Very few readers have seen, much less read, this novel but a lot of people need to read itespecially in the current darkening age. In the 1990s, CON2: The Generals of October (Autumn of the Republic) seemed like a relatively innocent update of that earlier scary thriller Seven Days in May.
Article V is a ticking time bomb in the U.S. Constitution, today closer than ever to finally becoming a reality. If we ever do manage to be conned into having a CON2 (no pun intended), we may well be too far down the drain as a nation in this Grave New World to be able to rescue ourselves. Our political tools of divided government, checks and balances, and basic honesty and integrity are looking extremely compromised as I write this update in Blade Runner Year 2019.
In the novel, it all starts out with the best of intentions and noble sounding but flawed premises. The various sides got together, agreed on a compromise of ten new amendments or changes, and managed to get the votes for a CON2. Among the unthought-of premises I realized and baked into my novel is this: the delegates will have to have a form of diplomatic immunity to avoid even a semblance of compromise.
The practical effect is to not only place CON2 outside the reach of any legitimate law or political enforcement; but in effect to suddenly cast the 1787 Constitution (and thereby our entire legal and government framework) into a vast gray area, crippled by doubt.
There are plenty of shadowy players who would relish such a development, and a few of them come to the fore in my novel. A quarter century ago, when I wrote it, I had no idea how far down the drain we'd be by 2019. Read the book for a good, thinking person's exercise and entertainment.
I'll conclude these comments with a moment in the novel, taken from real life during the Reagan years, which sent shivers through the nation at the time. Reagan had been shot on the streets of Washington, D.C. (but recovered). In the interim, his Chief of Staff answered the telephone at the White House, and those old enough to remember the moment will recall it.
In my novel, as CON2 rapidly starts to fall apart, nobody can do anything about it. At this point, the 1787 Constitution has been weakened, and its replacement is hanging in the wind. Now a group of generals step in, at the behest of all sorts of cynical talk show hosts, quasi-religious book-thumpers, corrupt politicians, ruthless billionaires, and all the usual nightmare creatures from history (this has all happened before). The so-called Generals of October promise to end chaos and restore order (just as Augustus promised to restore the Roman Republic but made himself a tyrant for life). The end result in my novel is civil war, with bloodshed in the nation's capital. The top general seizes power in the White House. When a press agency calls the President's office, the general answers the phone and speaks the immortal words of Alexander Haig back when Ronald Reagan was shot: "I am in charge here." Only this time, it's for real.