Normally, we here at Den of Geek refrain from running too many articles that are blatantly political or are directly related to this year’s (gruesome) presidential election. However, as the entire globe reaches for the aspirin and prays this descent into the mud pile will be over soon, sometimes even nerdy icons also find themselves caught in the current electoral sink hole. So it is for George R.R. Martin, author of “A Song of Ice and Fire” and the mastermind of the Game of Thrones universe, who spoke out in the final gasp before democracy might just meet the Many-Faced God.
Taking a break from The Winds of Winter to warn of another apocalypse far graver than any fantastical ice zombies, Mr. Martin returned to his LiveJournal blog to plainly condemn Trump’s unfitness to be President of the United States.
Says Martin, “In my lifetime, there has never been a presidential candidate more unfit to lead this nation.” To emphasize the point, Martin compares the relentless attack ads of both candidates, noting how Trump campaign commercials are standard political hackery 101. Unflattering images (often black and white), ominous music, headlines taken out of context, and a grim narrator throwing around words like “criminal,” “liar,” and “pervert” (the latter being a classic example of the new gutter of American politics that the Republican nominee has dragged us into in 2016).
But Martin notes that Hillary Clinton’s attack ads on Trump are strikingly different.
“Clinton’s ads are something else,” writes Martin. “Very different, and—to my mind—much more truthful. The star of all the Clinton ads is Donald J. Trump. There are no deliberately unflattering photographs, however. Nothing in black and white. Just video clips, full color, professional footage from news cameras at his rallies, interviews, television appearances. There’s no name-calling either. Clinton doesn’t need to label Trump as ‘crooked’ or ‘a liar,’ or link him with ‘perverts.’ Clinton’s ads just show Trump being Trump.
“… Yes, he mocked a disabled reporter. There he is, doing it. Yes, he told Billy Bush he liked to kiss women without their consent and grab them by their pussies. There he is, boasting about it. When you’re a star, you can do anything. Yes, he said women should be punished for having abortions. There he is, telling Chris Matthews. His own words, his own face. Yes, he said he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. Here, see the clip. Yes, he’s in favor of Japan and Saudi Arabia and South Korea having nukes, here’s the clip where he says so.”
You can read the whole blog entry here, where Martin ultimately concludes, “You don’t need to like Hillary. You don’t need to listen to what Hillary says about Trump, or what I say about Trump. You just need to listen to Trump. If you can do that, and still consider voting for him… well…”
Presumably, no “endorsement” (or in this case, it should more aptly be called a condemnation) from an author or celebrity will change minds three days before the election. Still, Martin is worthy of listening to when one considers his entire literary career, even in fantasy, has been focused on studying the abuses of power and the human failings of the flawed men who covet that control. He is the creator of Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, and Ramsay Bolton, and he is a voracious student of history, pulling frequently from trenchant English medieval history, grim accounts of anti-intellectual Italian mobs turning to barbarism, and the fatal, moral failings of lechers who would be king.
We’ve documented all of these things here, and with that much knowledge from history, he sure can paint a clear-eyed and grim picture of the present.