Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

This morning I watched one of Craig Martelle’s Five Minute Focus videos for writers. Today he followed up yesterday’s video on Branding with What is a Brand. He admitted these had probably been recorded in reverse order, but I imagine that was a result of questions that came up on the 20 Books Facebook group after people had watched the first one.

Anyway, that got me thinking about my own brand, which has changed from “Mystery, romance, and adventure in the desert Southwest” to “Mystery with a touch of romance” with the debut of my Shipwreck Point Mysteries, which take place in Massachusetts rather than Arizona. But I’ve never been really satisfied with the second version. In my heart, I know it doesn’t really capture what my mysteries are about.

Those of you who are of a certain age may recognize the words in the title of this blog as the end of the opening to the the nineteen-fifties television show the Adventures of Superman. That, along with the Lone Ranger, was one of my favorite television shows. I probably liked it better than the Lone Ranger.
The idea of a “mild-mannered reporter” who could, on demand, transform into a superhero, often to rescue Lois Lane from the bad guys when he wasn’t saving the whole world, was a young girl’s dream come true, especially when he looked like George Reeves. (His other well-known role was one of the Tarlton twins in Gone with the Wind.)

The Lone Ranger is a similar character, defending the weak against the bad guys, this time in the old West instead of Metropolis. Which brings me to what I think my brand should be.

What my two mystery series (and my first Community of Faith series) have in common is justice. My sleuths always want justice for the wrongly accused. Lilliana always wanted justice for her friends. With Titus Strong and Elisabeth Wade, the scope of who my sleuths want justice for has widened. In these books, Titus is on a mission to defend the underdog.

I just haven’t come up with a snappy way of phrasing that concept. If anyone has an idea, I’d be happy to hear from you.

Because “Truth, justice, and the American way!” are so ingrained in my way of thinking, it has sometimes led to posts here and, more often, on Facebook that may alienate some of my readers. Craig makes a big point of not getting into controversial subjects like politics for that very reason. For years, I made a big effort not to do that.

But the last four years have been different.

You see, Truth is also incredibly important to me. And, right from the beginning, I saw that the media was not always telling the truth about Donald Trump and what he said. They also didn’t get his jokes, instead fanning outrage over statements that I, as a born and raised New Yorker of roughly the same age, found hilarious. (And, yes, “Maybe we should drink bleach” was a joke.)

Don’t get me wrong. Donald Trump is far from a perfect person, and there’s lots I didn’t like about him. He’s a bit of an egomaniac. He uses too many superlatives. He started out being terribly naïve about politics. But he’s also very smart (anyone who becomes a billionaire can’t be stupid), and in 2016, I found myself agreeing with a lot of what he said. I also find the Clintons abhorrent, which didn’t hurt his odds of my voting for him.

Over and over again, I saw how the media misquoted or took out of context words that Donald Trump said in a speech or interview. And I felt an obligation to point out what he’d actually said, thus breaking my own rule about discussing politics in public forums. Some people interpreted this as affirming that I was a Trump supporter long before I became one. And the more the media lied and commenters on my Facebook posts hated on me, the more I was pushed to becoming a Trump supporter.

Even though in 2016, I really wasn’t one. It was more a case of the lesser of two evils for me.

The Democrats and the media haven’t helped their case since then. The unjustified impeachment proceedings that spent millions of dollars and stalled needed legislation, the smearing of Justice Kavanagh’s reputation based on liars’ (most likely paid liars) testimony, and the riots in the streets aren’t things I can get behind.

Nancy Pelosi, with her refusal to pass interim legislation of smaller scope to help individuals and small businesses, is more concerned with her power than the suffering of Americans.

And meanwhile, despite needing to defend himself at every turn, Donald J. Trump has an amazing list of accomplishments for his first term. There are too many for me to enumerate in a blog post. You can see them here:

I would hope that after November third, we would be able to stop all the hostility and animosity among Americans, but I’m afraid it will continue long after Election Day. For one thing, whichever side loses is bound to bring lawsuits accusing the other of malfeasance and illegal voting practices. Some fear the election won’t be decided by January 21st. That would be a disaster for the country.

In every way, I want to get back to living my life as a proud American. I know I’m not alone in this. But for that to happen, we really do need Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

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A Clash of Kings
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