Should Authors Get Political? #sirenauthor

I love politics.  I’m what you might call a political junkie.  I grew up in Illinois – a state that practically invented political shenanigans – and was fascinated by talk of politics at our dinner table.  Members of my extended family have run… and won… local political office.  Half of my family is Republican and the other half is Democrat.  It makes for an interesting Thanksgiving.

My family is pretty polite with one another.  We debate, but don’t name call.  Our hope is to make you think, not question your parentage.

As of late, politics has become a pretty rough neighborhood.  Respect for what others believe seems to be going by the wayside.

So, here is the question… should authors get political?  If an author posts something political on Facebook, should he/she be worried about losing readers?  Do readers actually even care what political bent their favorite author is?  Would you stop reading someone if they had political beliefs polar opposite of your own?

Personally, I have tried to stay low-key this election season.  I may “Like” something on Facebook but I’m not posting too many things.

What are your thoughts?

 

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11 thoughts on “Should Authors Get Political? #sirenauthor

  1. Honestly, I’ve tried to avoid expressing my political opinions to the public. In the past I think that people could debate respectfully, and have an honest discussion about the pro’s and con’s of each candidate, but in this election it’s just not possible. Every person I’ve encountered is so…passionate is the best word I can think of…about their choice that it turns into a mud slinging. I hate that. I know that each side has some faults and some promising attributes, but I don’t intend to debate them publically. Part of me figures my readers don’t read my books to learn how I vote, they read to escape the everyday…like the election. Just my own opinion. 🙂

  2. Wow, well for the most part as a reader I don’t care for random stuff now and then. But if all you talk about is the issues you believe in and politics then yes I will unfriend you on Facebook and if you say something I find really offensive I might stop reading your books. In fact this has happened twice in the past few years. I friend authors that I like to read, to find out about their new books and if they are going to be at any events in my area. Reading for me is an escape from the world and I would like to keep it that way as much as possible.

  3. NO, I remember being told years ago.. never talk about politics and religion because they are volatile subjects and people are very single minded in their beliefs. I have always stayed clear of these subjects in groups or with people I don’t know.

  4. I definitely won’t comment. I have two reasons for that. The first and most obvious is that I’m Canadian, and whilst I do have opinions, it’s not my country, and in a way, not my business. The second reason is I’m an author. Not an author of political treatises, but an author of romance. I try to keep a professional demeanor at all times, though sometimes that demeanor may slip, because, I’m only human. But I really, really try to stay a professional, and I really, really try to keep my nose out of other people’s national business. 🙂

  5. Depends on how you define “getting political.” There are a few issues I am passionate about:
    1) Equal rights
    2) Women’s rights (including women’s health as well as being pro-choice and very vocal about crimes against women that often get brushed under the rug)
    3) Bullying
    4) Education

    It doesn’t matter if it’s an election year or not, I will discuss those things. In the case of an election year, that sometimes becomes partisan. The funny thing is I’m registered as an independent and I would love for my conscience to have the option to vote for either party, but as long as those issues divide along party lines… The point being, in an election year, those issues come up in politics a lot more than usual. (Mind you, I am not one of those authors who rails about getting my gun and rounding up a militia if so-and-so gets elected. *cough* Not naming names *cough* Not my style and quite frankly, I think that’s lame.)

    Could I alienate readers by discussing those issues? Possibly.

    If I chose to keep my trap shut, however, I would be spending oh… about zero time on social media other than to pimp my latest release.

    So, I have a choice of either making those causes (which in some ways do affect my writing) part of my platform or abandoning my platform altogether in any time an election comes up. I’ve chosen the former and I’m willing to live with the consequences.

  6. I wouldn’t stop reading an author with differing political views, but like others, I’m laying low this election season. It’s too volatile & I don’t want any discussion to descend to name-calling, which is all too common. And yes, I can skip the occasional post, but if that’s more than half of your conversation then I’m gone.

  7. I think everyone who is informed, rational and considerate of other views should talk about political issues on which they’re informed–but we can’t all be informed on all issues, and if you’re just regurgitating talking points (from either side of an issue), there’s no reason to speak up. I’ll happily consider ideas counter to my own, if they’re not expressed in a mean-spirited way.

    • Thanks, James! That seems a reasonable way to look at things. Personally, I love to discuss things as long as it doesn’t dissolve into name calling. Sadly, lately I haven’t had the opportunity to really have a good debate with anyone.

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