My new book is available for download on Kindle today and one more chapter is serialized on the Huffington Post.
In Chapter 10 of Patriots, Walter meets his mentor, Senator Philip Hazen, the Senate's last moderate—and we learn more about Walter's own personal story:
"It wasn't just the divorce," I began. "It was what happened after. Everything was already finalized between my parents when dad was kidnapped. My mom had been unhappy in the marriage for a long time. She'd moved to London, she was onto her new life. She didn't see why she should go into hiding because her ex-husband had been grabbed by some Islamo-crazies. But my grandmother -- oh God, you'd think Mom had planned the kidnapping herself. Even now, if I ever mention my mother's name ..."
"Yes, I can imagine." His eyes showed sympathy.
"And then after Dad was killed, Mom got wilder and wilder. It was like the whole world was scowling at her, not just Grandma. Here's this American hero murdered. While he was being tortured, his ex-wife is being photographed in clubs dancing with pop stars. Of course, Mom didn't have any idea of what the terrorists were doing to dad. My grandparents blamed her anyway. They blamed me too."
Our story to date:
Chapter 1, in which we meet Walter and Valerie, can be read here.
Chapter 2, in which Valerie and Walter move to Washington, is here.
In Chapter 3, Walter starts work in a Senate office, meets his first D.C. powerbroker, and learns the rules of Washington partisanship.
In Chapter 4, Walter's girlfriend Valerie gets a job too, as a party planner. The country's ruling class gives a lot of parties, after all, and even in a nasty recession, personal services to that class remain a growth opportunity.
In Chapter 5, Walter enters D.C.'s largest and most important conservative think tank. He discovers he is a "wealth creator" and begins to absorb the Constitutionalist philosophy.
In Chapter 6, the Right begins to feel "buyer's remorse" about its newly elected president. The first stirrings of mutiny are heard—and in Chapter 7 Daphne tries to draw Walter into the plot.
In Chapters 8, Walter reconnected with an old friend, an embittered veteran of the defeated Williams administration:
"I believed in 'hope and change,' 'what unites us is more important than what divides us,' 'we live in the United States, not the blue states and the red states.' All bullshit, but I believed it. I don't believe it now. The Constitutionalists decided it was war, they fought like it was a war, and they won. We didn't take it seriously enough, we believed in the system and played by the old rules. We lost. Well, I've learned my lesson. I'm not playing this game by those rules any more. You got a TV network to tell lies about me? I'll get a TV network to tell lies about you. You raise special-interest money? I'll raise special-interest money."
Then in Chapter 9, it's on to lunch with the editor of the most important magazine on the Constitutionalist side, the legendary Freddy Catesby:
"All those things I've accomplished, all the awards and accolades -- they mean nothing to me. I live for my principles, not for recognition. What I care about is fighting the Kultursmog. You know I coined the term?"
Here again is my op-ed about why I'm doing all this.
And finally, a word from our sponsor: Patriots is my attempt to think through all that has gone wrong in Washington these past years. I hope you'll find it entertaining, but even more that you'll hearken to its message. I'm bold enough to believe it's worth a hearing.