Mess o’ Politics

I’ll let in on a little secret: YA authors are political.

After all, our books are all about what the future holds, who’s got power and who hasn’t, and how bullies can and should be taken down. They’re about figuring out your place in the world, and making a stand when things are just plain wrong.

What could be more political than all that?

As novelists, of course, our politics are conveyed by Story, which creates a cushion between our world and the real one. Our characters are figments of our imagination, however human they seem. And that softens our politics around the edges.

Like in movies when the president shows up, and it’s Morgan Freeman instead of George Bush. Because who doesn’t trust Morgan Freeman?

But when it comes to politics, “fictional” doesn’t mean the same as “not real.” Our politics are very real.

And here’s secret number two: teenagers are political too.

Teens understand that power matters. Their lives are controlled in some pretty astonishing ways, both by adults and by each other. (I’ve always said that the success of Uglies is partly thanks to high school being a dystopia: a bell rings and you march to your next station; what you say and wear is monitored; the newspapers are censored—for your own good!)

And teenagers also have a huge stake in the politics outside their schoolhouse. I’ve had lots of fan letters from kids whose father and mothers are in Iraq and Afghanistan. And guess what? There are soldiers there today who were 13 years old when Midnighters came out, so some of them may be my readers. Young people fight wars.

Not planning on signing up? Well, guess what: Young people also foot the bill.

As I said in my last post, when the Secretary of the Treasury asks to borrow $700 billion dollars, you guys are the ones who get to pay it back. Every paycheck in your entire lives will reflect those missing billions.

Read that last sentence again, and tell me you’re not interested in politics.

So I think it’s time to skip the fictions for a moment, and say that I support Senator Barack Obama for president of the United States.

The people in charge right now are sucking at being in charge. And all of you are going to feel it for a long time, longer than me. So it’s time to transform the powers that be—not with a small change, but with a big one.

Now, if you’d rather pretend that Morgan Freeman is the president in Westerblog-land, that’s fine. I won’t be posting here about icky real-world politicians. But if you want to read me and about a zillion other YA authors (including Meg Cabot, John Green, Libba Bray, Cecily von Ziegesar, Robin Wasserman, Megan McCafferty, and Judy Blume) weighing in on the election in bone-rattling detail, check out this new site, YA for Obama. The awesome Maureen Johnson set it up as a place where you can network, learn about issues, and make a difference.

Click here to read my first post for YA4O, in which I do the math, Dess-style. And am joined by Gossip Girl herself!

Because as I said yesterday: “You’re going to spend your entire adult lives in the future, after all. So it’s your job to think about it, worry about it, and read about it.”

Go and rock the world.

Update to everyone around Larchmont, NY: Justine will be promoting her new book, How to Ditch Your Fairy, at The Voracious Reader tomorrow at 1PM.

Saturday, 27 September 2008, 1:00PM
Voracious Reader
1997 Palmer Ave
Larchmont, NY

Visit YA for Obama

503 thoughts on “Mess o’ Politics


  2. Referring to comment 428=

    Okay, this i bad, because it made my quite upset. “We are betraying CENTURIES of tradition.” WhAt? I mean this in the nicest possible but…WhAt? What tradition? And i think it would be oh-so WONDERFUL if we had a colored president, i mean, what other way can you SpIcE iT uP?

    I am going to remove my hands from the key board to refrain from typing anything mean. Because mean just hurts…And Obama is not mean! Vote Obama!

    (Btw, i think that the people who dont vote for him because of his color are totally not thinking about what the word PRESIDENT means.)

  3. And I’m not angry. That was the nicest way to put it. It just upset me what she said. Not angered me. Upset me. As in…made me frown. 🙁

  4. Um, just a question….

    “UMR-wa” why do you think anyone in their right minds loves McCain and Palin?

    It’s kind of a blanket statement.

    And you need reasons to make a blanket statement.

    Just ask Sarah Palin.

    She’s got beaten over saying blanket statements. Thats a Republican VP, for ya, eh?

    Oh, and another question. Doesn’t McCain’s view and Palin’s view on national defense kind of, how to put this sweetly…contradict each other?

  5. at this point, i think my parents are seriously considering sound-proofing my room…just cuz i practice my instruments a lot. and it might have something to do with christmas music in september…i mean, yeah, christmas music is cool only two times a year…christmas time, and august. and it’s only cool in august if you’re at band camp, where it is forever cool. so yeah. maybe i should try playing the songs in a different key….

  6. my parents say the same thing when I practice my choir music.
    So thought I’d say that I’m excited cause my english class was watching The Village and analyzing it and now we get to send letters to the director/writer M. Night Shyamalan.


