In Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Glass Menagerie,” he says that the magician “gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth,” but as a playwright, he says “I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.”
So it is now, in his new novel “Collusion,” that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dares to explore the nightmare Washington pretends can’t happen: A real collusion among leftists, pairing American political “progressives” and Russian intelligence agents.
While Congress focuses on the counterintuitive charge of conspiracy between Republicans and Russians, Gingrich takes to the pages of fiction to speculate on what a coalition of Moscow’s money and power with the American left’s legitimacy and control of the media would look like.
In “Collusion,” Gingrich spins the tale of the collaboration of a blue-blood female counterintelligence expert on domestic terrorism with a roguish ex-SEAL hired gun as they try to smuggle out of Russia a high-value asset with detailed knowledge of a well-planned and deadly Russian attack on the U.S.
As they encounter congressional in-fighting, leftist extremism and an America whose politics are driven by hatred, Gingrich grapples with the basic issues our media assiduously avoids: Is Russia friend or foe?
Can the American left be manipulated by Moscow to be part of the decay of trust in American political institutions?
Can Russia infiltrate the highest echalon of government in America?
Like the hero and heroine in his novel, Gingrich is desperately resorting to fiction to warn us of the danger post-Cold War Russia represents and to explain it to a deaf media.
Only in a work of fiction can Gingrich credibly address the true danger of Russian meddling in our politics — not that Moscow will gain the upper hand, but that the suspicion of their efforts at colluding could rip our democracy apart.
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