Hi all. First of all, the first two Troy books - A Brand of Fire, and Heirs of Immortality - are free on Amazon right now, and will be for 3 days. Pick one up, read it, and if you enjoy it please leave a review. I could use a few more reviews on my page, they really do help.
OK. Bit of a change from normal now, because I'm afraid I'm going to go all political. In the USA Mitt Romney recently said that he didn't want it to be said that he'd stayed silent in the face of a demagogue. Neither do I, so I'll do as he did, and talk about Donald Trump.
The Western world has a lot of strong populist parties at the moment. True Finns, AfD in Germany, the FN in France, and so on. They've grown out of a disillusionment with politics as normal, a sense that our leaders don't listen to us. Trump is riding the same anger. But he hasn't formed a new group, he's hijacked one of the main parties in the US, and he's done so with open racism and bile that even the European extremists like Marine Le Pen avoid.
The Republican Party has invited this. They've spent years whipping up fear and hate in their supporters, telling them the liberals were coming to take their guns, or deny them their religious freedoms. They've said voter fraud is stealing their democratic rights, and illegal immigration is taking their jobs. Everything that's wrong in America is because of liberals, they say, people who don't believe in the Constitution. Stand up for your rights. Refuse to comply. It's the politics of confrontation. And now they're reaping what they sowed, because here comes Trump, who takes all that bile and hatred and turns it on the very people who created it. The GOP thought they could ride the whirlwind. Now they know better.
America is not my country. They're entitled to elect whomever they choose. I don't much like Ted Cruz, and don't much trust Hillary, but that's not my business. I'm very much concerned that if elected Trump will be my business, and the world's, because with his ego and boasting and bombast he's liable to cause chaos.
All of this is by way of saying that I think compromise is better than confrontation. Jaw-jaw is better than war-war, as Churchill once said. You don't fix a problem by marginalising your opponents but by working with them. This is a mixed world now, one where most countries - in the West especially - are made up of people of different ethnicities and creeds. Someone like Trump is an anachronism, a dinosaur, yearning for a lost world that maybe never existed anyway. It's horrifying that I could put him in one of my Fantasy worlds, as leader of a brutal medieval regime, and he'd fit perfectly.
There are some important elections coming up. The US chooses a President in November, and a year from now France picks a new President. The Front National has a real chance to win. At the moment I still have enough faith in voters to believe they will reject both Trump and Le Pen, and choose instead the path of conciliation. I hope I'm not proved wrong.
If you've forgiven me this rant, and stuck through the blog to the end, then thank you. Things will be back to normal next time. Meanwhile don't forget to grab yourself a free book, curl up with a cup of something hot, and relax for a while. The world's not doomed yet.