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Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Politics | 21 comments

Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning “Urban Gangs” Into His Personal Police Force


Orson Scott Card’s opinions on gay marriage and homosexuality have been looked at askance by a lot of science fiction fans for a while now. The Daily Dot does a pretty good job of showing why in this piece. Now he’s moved into the realm of paranoid fantasies about President Obama and his recruitment of unemployed urban youth as his enforcers as David Weigel writes on Slate. I’ve really enjoyed some of Card’s work including Ender’s Game and its sequels and while I’m extremely ambivalent about the boycott calls I admit that I’ve found it harder to consider picking up his books as his descent into ideological in(s)anity has continued, worrying about whether it has affected his writing as some of the parts of The Daily Dot’s piece imply.

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  • Today

    I also enjoy reading Orson Scott Card’s books, but lately I have been wondering how his obsession with gays and President Obama has influenced his writing. I hope the Latter Day Saints will have a talk with Orson and calm him down.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    that’s too bad. Sci fi, I’ve always associated with all kinds of configurations of creatures being acceptable; it’s each character’s character, good or not, that is judged. Sometimes Sci Fi is far advanced of current civilizations it seems.

    thanks jim

  • Jim
    I should begin by apologizing for this post. Although I have enjoyed Card’s fiction over the years I don’t think I fully how far over the edge he had gone. I read the entire Ender series twice and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will not consider buying any of his books again and will not see the movie.

  • JSpencer

    Apparently he’s snapped his cap. Too bad. Fortunately that leaves tons of good SF – much of it better than Card’s writing.


    I remember when Libby Spencer over at NewsHoggers predicted that George W. Bush was going to cancel the 2008 elections so that he could rule as a dictator. In marked contrast to the outrage now directed at Card, you couldn’t even get anyone here to mildly disagree with her. 🙂


    Also, I don’t understand how Card’s political opinions are relevant to the decision of whether to enjoy him as a writer. Martin Sheen made some really wacky political statements, but I still enjoyed watching The West Wing.

  • JSpencer

    “Outrage”? I don’t see anyone here expressing outrage. It’s more like sadness or diappointment.

  • yoopermoose


  • yoopermoose

    “Where will he get his “national police”? The NaPo will be recruited from “young out-of-work urban men” and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities.
    In other words, Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.
    Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.”

    Whoops! My quote didn’t attach.

  • Rambie

    Card started going off the deep end when he was working on “Speaker for the Dead”.

    Logan, I did not believe the GW would cancel the 2008 election. Perhaps a domestic terrorist attack at some polling locations but not a cancellation of the election.

  • Boycotting artists based on political disagreements is nothing new for either side. Think Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks [“shut up and sing”, death threats & banning from country radio] for the flip side of Card. I also know a Vietnam vet who organizes placard carrying protests outside any local movie theatre showing a Jane Fonda film.

    This is an American tradition that goes way back. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger…so many.

  • sheknows

    It is just hard to know what to think about the man. He is just all over the place.
    His politics aren’t even very clear except his anti-gay position. I do not agree with him, but that’s life. He is a declared Democrat but shows his disappointment with Obama has been from the beginning, yet stated he is glad that a black man was elected to the White House. I don’t think his “fantasy” is race related as many suspect. I think it is just a completely wild fantasy based on a worse case scenario society. All the “crazy” elements are present, and to be fair, had the president been anyone else, the idea of unemployed street gangs becoming presidential ” security” forces still would have been just as much a sci-fi fantasy.

    There was a sci-fi book written a few years ago by Albert Brooks, of all people, called 2030 about a lot of things which I also would say criticize our ” current” leadership. The story primarily shows how we have allowed the elderly to get too old, thanks to medicine. Now the entire social structure is messed up and the young people want to kill all the older ones so they don’t have to keep paying into SS. There were several social statements made, but I do not take his fantasy as a true indication of his character or even his actual politics.

    I will let the authors’ FICTIONAL work stand on it’s own merits here.

