Politics & Policy

Fear of McCaining

Erica Jong's incisive political analysis.

Need a laugh? I think we all do, and novelist Erica Jong, who wrote one successful novel and a lot of flops, recently supplied one. As reported in the New York Observer, Erica told the Italian newspaper Corriera Della Sera that if Obama is not elected, “It will spark the Second Civil War. Blood will flow in the streets. And its not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets.

Yes, she’s nuts to say this, but she says she’s not the only one suffering from paranoia: “Jane Fonda sent me an e-mail to tell me that she cried all night and can’t cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduced her to a bundle of nerves.” And Fonda’s not the only one suffering from politics-induced physical ailments; Erica’s “back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium.”

She laments that not all American writers share her devotion to Obama. “Tom Wolfe and John Updike are men of the Right, and Philip Roth is at this point a hermit who leads a monastic life in Connecticut, far from everything and everybody.”

Kind of snotty, considering it was John Updike’s complimentary New Yorker review of her first novel Fear of Flying, in those long-ago days when she was a buxom blond, that kick-started her career.

Fortunately, she has some literary friends with similar loyalties. She says that Ken Follett and Naomi Wolf agree the world will end if Obama is not elected. (Yes, that Naomi Wolf, the high-paid consultant to Al Gore who advised him to wear earth tones to appear more manly.) She also confided that she and Michael Chabon have taken the place of “Susan Sontag and Norman Mailer” in having the correct politics but “a better sense of humor.”

Right — you gotta laugh. I wonder if she knows the Italian for “black helicopters.”

Myrna Blyth, long-time editor of Ladies Home Journal and founding editor of More, is author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness — and Liberalism — to the Women of America. Blyth is also an NRO contributor.

Myrna BlythMyrna Blyth is senior vice president and editorial director of AARP Media. She is the former editor-in-chief and publishing director of Ladies’ Home Journal. She was the founding editor and ...


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