before last week’s hit on Trump.
I have had three novels published by independent presses. The first two, Jake for Mayor and Paper Tigers, contain a strong political element, the former — about a dog running for town mayor — clearly satirical. Two years ago, I sought to pay Facebook 80 bucks to boost my post on Paper Tigers to the many more members than follow me. Here was my apparently controversial pitch: “Two ambitious new interns at the Washington Post — a cowboy conservative and a feminist beauty — match wits and sparks while vying for a reporter slot. But can chemistry trump ideology in the mad age of Donald Trump? Romeo and Juliet had it easier.” Facebook rejected my money and post, citing its “political content.” I petitioned, “Why not let people know about the book and decide pro or con on its political content?” Facebook wouldn’t budge.
It would be far worse without Trump because to progressives everything is political, and art must toe the politically correct line. They have expanded the Social Justice Warrior mindset that is killing Hollywood to literature. If Mark Twain and Harper Lee are getting canceled for realistic depictions of racism to make an anti-racist point, and J. K. Rowling is under attack for defending women from transgender lunacy, what chance does a Lou Aguilar have?
I write traditionalist stories of the kind people have enjoyed since The Iliad, featuring real men and feminine women with no doubt as to which is which. My women are smart and intrinsically strong, minus the ludicrous capability to beat up 200-pound men, although they may get the better of them in other ways. Because, even more unacceptable for liberals, my men and women acknowledge their gender differences via mutual attraction, as in real life.
For my just-published novel, The Christmas Spirit, I went all out against the forces of wokeness, beginning with the title. I could have called it “The Holiday Spirit,” but I like to live dangerously. The book itself is progressive kryptonite — a Yuletide romantic ghost story with a subtle Christian element about a white heteronormative female protagonist in search of her possible white male soulmate, the man who, shockingly, rescued her at sea. That sound you hear are phone receivers being slammed down all over Hollywood during my agent’s pitch for a movie adaptation of the book. A woman obsessed with a dashing mystery man who saved her life? What year is this — 1997, when Titanic made a billion dollars on a similar premise to rule for years as the highest-grossing film of all time? Today, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence would balk at the thought. They’ll save their own lives without the help of a man, you sexist pigs, and hang romance. It wouldn’t matter to the leftist watchdogs that my heroine, Caroline York, is a beautiful, intelligent, brave, resourceful woman who charts her own course in life against great resistance. There are way too many triggers in the book.
And without Donald Trump to stop it, a new Committee of Public Safety will be forming soon, to be followed by a psychological Reign of Terror. But maybe the Don’s not dead. And if he is, we’ll remember what he taught us. Build an underworld empire outside the system, and wait. So politically for now, it’s time to go to the mattresses.