Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Author: Robert Livingstone

Is America Turning Fascist?

You say it couldn’t happen here. Some say it has already begun and cite bailouts and 60.8 percent ownership of General Motors as examples of fascist ideology.

The simple definition of fascism: collusion between government and industry to create economic stability. 

The Next President, my new novel, has as its central theme the possibility that a charismatic candidate who embraces fascist doctrine may be elected president of the United States. The novel is set in the near future in a context where many European governments have banded together with a shared political ideology that has boosted their economies and made their progress the envy of Americans. 

It’s also a love story, with complications. Catherine Cortez, the protagonist, is in a relationship with a U.S. senator. He’s asked her to marry him. She’s resisting because she sees marriage to him as a career-killer—which is part of her motivation to get out from behind the news anchor desk and go after one last big story. She thinks she’s found it in Cuba, where a revolution is imminent, which brings her back in contact with former lover Carlos Perez, the leader of the revolution.

I adapted the novel from my screenplay of the same name. 

The fascism premise is not so far-fetched. I don’t see it happening; I see it as speculative fiction based on possibilities.

Could it happen? A popular leader with an extreme political bent who amasses power based on severe economic problems. . . Think about it.

The novel was published on May 24 of this year by Moore House, a publishing entity I started. I’m a former magazine publisher. 

Catherine Cortez is fundamentally an investigative journalist, once she gets away from the news desk. She struggles to expose the man poised to become the next president before he destroys the one thing Americans have always cherished: their freedom. She follows one story—a revolution in post-Castros Cuba—and discovers a bigger one in the candidate, who as senate minority leader, with ties to the military and the CIA, has been behind the supply of illegal arms to the corrupt fascist government in Cuba. In her pursuit, she inadvertently puts her father’s life at risk—the father she didn’t know was still alive, the father she rediscovers in Cuba.

Francis Ellsworth, the antagonist and presidential candidate, in an exchange with a fellow senator, says, “Define fascism for me. One man’s fascism is another man’s safe, productive society. We could use a little of that in America.”

The characters drive the story. It ends ominously.

Robert Livingstone is a Canadian who lives in North Miami Beach, Florida. The Next President is available in both paperback and digital form. For more information, go to Livingstone’s web page at


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