There have been a fair number of studies recently suggesting that people’s political leanings are determined to a great extent by their macroscopic neurological structure. A right-wing political orientation seems to correlate with a larger right amygdala, the part of the brain largely responsible for fear and the identification of threats. In 2001, al-Qaeda brought down the World Trade Center and proved that a determined paramilitary group could, if it got lucky, and if it were willfully ignored by the U.S. government, conduct an operation that killed 0.001% of the American population. It also proved that it could thereby provoke a reaction of sheer animal terror in the amygdalar segment of that population, who would wildly misconstrue the attackers as an existential threat that had to be eliminated at any cost. These people would then wreak damage that the original attackers never could have — destroying their own country’s civic institutions, snaring its military in overseas quagmires, undermining its moral standing in the world, crippling its economy — and insist that it was worth it because the alternative was extinction. Now compare this to Ender’s Game. The premise of the novel is that in the mid-21st century the earth was subjected to a pair of invasions by insectoid aliens, and humanity has spent the century since then on a war footing, frantically trying to train the next generation of military commanders for the final, kill-or-be-killed showdown that everyone knows is coming. Eventually we discover that the reason everyone is so sure it’s coming is that we’ve launched a pre-emptive strike on the invaders’ homeworld, and the imminent arrival of our counterinvasion fleet is why the urgency to find an invincible strategic mastermind has become so acute. This is all portrayed as grimly necessary, for we can’t afford to be squeamish when our very survival is at stake. It is therefore perhaps not altogether shocking that when Slate did a survey in 2004 of whom American novelists planned to vote for in the upcoming election, one of the few the magazine could find who supported George W. Bush was Orson Scott Card.