Yesterday's news of the retirement of Czech playwright Vaclav Havel from the presidency of the Czech Republic brought to mind other creative writers who have held political power: novelists include Benjamin Disraeli, several times prime minister of Britain; Rómulo Gallegos, briefly (1947-48) president of Venezuela; Sergio Ramírez, vice president of Nicaragua during the Sandinista government (1979-89), and no doubt others. Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) and Pablo Neruda (Chile, on the Communist Party ticket) both ran for president but lost, so they don't count.
All this reminds me also of the prophecy made by my 8th grade teachers, in a pre-graduation ceremony at Seventh Avenue Grade School in La Grange, IL: I was to become president of the USA. Now, you may think that unlikely, but I did make a start: last year I won national office, in the National Writers Union. Well, as I wrote when it was over, the job wasn't all fun, but it could have been a stepping stone. Anything could happen -- Gallegos and Ramírez weren't expecting the posts they got, and I'm not sure Havel was seeking it, either. So I'm wondering just what might be the chain of events that could thrust me into state power. Any suggestions?