CENTER STAGE

A Political Thriller

“An entertaining political thriller—smart and engrossing. No shortage of political intrigue depicted with astuteness and emotional drama.”
—Kirkus Reviews

DEM RESISTANCE:  WHO DOES IT MOTIVATE? DEMS OR GOP?

The public shaming of Trump administration officials, whether it be Sarah Sanders at a restaurant or Congresswoman Maxine Waters egging on those to “form a crowd and push back”—who does it motivate?  Will it increase turnout with the progressive base or backfire and help Republicans—Dems beware of the overreach.  This could all backfire, keep the House red and re-elect Trump.

I live in the bubble of Los Angeles.  Certainly, on both coasts, denying Sanders a meal and Auntie Maxie’s exhortations are cheered.  Former President Clinton had his usual, clever turn of phrase when he stated that, “poison has been poured down America’s throat” and it’s bubbling up.

Where does the blame lay for this lack of civility?  Dems will point to Trump’s first appearance coming down the escalator and terming Hispanics “rapists and drug dealers.”  The President cannot stay quiet.  He tweets insults in every direction.  Even staunch Republicans acknowledge his debasing of the Presidency.

Unlike Presidents Bush, Obama and all others from either party, Trump does not trust institutions or foreign treaties or trade agreements, he is America First.  Give Trump a healthy slice of the blame.  Don’t stop there.  W was termed a war criminal and Obama’s legitimacy was questioned.  This is not new, but it’s on a dangerous path.

Roll The Dice by Wayne AvrashowIn my novel Roll the Dice, mega-Rock star Tyler Sloan exits the Las Vegas stage to campaign for the United States Senate.  Sloan is a political independent, some of his views lean left, others tilt right.  Is there a place in American for an independent like Sloan who votes his conscience and not his tribe?

The Red Hen restaurant in Virginia opposes Trump’s policies.  To their credit it was a non-violent exit for Sanders, but why can’t you just serve her and her family?  What kind of lesson was sent? Is the restaurant “Dems Only?”  What if a conservative had denied a meal to an Obama staffer?  His speech writer Ben Rhodes is on a book tour, do people want to ban Rhodes from Red states? It is absurd we have fallen to this level.

My father taught me to respect the Presidency, even if you dislike the current President.  I recognize my dad’s view, at once pure and admirable, is now anarchistic and antiquated.

Who benefits in November?  The anger motivates both ends of the spectrum.  Progressives be wary, some independents and Trump supporters will see Sanders as a victim by a meanspirited and overreaching left.

When will it stop?  Will some progressive lunatic heed Waters’ words and literally push back and physically assault Trump supporters?  Will a conservative lunatic seek to inflict physical damage on a Dem?

About a year ago, a day after Congressman Steve Scalise was shot, at lunch that day I expressed my shock at the shooting of Republican Congress members. My two liberal friends did not share my outrage.  One told me that Scalise was against gay rights and the other that he was against gun control—Really?  Then it’s OK?

This is not a Kumbaya moment where I ignore the legitimate, hard focused opinions and views.  But when Auntie Maxie doubles down the next day and calls for “they are going to absolutely harass” them—where does it lead?

My take:  We should listen to facts and get out of your tribe mentality.  I urged my Republican friend to watch MSNBC one night, and my Dem friend to spend a few minutes with Fox.  Their separate reactions mirrored each other—it was as if I asked them to bite into a lemon—or something far, far worse.

In my novel Roll the Dice, protagonist Tyler Sloan believes in the system. He wants to shake it, stir it and change it—but he respects the institutions.  We all should, honest dissent is the fabric of our nation.

There is a slight, but corrosive harm when Robert de Niro yells F**k Trump, and Roseanne Barr goes on a racist rant and Samantha Bee demeans Ivanka.

We can do better.  We really can.

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Center Stage Cover
$19.95
January 12, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64543-794-9