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Heinlein’s 100th

Posted by Richard on July 7, 2007

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.
— Robert A. Heinlein

Today is Robert A. Heinlein's 100th birthday. There's a big celebration this weekend in Kansas City. The Peoria Pundit, at his alternate location, Heinleinblog, posted a wonderful description of what discovering Heinlein as a young teen meant to him in the long run:

My youthful politics were liberal. I've stood there like an idiot with signs proclaiming that we ought to just give peace a chance.

Heinlein would have wanted to slap me upside the head and tell me to wake up. In a way, he did just that. My first Heinlein book was "Friday." … I bought it because the cover showed a busty blonde chick wearing a blue jump suit unbuttoned down to there. I was in junior high at the time, and the sexy passes left me flustered. The heady political commentary no doubt festered in the back of my brain.

You see, that's how insideous Heinlein is. You read his stuff becauseit's so damn much fun – all that violence and action – and you end up being taught tot hink for yourself. I remeined a liberal Democrat for the next 15 years or so, but in retrospect, I have to admit there was always a little tinkle, a buzz, really, that was telling me that people really ought to be more self-reliant, and that I ought to not be supporting candidates who want to take away folks guns.

Still I knew I wasn't a Republican or a conservative.

I came across a passage describing Heinlein as "libertarian," so I visited a few Libertarian Party Web sites and decided I found a home. I left THAT home after 2001 when I heard LP standard bearer Harry Browne blame the United States for causing the terrorists to attack us. Heinlein woduld have slapped Browne silly – figurately speaking, of course. Whether or not a more libertarian-minded foreign policy priot to Sept. 11, 2001, would have gotten the terrorists mad at us or not is debatable, but there's no debate in my mind on what should have happened after Sept. 11, 2001. And it isn't sitting around hoping that they don't get mad at us again. "Starship Troopers" told us what Heinlein would have thought about that idea.

So, Heinlein left me a man without a political party to call my own. Which is where any person with a working brain ought to be.

Heinlein would approve.

There's a campaign under way to get one of the futuristic new Zumwalt-class destroyers named the USS Robert A. Heinlein in honor of the Annapolis graduate and proud Navy man. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is on board. It sounds like a fine idea to me, so I'll be sending a letter.

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One Response to “Heinlein’s 100th”

  1. Rick Shultz said

    This does indeed sound like a DAMN fine idea and I think I’ll send a letter as soon as I get time. It’s probably just as well that there’s no such thing as reincarnation though, because

    the way things are, if he COULD come back to see this happen, he’d probably decide he

    was on fucking Tralfamadore instead of Earth and bug right back out again!

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