Sunday, February 17, 2008

Might've Guessed: Grisham likes Hillary

Tibor R. Machan

Of the very few John Grisham legal thrillers I have read, the only one I liked was The Firm. It was also a pretty decent movie, made good mostly by Gene Hackman's character and acting.

What I didn't like about the few other Grisham books I tried to read was their relentless business bashing. The Pelican Brief comes to mind. And that while corporations are picked as targets by making them all seem vicious, governments and their policies get completely off the hook. So I have stopped reading him despite my almost fanatical devotion to court room dramas, of which I like the works of Steve Martini, Scott Thurow, J. F. Freedman, Lee Gruenfeld, John T. Lescroart, Lisa Scottoline and, especially, Philip Friedman. I grew up reading Hungarian translations of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason books and have never gotten tired of the drama that surrounds criminal trials.

What I find difficult to take is stereotyping in any fiction, but especially the court room variety. If lawyers are treated as if they were all really sleazy, or corporate managers as if they were all greedy, or professors depicted as if they were all saints, well this ruins a story for me from the start and I will stop reading it. I managed to start a couple of Grisham's books because, well, I didn't know about his anti-capitalist mentality.

My son tells me I should just put up with it since there is hardly any contemporary fiction, including TV drama and movies, that doesn't rely on such types. Well, I have managed to find some, so I remain hopeful. (I don't think the TV program Law & Order uses them much.)

My suspicion about Grisham has once again been confirmed. Reading the The New York Times Book Review I came upon an item reporting that John has endorsed Hillary for president, with all kinds of accolades: "she is a very warm, authentic person," and when you meet her, "you are taken with her warmth and humor and authenticity." Not a word, of course, about the fact that Grisham and Clinton share an anti-capitalist, anti-market ideology! But that is what I suspect makes him like her for the top political job. From up there she can exercise power and impose all her famous ideals and ideas that she so warmly and authentically believes we all must follow even if quite unwillingly.

You may not always be able to judge someone by the friends he or she keeps but in this instance there is good reason to think that the alliance between the famous court room novelist and the famous politician has to do with their shared political economic viewpoint. And this gives me yet another reason for thinking that if a Democrat must be the country's next president, Barack Obama is probably a safer bet than that fiercely Leftist ideologue, Hillary Clinton.

Mind you, I am not eager to throw around the label "ideologue." It suggests mindless, simplistic adherence to some set of ideas and is often used, say by Princeton economics professor Paul Kurgman in his columns for The New York Times, to besmirch people whose arguments one doesn't wish to address. But in the case of Mrs. Clinton the label seems to me to fit since her embrace of socialist public policies are never defended, never justified in her lectures to voters. She seems to have a faith in socialism, having gotten initiated by her mentor neo-Marxist Michael Lerner, the editor of TIKKUN magazine. (Once, very long time ago, Clinton was an admirer of Ayn Rand's novels and even supported Barry Goldwater for a while. Lerner appears to have been the person who led her to switch to the extreme Left.)

I am glad that Grisham's support of Clinton is out in the open. His unabashed opposition of capitalism should alert voters that when they vote for Clinton, they are voting for anything but a free economy.

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