A very important post about…. Barbara Boxer’s blue mind
Via Matt Welch, I found Anne-Marie O’Connor’s story in the Los Angeles Times about Senator Barbara Boxer’s new novel, A Time to Run (co-authored with Mary-Rose Hayes). There’s some fascinating information in O’Connor’s piece about the motivations behind the troika of protagonists: In “A Time to Run,” the main characters from the reigning “blue states” ...
Via Matt Welch, I found Anne-Marie O'Connor's story in the Los Angeles Times about Senator Barbara Boxer's new novel, A Time to Run (co-authored with Mary-Rose Hayes). There's some fascinating information in O'Connor's piece about the motivations behind the troika of protagonists:
Via Matt Welch, I found Anne-Marie O’Connor’s story in the Los Angeles Times about Senator Barbara Boxer’s new novel, A Time to Run (co-authored with Mary-Rose Hayes). There’s some fascinating information in O’Connor’s piece about the motivations behind the troika of protagonists:
In “A Time to Run,” the main characters from the reigning “blue states” ? Josh from California and Ellen from equally reassuring New York ? are liberal, altruistic, sane. Their affluent families are caring and sharing. Their red state-born buddy, Greg, is the son of an emotionally abusive Ohio hardware seller former Marine who lost his favorite son in Vietnam. The red states that Greg heads to after graduation are interchangeably dull Siberias where Greg hangs out with the menfolk, bonding over beer, football and hunting. Josh and Ellen become Left Coast do-gooders. Greg becomes a sociopathic neoconservative journalist, the go-to guy for character assassinations conjured by a right-wing California senator. Boxer said that although she didn’t intend for the characters to represent the American political equation, “I hope people will understand the issues I raise about why people are blue or red or purple.” Her literary intrigues are not all political: There’s also some bodice-ripping, with a love triangle between Greg, Ellen and Josh, and physical congress, tastefully suggested by euphemisms in which bodies “mesh.” There’s a whiff of scandal, too, when a youthful indiscretion comes back to haunt Josh…. Boxer said the novel explores “why people become liberals and conservatives. We explore the battle between liberals and conservatives at so many levels.” And it’s not pretty. If you’re looking for an inspirational story about someone who rose above a difficult background to champion the downtrodden, forget it. In “A Time to Run,” underprivileged Greg emerges as an opportunistic user ? an object lesson that does not seem particularly populist. (“We wanted to give Greg a very solid blue-collar background, and Ohio just seemed to be a good place for somebody like Greg to be from,” said co-writer Hayes, who is the London-born author of such books as “The Winter Women.” “I do believe that that is a fact, that generally speaking, large coastal cities have a more liberal bent.”) “It’s so clear the relationship with (Greg’s) dad and what happened to his brother in Vietnam, made a big impact on his life,” Boxer said. “The fact that [Josh and Ellen] had loving families made a very big difference.” Greg, Boxer said, “didn’t have that inner applause you get from your family. “It’s terrible when someone with all his talent uses it to hurt people.”
Insert your own joke about the Kennedys here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go consult a therapist to determine which parent emotionally abused me so much as to drive to the right of the political spectrum. [Wow, emotional abuse and early gender confusion. You’re a psychological mess. No wonder you didn’t get tenure!–ed. Hmmm… maybe I should take a closer look at the Americans With Disabilities Act!!]
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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