  8. Just throwing in my two cents here…

    I’m afraid that the liberal media has blasted people blind to the things Obama has been involved in. I can’t, and won’t, even begin to name them here, but I’ll just say it’d be nice if people researched more of this on their own (something I encourage everyone to look into). Some do, of course, but the majority doesn’t.

    Besides his past, I don’t understand how how he has had enough years of experience to run a country. Hillary Clinton even had more than he does.

    Though I’m a strong republican, I can say that I don’t agree with everything McCain proclaims. However, I feel that if Obama is elected, the country will fall farther in faster into a pit we’ll be unable to climb back out of.

    Your right: it’s our future. We’ll have to pick up the slack years from now. I just wish more people would realize this before it’s too late.

    McCain/Palin 2008

  9. Wow that would suck. I don’t have room for anthing thing else in my room! Too many books! i wouldn’t be able to walk if I had that many instruments in my room! I get to keep my keyboard in the living room.

  10. I know! I have hundreds of books, possibly thousands of books in my room. So now I have to keep all my music equiptment in there. I can’t get to the bookshelf anymore cuz the keyboard is in the way. I now need to move a bunch of books into boxes so that i can have a shelf to put all my music stuff….I mean, I have two folders of music for band, plus all my other stuff that i’ve gotten over the years….

  11. OMG, Andrea-la you are so lucky! I wish I had an over active imagination. I used to, but things change, and I can still think of good book ideas to write about, but still. Oh, and I read “The Most Dangerous Game” too! It was scary, and we had to write more of it. Like a sequel kinda, and I wrote that the guy fond a helicopter and escaped and turned the island into an amusement park for aligators, and my teacher only gave me a 80% on it. 🙁

    I was watching this movie, about Miss Pettigrew or something. And then all of a sudden, something amazing happened. Lee Pace was in the movie! WITH A BRITISH ACCENT! And I nearly fainted right then and there, and yeah I screamed, and my brother was like “Why are you screaming?” and I said “Only the best thing ever just happened! Lee Pace and a BRITISH ACCENT!” so then he shook his head and walked away.

  12. Same! and that’s just my room! My basement is finished and it’s lined with my dads books! That really sucks. I hate boxing up books. My bedroom isn’t neccisarily messy just disorganized.

  13. can’t….roof isn’t flat. gonna have to figure something else out…my bedroom is in the basement, so i could use the rest of the basement to practice/store stuff except that that’s where my brother practices soccer…which explains why a couple of keys are broken off my keyboard…..

  14. Jess-la:

    Okay, I’m not attacking you or what you said or anything, but I have some different opinions.

    Firstly, you don’t agree with most of McCain’s issues mostly because he is a very liberal republican. Lets just face it…McCain is basically a democrat hiding out with a few conservative ideas. I mean, he and Obama have quite a few similarities. But their approach to the way they want to resolve these issues are quite different.

    Obama wants to be an agent of change, and McCain wants to do it Bush style. Just two years ago McCain said he was in favor and would back Bush up completely. Ya, thats what our country wants, sure!

    And before you say, “well that was two years ago!” I’m am going to say that Republican pull the same tag-line about Obama two years ago. Fortunately, Obama knew what he was doing two years ago. I’m sorry y’all think McCain did.

    And my favorite topic to discuss…Obama’s energy, and excitement, and change, and hope, and knowledge versus McCain’s experience.

    Well. Then.

    If any of you knew what your VP candidate Sarah Palin said on teh CBS interview, I promise you would not be bringing this up. But since you didn’t know what she said, and you did bring it up…well, lets just say you are going to regret bringing it up.

    Because while being interviewed on CBS, Katie Curic asked Sarah Palin if saying she remembered Joe Biden making speeches in the second grade was a dangerous thing to say, considering her running mate is 72. Well, Sarah Palin said no. She said that voters were going to have to face her energy and excitement against Joe Biden’s experience.

    Wait! Rewind! Are you experiencing deja vu? Because I sure am.

    So Sarah Palin thinks her “energy” and “excitement” is better than Joe Biden’s experience???

    Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming.

    Because earlier in the blog, most commentors said that it didn’t matter who was running for president, that they expected whomever got into the White House would either die or get assassinated. Well, if you take on these happy commentor’s optimism about our future leaders, shouldn’t you be voting for the best vice presidential candidate?

    And since John McCain is torwards the end of his lifetime, shouldn’t we be watching McCain’s VP very closely? And marking each time she says something ridiculous? Like when she says that we would go to war with Russia (let that sink in people…Russia!) over Georgia… or maybe when she obviously has no idea what the 700 billion dollar bailout plan does? Who here saw the SNL video Saturday? Did you know that when Tina Fey says “its all about job creation!” that she is speaking verbatim, word for word, what Sarah Palin said?

