Orson Scott Card’s new ‘American libruls start a new Civil War’ novel has been provoking well deserved hilarity. Scott Lemiuex quotes one of the choicer descriptions of the Evils of Leftist Professors.
He kept thinking, the first couple of semesters, that maybe his attitude toward them was just as short-sighted and bigoted and wrong as theirs was of him. But in class after class, seminar after seminar, he learned that far too many students were determined to remain ignorant of any real-world data that didn’t fit their preconceived notions. And even those who tried to remain genuinely open-minded simply did not realize the magnitude of the lies they had been told about history, about values, about religion, about everything. So they took the facts of history and averaged them with the dogmas of the leftist university professors and thought that the truth lay somewhere in the middle.
"That's why there is no comparison between America and Rome," said Torrent. "Our empire can't fall because we aren't an empire. We have never passed from our republican stage to our imperial one. Right now we buy and sell and, occasionally, bully our way into other countries, but when they thumb their noses at us, we treat them as if they had a right, as if there were some equivalence between our nation and their puny weakness. Can you imagine what Rome would have done if an 'ally' treated them the way France and Germany have been treating the United States?"
The class laughed.
Reuben Malich did not laugh. "The fact that we don't act like Rome is one of the best things about America," he said.
"So isn't it ironic," said Torrent, "that we are vilified as if we were like Rome, precisely because we aren't? While if we did act like Rome, then they'd treat us with the respect we deserve?"
"My head a-splode," said one of the wittier students, and everyone laughed again. But Torrent pushed the point.
"America is at the end of its republic. Just as the Roman Senate and consuls became incapable of ruling their widespread holdings and fighting off their enemies, so America's antiquated Constitution is a joke. Bureaucrats and courts make most of the decisions, while the press decides which Presidents will have enough public support to govern. We lurch forward by inertia alone, but if America is to be an enduring polity, it can't continue this way."
Speaking through Torrent, Card's got a fair point about the state of the world, but as a work of literature Empire is far short of Ender's Game. The characterizations are thin, the style is unrefined, and the dialogue stilted. Just as Heinlein marred Starship Troopers by turning the middle third into a political treatise, Card is so intent on making political points that his usual facile style seems to have deserted him