  • slamfu

    I put him in the same category as Tom Cruise. While I enjoy his professional body of work and think he is awesome at his job, I think that personally he is a nutjob. That being said, my life is better because of his art.

  • sheknows

    True Slam. Another truly great example of that would be Mel Gibson. A brilliant and exceptional actor in every role he plays. A wretched and bigoted human in everything he says and does. Nobody, pickets his movies because they are women, blacks, gays, or Semites. We all just check that at the door and buy a ticket to a great performance.

  • cjjack

    First off let me say that I think Ted Nugent is a great guitar player. Rush Limbaugh is a pioneering broadcaster. And Orson Scott Card is about 5 years behind the curve on nutty Obama conspiracy theories.

    An army of brown-shirted thugs? That’s so 2008.

    And shouldn’t we be seeing some of the stuff that was predicted back then by now? I mean, the FEMA camps that were meant to house all the patriots should be up and running by now, but nobody seems to be getting whisked off to be reeducated just yet. What’s more, I was told that Obama would be implementing socialism not too long after he nationalized all manufacturing (the auto “bailout” was just a first step), and that someone from the government was going to be a-comin’ fer our guns.

    Does the implementation of a brutal Marxist dictatorship always happen this slowly?

    And speaking of Ted Nugent, isn’t he supposed to be dead or in jail by now?

  • slamfu

    “And shouldn’t we be seeing some of the stuff that was predicted back then by now?”

    Lol, all my conservative friends lately seem to be sure that Obama is going to repeal the 22nd amendment and run for a 3rd term. I have a standing $1 bet with each of them that that is absurd BS that isn’t going to happen. How do they get people to so wholeheartedly dive into these crackpot theories?

  • The_Ohioan

    Those FEMA camps hit a snag with the sequester, but I understand the plans are still on the drawing board.

    Slam, you should have made your bets $100 to $1. You could clean up!

  • JSpencer

    That being said, my life is better because of his art.

    Apparently you haven’t seen Oblivion yet. 😉

  • Jim Satterfield

    The problem with picking up Card’s books for me isn’t based so much on his attitudes as how they might, and apparently have, messed with his writing. See the piece on The Daily Dot that I linked to.

    That having been said I admit that I have let my opinion of the personal peccadilloes of writers affect me a couple of times. Marion Zimmer Bradley was a well respected writer with some very popular books and series in the sf/fantasy genre. At the last minute Kate Wilhelm had to cancel because her husband was ill and Bradley agreed to substitute as the guest of honor at my “hometown” sf convention, ConQuest. This was a good thing and I picked up a couple of her books since I hadn’t read them before. Life got in the way and I didn’t have a chance to read them before the con. So, at about 2 or 3 in the morning Ms. Bradley came storming into the consuite and started yelling at all and sundry, especially the con chair who was a friend of mine, about how rude and obnoxious KC fans were since a group of them had been sitting outside her room since 1:00 playing a guitar and singing. This started making Patty cry since she’d already been going through a lot with the last minute changes because of Damon Knight’s illness. Later I heard two things that seemed to balance out in terms of the event, one being that Bradley wasn’t feeling that well that weekend but the other was that she had not once just stuck her head out the door and asked them to be quiet. I never read the books and still haven’t read anything by her to this day. The other one is a much shorter story that involves someone who will remain nameless who in the opinion of lots of folks who know them, including myself, let turning into a successful pro go to a fan’s head and forget their friends. I’m about over both and as soon as I can find some of their early work in my library hope to give their writing a shot. I’ll probably do the same with Card.

  • epiphyte

    I really enjoyed some of Card’s books – but now I’m wondering what on earth is going on in the guy’s head… How can it be that an author who convincingly forges a nuanced emotional relationship between an arthropod hive-mind and a tormented pre-teen misfit human turns out to be a xenophobe in real life?

    I don’t know the answer, but I’m sure it’s complicated…

  • SteveK

    I don’t know the answer, but I’m sure it’s complicated…

    Best words on any thread no matter the topic for a long time.

    Thank you epiphyte your common sense is much appreciated. 🙂

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