    No, you probably didn’t.

    So vote Obama Biden. This way you get knowledgeble energy and excitement, and experience!

    Oh, and one more thing. Republicans don’t believe in global warming. Big mistake. Because as Al Gore said, if you hit global warming on the head, you can get two bird with one stone. Or possible even three.

    You see, if we work to solve global warming, we obviously have to create jobs to solve it. Well, that helps the economy. Once solved, it ends our dependency on foreign oil. Well, that helps national defense AND the economy. And we will be ahead of the rest of the world. Which also helps our economy.

    I think the Republican party missed the “believe in global warming” memo.

    Oh well. Vote McCain and we will all pay for it.

    Not to mention the penguins, too.

  15. Sorry people, I know that was long.

    But oh so worth it.

    Like andrea-la said:

    Don’t be a llama, vote for Obama!

    He rocks, Obama! (say it. It sounds like Ba-rack Obama 🙂

    If you want to be green, you have to vote blue.

    (This last slogan is priceless!!!! ☺)

    Yard sign: $4
    Obama t-shirt: $10
    Donation to the National Democratic Party: $50
    Bringing change to Washington: Priceless!

  16. I think it’s so funny how different the politicians in America and Australia. You Americans got it right – all serious biz. We Aussies, on the other hand …
    There was a thing on TV about it at one point, showing Obama in real speech mode stirring up the people, and John Howard (ex-Prime Minister now …) up on a small stage in public with some clowns.
    Different much?

    BTW what do u guys know about carbon trading? I think we’re getting it here in Aus and apparently it’ll make energy prices skyrocket …

  17. I would be sooo annoyed if I had to keep my music stuff in my room, but honestly, our Piano’s in the Living Room, the Guitar is in my sisters bedroom (who is in college so it’s empty), the harmonica is in my mom’s room, and I practice my clarinet in my sisters room. That room’s pretty big. I will go to the computer and practice my clarinet too though.

  18. Alice Cullen, I would really like to know what source said that Obama was pro-life, because they were flat out lying.
    I would also like to point out something to the people who are personally pro-life, but believe that people should have a choice of whether or not to have an abortion.

    If you are pro-life, then you fundamentally believe that a fetus inside a mother is a living human being. This is the whole reason you are pro-life in the first place.

    Murder is defined as the killing of a living human being.
    Therefore, if you are pro-life, you believe that abortion is murder. Please take note, I did not say that abortion was murder; I’m only saying that it would be if you considered the first postulate a given.

    So, following this path to its conclusion, if you are personally pro-life, but still believe people should have the choice to choose to have an abortion, then you think that people should the choice to choose to murder children.

    I know I’m going to get flamed by people who can’t understand logic, but I thought I would post this anyway. Once again, this does not apply if you do not believe the beginning postulate. If you are pro-choice, and therefore don’t believe the baby to be a living child, then I’m not saying you condone murder.

    As for the post, Scott, I can’t say that I agree with it, but this is your site, and people can take it or leave it as they wish. Free speech is always a good thing.

  19. Reading back, there’s one thing I noticed no one brought up in the many democrat-republican ethical debates here: stem-cell research.

    I definatley believe in it. I have an older cousin, about in his early fifties, who has Parkinsons. It’s not too serious, but because he has it so young, his family is afraid it’ll get much worse when he’s older. He has two little kids, around our age, and it’s really sad to see them have to worry about their father. Stem-cell research is the only way that scientist will one day find a cure for this diseas, and in doing so, help inprove many people’s lives, such like that of my friendly, funny cousin.

  20. I totally believe in stem-cell research – it could be the only way that type 1 diabetes is cured. Being type 1 diabetic and knowing the consequences of it – all type oners get some amount of UGLY long-term complications – I want type 1 cured.
    Those with type 1 or who know someone with it will agree with me.
    And it’s not just long-term complications I worry about (even tho they worry me the most, cos they are SERIOUSLY bad). I gotta do needles 5 times a day, it’s that or die. I gotta eat at certain times whether I want to or not. If my blood glucose goes too low I feel awful (tho I do get to eat something sugary 🙂 ). If it goes too high it increases the long-term complications stuff. If I get keytones and don’t treat them I could die. Etc.
    Type 1 diabetes is serious, even more so than type 2.
    So do you see why I want it cured so much?

    OK, I think I made my point … 🙂

  21. The 700 billion dollars would actually, if things go anywhere near the way they’re planned, be all paid back on their own when things work out. It should be budget-neutral in the end run. By the time we’re getting real salaries, there should be no 700-billion-dollar hole anymore.

  22. I’m type 1 diabetic, and I have to say that it is not true that all diabetics have long-term complications. If you control your blood sugar properly, then you’re fine. It’s that easy.

