I bet that got your attention didn't it? There's no faster way to set people's hair on fire in New York City these days than to say "I'm voting for McCain." This is the town that gave 16% of the vote to George W. Bush in 2004. Anyone who's worked on a political campaign knows you give up 30% for no reason other than 'just because.' Winning 70% of the vote is a landslide in almost any place that runs at least semi-honest elections. And in 2004 George Bush got 16% of the vote. HALF the people who'd vote for a yellow dawg before they'd vote for a Democrat, voted for John Kerry in that election.
I started thinking about politics and publishing this week when GalleyCat ran a story about all the writers supporting and raising money for Senator Obama. GalleyCat rather mischievously asked if anyone out there was actually FOR Senator McCain. Today they found three McCain supporters (one is Nelson DeMille!) and that's after nosing around for a week.
Well, I gotta tell you, if I did plan to vote for Senator McCain the last place I'd say so is on a publishing website. And the reason is simple: I don't want people to use my political choices as a litmus test for choosing an agent. I may be to the right of Attila the Hun or to the left of Al Sharpton, but neither of those facts has anything to do with whether I know how to negotiate a contract or apply pressure to recalcitrant editors.
Being an agent means knowing a lot about a client. I know how much they earn, I know their heart felt hopes, and man oh man I know their fears. I want and need my clients to trust me, to have confidence in me. I absolutely do not want to risk having them draw (unwarranted) conclusions about who I am based on who I vote for. It's not a sign of imminent moral collapse if I'm not voting for the person you're voting for.
I don't ask my clients to adhere to my political positions either. They can be pro life, pro death penalty, anti gun control and anti immigration if they want. Just write really really well and we're good to go.
I'm not asking people to muzzle their political fervency here. This is America, you can dance nekkid in Times Square with a bumper sticker on your naughty bits if you want. You can snake dance around Union Square with other rabble rousers calling for the impeachment of everyone from George Bush to His Holiness. You can be whatever stripe or plaid of political persuasion you choose, and god bless our rights to do so, but please don't ask me to join in. And don't ascribe my failure to do so as a character flaw (I have enough of those already!)
And anyway, I'm voting for Stephany Evans for President. She's president of FinePrint and under her capable leadership we haven't invaded Folio Literary Management despite severe provocation. She hasn't been lobbying for oil drilling in Central Park and she'd actually been to Europe before assuming her subrights responsibilities. I'm not sure of her position on various political factions, but I know she's in favor of everyone buying more fiction! On that we can all agree I'm sure!