Burt Prelutsky

I’m going to share a recent experience I had that will help explain why I hold most politicians, including even those with whom I agree on most issues, in such low regard.

A few years ago, I self-published a collection of my always insightful, often amusing, essays. I titled it “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco (A Hollywood Right-Winger Comes Out of the Closet).”

Although I was able to get a fair amount of media attention, what with appearances on radio shows hosted by the likes of Ronn Owens, G. Gordon Liddy, Al Rantel, Mark Isler and Michael Medved, the one thing I was unable to get was a distributor. Understandably, they refuse to deal with one-book publishers. Too much paperwork, they explained.

As a result, even after three years, I still had several hundred copies of the book in my garage. I figured that eventually they’d all be sold, and I only hoped to live long enough to see it happen. But then, one day, I was approached by Cumberland House/WND Books and asked to put together a new collection.

Even though I came up with a few catchy titles, the publisher had fallen in love with the original. And, so, it was decided that only the sub-title would be changed. Well, once “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco (101 Reasons I’m Happy I Left the Left)” saw the light of day, I realized it was time to move on. There was no point in causing even more confusion by continuing to peddle the first book, but what was I to do with the remaining boxes I had on hand? After all, most of the pieces were as timely as the day I’d written them. Then it came to me -- I’d donate them to the military for their libraries and hospitals.

But how was I to go about it? It’s true that I have a couple of old friends who are congressmen, but I didn’t want to place them in any sort of emotional or ethical bind. After all, they’re both liberal Democrats who regard me as a political Neanderthal. Instead, I decided to approach congressmen I didn’t know personally, but who seemed to share my world view. So I started mailing out copies of my book, along with a note requesting any assistance or advice they could provide.

In each case, I followed up a few weeks later with a letter or a phone call.

Before I was through, I had approached five members of the California delegation, Republicans all. They were Ed Royce, Brian Bilbray, John T. Doolittle, David Dreier and Howard “Buck” McKeon. It was like dropping stones down a bottomless well.