    Sonja, have you thought about your position beyond your immediate wants? I understand you want a cure; I do too! Really, really badly! No one is going to argue with you about that, but do you really know what they do in embryonic stem cell research? I mean, scientists have found a plethora of other ways to harvest stem cell material without destroying embryos. When you think about it, destroying HUMAN embryos in order to harvest parts of their bodies is nothing short of disgusting, even if you don’t consider the embryo to be a living being.
    Let me say that I am for stem cell research. I’m just not for embryonic stem cell research. Both umbilical cord and adult stem cells have been shown to serve the same purpose as embryonic stem cells without the need to destroy embryos.

  23. Evan, I read that all type 1 diabetics experience some amount of long-term consequences … And not all diabetics find control easy, even when they’re doing everything they’re told.
    And I never said anything about embryonic stem cell research. In fact it sounds pretty disgusting.
    But yes for the other stem cells. They are one of the most promising branches in “the search for the cure” (how many times have I heard that phrase … ).
    And it’s not just me I’m concerned about (nor is it an IMMEDIATE want!). There are HEAPS of other diabetics out there and I don’t want them to go thru anything bad either.
    I hope my position is a bit clearer …

  24. Yeah, sorry if I was a bit direct, Sonja. But when most people hear stem cell research, they think of embryonic stem cell research the same way as when people hear evolution, they think of macro-evolution. I’m glad to hear that I misunderstood your original statement.

    Yeah, control isn’t always easy, but it’s possible with the right sacrifices. It seems a lot harder now because, as you probably know, your blood sugars go haywire through your teen years. It’s supposed to get easier when you reach adulthood.

    I was just trying to point out that, although I too want a cure, some things are just not worth it.

  25. Yeah, I agree on all counts, Evan. And I especially don’t want a cure that’s attached to all sort of inhumane processes.
    I guess that’s one reason to want to “grow up” – better control … 🙂

  26. Hey!!! Is any movie company considering the Uglies Trilogy for a future movie?? Cuz that would be AWESOME!!!

  27. Okay, i would like to say one thing to you scott westerfeld. You support child murder. That is exactly what it is! It is just as bad as going out to a random place, such as the park, and killing some random person that you do not know and then not get in trouble for it. Its MURDER! CHILD MURDER! You sick, sick person who writes good books. You disgust me. But I still like your books. Disgust me.

    Go MCAIN! GO PALIN!!!!! YAY!

    I do not support child murder, do you?

  28. I didn’t mean for it to sound to rood, because i do think you are a good person, it’s just that your choice in politics disgust me. Sorry.

  29. I’m only writing anything here to support one of the most incredible authors is existence. Scott, I’m glad that you support Obama and are urging your readers, at least those who are 18+, to go out and vote. The state our economy is in right now is a disaster, and it’s our job to elect someone who will help get the United States back on its feet. I’m highly against Palin, in every interview I’ve read or watched by her she has managed to contradict herself on every issue but people still support her because, sadly, she is a strong speaker and a woman. I pass people in school who talk about how they would vote for her just because of that last fact. She is a woman who is NOT for woman’s rights. And this is what gets me again: I’m not religious, but I’m not an atheist either. My problem is that religion and politics are always intertwined when they shouldn’t be. If you are Christian and believe that gay people shouldn’t be married, that’s your belief. No one can force you to believe otherwise, you’re free to think what you want. But so why should someone who is gay be banned from marriage? Why does one person’s belief matter more than another person’s? You don’t have to support gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to ban it from someone who does. And that’s just one of the zillions of topics that get all fuzzy when it comes to religion-meets-politics…

    I think I’ve ranted enough. I support Obama and Biden because they are honest politicians who aren’t resorting to the same sort of “low blows” that McCain and Palin seem to be dishing out. I think if Obama loses the election I’m begging my family to move to China.

  30. did anybody here that obama might not be able to run because he is not born in the usa?!?! oh well, i don’t really care because im for mcCain but people who are for obama might want to know

  31. I understand that Obama is all charismatic and I thought what he said made sense for a while. But then I realized that raising taxes on the rich just doesn’t help the economy; they’re the ones making investments and starting companies! And anyway, there shouldn’t be a penalty for being successful; it’s not fair to take their money. Everyone should have the same (low) rate of taxation. And do you really trust the government to be in charge of maintaining your health? The quality of health care would go down if it became yet another thing for the government to worry about. I don’t want to sound like some loony conservative; I really disagree with them on abortion and gay marriage and some things about the war. The Republicans have problems, but at least with them we can worry about those after the economy is fixed. With Obama it will be down for a longer time!
    P.S. It doesn’t matter anyway cause the election’s over.

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