More and more, people are becoming concerned about what is happening in our federal government. On Saturday, I met a man in a coffee shop reading the new book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Fascism: A Warning. He had previously read A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey, the FBI director whom President Trump fired, declaring on national television that he did so because of Comey’s investigation into possible collusion by Trump with Russia in the 2016 election. The man also had read the Michael Wolff book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. This prolific reader obviously was deeply interested in the raging controversy over the Trump presidency.
“I was an accountant, and I’m not a progressive,” he clarified. “I’m a conservative.” But he deplored what he regarded as a dangerous state of affairs in the Trump administration. He said that he hailed from New York, and was aware of the unscrupulous dealings by Trump in his real estate business. The man said Trump fired a 78-year-old woman who had worked 27 years for him – without even a word, or severance, or any kind of compensation.
This is not intended as a trashing of Trump, though it will be a result. It is a recommendation for a book that triggers thoughts about the possibilities for calamity looming in our country with a president who is doing everything possible to thwart our democratic processes, notably by attempting to suppress the free press, moving to depose any official seeking to make the president accountable to the Constitution, and tolerating only sycophantic people in his administration, who are willing to do his bidding while knowing it is wrong. This is the modus operandi of dictators, e.g., North Korea’s Kim Jong Un today, Uganda’s Idi Amin in the 1970s, Adolph Hitler in the 1930-40s, and Benito Mussolini in the same era.
Trump is angry at the Washington Post, which is doing its job in reporting on the unending scandals within his administration, and is taking measures to financially punish Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, owns the Post.
It is downright frightening, and Conflux: Threat From the Troika, by William Brazzel, while only tangentially (and probably unintentionally) reflective of our current situation, nonetheless shows the potential for an overthrow of our government. Carl Dietrich, the leader of right-wing Deutsche Christen, which is operating in the United States, kidnaps the two children of investigative journalist Sean Carrol to coerce him into writing newspaper stories about the group. Carrol learns that the organization is planning attacks in America, and the CIA believes that a “foreign entity” may be involved.
Hmmm. Fade to reality. Abundant evidence has emerged that a chief adversary of the United States, Russia, made surreptitious attempts to foil the election of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, and Trump has almost nothing but praise for its leader and undermines sanctions Congress imposed against the country.
And then there’s this line from the Amazon description of Conflux: “Bolstered by the overwhelming support provided by two foreign governments, Dietrich believes his forces to be invincible, and his future rise to power inevitable.”
Uh-huh – the intoxication of power. Any parallels here – such as the president’s willingness to risk a war with Iran in an attempt to demonstrate superiority over his predecessor?
Carrol is a former Special Forces officer, and goes into training with his former outfit to attempt a rescue of his niece and nephew. As events unfold, he discovers that, far beyond the children’s abduction, a worldwide conflict may be at stake.
“Carrol,” the well respected Kirkus Reviews opines, “is an enthralling, well-developed character.” Further, “Brazzel’s straightforward prose throughout suits the typically stoic protagonist … Carrol meticulously describes everything, even the mundane … This approach occasionally results in moments of suspense.”
On the other hand, “the writing is at its strongest when it comes to hearty scenes of action,” of which there is a “copious” amount. A book such as Conflux can inspire reflection on the perils that face our nation today.