The Beat Of My Own Drum: Why I'm Going Apolitical…For Now

The state of social media currently in this country has become so toxic that it recently forced me to reevaluate my priorities, not because of some sort of political realization or acquiescence of certain opposing views, but rather, due to the soul-sucking effect engaging on a daily basis is starting to have on my life.  The reality is that none of you know my name (I just love saying that, kind of like Heisenberg) because I’m a paid political pundit.  Rather, it’s because I write a series of action thrillers for Emily Bestler Books at Atria.  As a result, I’m fortunate to have become friends with people who do it professionally on both sides – my good friend, Kurt Schlichter, on the right; and my friend, Molly Jong-Fast (on Twitter), on the left.  They are both creative, talented, and hilarious, and I appreciate both of their viewpoints more than I can say.  Seriously.  Molly’s version of March Madness is priceless, regardless of your political party.  And Kurt’s recent piece on the hypothetical internal thoughts of Andrew McCabe are laugh-out-loud hysterical.  You have to read it.  But I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest – not as an author; I have followers who support my occasional political rampaging – as a human being to avoid it…for now.

On 22 March, I celebrated 9 years of sobriety.  Two days later, I turned 46.  Both of those events forced me to turn inward for my annual self-evaluation and take a personal inventory as to where I am in my life.  I’m a father, husband, hold a steady job, write action-packed emotional roller coasters, and just accepted a potential worldwide movie franchise, starting with the first book, OVERWATCH, being produced by Braden Aftergood and Thunder Road Pictures.  On top of that, as a former Marine officer, I still work out every day, which helps neutralize, albeit slightly, the perpetual state of outrage I have over both current and domestic affairs.  You see where this is going, right?

The bottom line – with all of those constantly spinning plates, engaging in political arguments, especially when the ideas of moderation and tolerance are verboten, is not productive for my family, my work, and my psyche.  I just don’t have the cycles required to do it effectively and responsibly.  What should matter to you is the annual Logan West thriller I produce, and anything that takes away energy and time from that endeavor needs to be minimized.  (The one guilty pleasure I have is our series of Netflix shows.  Who doesn’t?  Jessica Jones Season 2 was excellent; highly recommend.  Netflix, your safe, for now.)  It all comes down to priorities, and I’m sorry, but social media for political purposes can no longer be one.  As a recovering alcoholic, I need to focus on things that have a positive effect on my life, not a detrimental one.  Life is too short and too precious to focus on things that diminish it.

As a result, here’s what you can expect from me on Twitter and Facebook – updates on my books, my critical movie reviews, my general opining on movie music (go follow Lorne Balfe; he’s a genius) that I write my thrillers to, updates on the movie adaptation as it progresses, sarcastic opining in general, video games, my Peloton bike (I’m addicted to the damn thing; aghhh!), and positive comments supporting the military and law enforcement.  I may still offer up the occasional piece to my friends at The Weekly Standard from time to time, if they’ll still have me.  The ones I did last year on the NFL kneeling controversy and the furlough were thoughtful and moderate, again, things in general not valued on social media, the ultimate id enabler.

Hopefully, you understand, and more importantly, hopefully, this one change should allow me to deliver the best product possible to you, my readers and followers, year-in and year-out.  It’s what you deserve and what you should expect.  Publishing before politics, at least for me and at least for now.




  1. Dave Blount on March 25, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Matt, congratulations on your 22 March anniversary, what an achievement!

    And many more congratulations at spending more time with the things in your life that will, in the long run, have a deeper for you and the important people in your life.

    Fideli Certa Merces, Dave

    • Matthew Betley on March 25, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Thanks, Dave. The years keep piling up, all in a good way. To many more, brother. Semper Fi.

  2. Kathryn on March 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Congrats on your sobriety. I have had this situation in my family and my heart and my loyalty are with you. I love your books and maybe I should shut my Conservative mouth and just concentrate on your literary abilities. And, thank you for your service, sir.

    • Matthew Betley on April 28, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Thanks, Kitty. I try every day to focus on just the books, but as an opinionated former Marine, it’s not always easy. Buckle up – FIELD OF VALOR is 3 1/2 weeks away. 🙂

  3. John Albright on March 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Matthew keep up the good work and congrats on your anniversary and birthday! Looking forward to the new Logan West book and the status on the movie! Keep it up!

    • Matthew Betley on April 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

      A very-belated thanks, John. 🙂

  4. Desiree Holt on March 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Saw your tweet and had to read the entire blog.I could not have said it better. Agree with everything you said.; And congrats on the movie deal! Can’t wait!

    • Matthew Betley on April 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Thanks, Des. Hope all is well with you.

  5. Malcolm Holmes on June 5, 2018 at 3:41 am

    Congrats on the 9 years. Damn proud of a Marine officer who faces his demons. Lewis B Jr. Would be proud of you. Semper Fi !,
    And for goodness sakes keep writing.
    Most enjoyment I had since WEB Griffin. God Bless.

    • Matthew Betley on June 5, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Malcolm. That’s high and humbling praise. I truly appreciate it. Semper Fi. Matt

  6. Michael Beirne on June 12, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Matt: Loved your books. Took all of about 10 days to burn through them. A fellow MB and writer, I was born on March 22 and did not have a drink for 18 years. The next 43, not so well.

    Thank you for bringing joy to my world for about 22 hours (there is that number again). Looking forward to at least spending 122 more hours with you, Brad Thor, Lee Child and Ben Coes (Oh, and my wife. I met her on March 22!).

    Congratulations and continued success,


    • Matthew Betley on August 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Michael. Each of us takes a different path on the long, winding road of sobriety. Keep at it, however you can. I’m big into numerical “coincidences,” and I think they’re more likely indicators that you’re on the right path in life. Might sound crazy, but I believe it. Glad you loved the books. I appreciate the group of writers you include me in. And please spread the word – we’re still building a following for the series, and you’re in at the ground floor by publishing standards. Welcome to the team.

  7. Stephen Washburn on August 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Matthew, congrats on your sobriety and your excellent books. I’ve read the first 3 and can’t wait for the next one to come out. As a former Marine and a Vietnam vet, I appreciate your view of Marine Corp veterans and combat.
    ThNk you and Semper Fi.

    • Matthew Betley on August 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate it. I try to instill that esprit de corps I experienced in the Marine Corps in the books. It involves lots of sarcasm and harassment of one another. 🙂 And like I tell every reader, please spread the word – we’re still building a following for the series, and you’re in at the ground floor by publishing standards. Welcome to the team.

  8. malcom scott on August 29, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I received Overwatch & Oath Of Honor in July for my birthday. You are one great writer! I am a prolific
    reader. Just ordered Field of Valour. Looking forward to it. Thank you and Gods’ Blessings on you
    and your family!

    • Matthew Betley on August 30, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks, Malcolm. I truly appreciate it. Enjoy FIELD – it’s a rocket ride. 🙂 And please spread the word – we’re still building a following for the series, and you’re in at the ground floor by publishing standards. Welcome to the team.

  9. Marc Kibbey on January 24, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Matthew, I was a dirty leg in the Infantry in Germany. Closest I came to combat was marching to the track park when the Iranians kidnapped our citizens in ’79; the rest of the time I just played Army. Thanks for your service sir. One of my sons did a tour in Afghanistan as a combat medic, another is an Army captain at Fort Wainwright in Alaska, a third is Army National Guard now, and the youngest is training to be a deputy sheriff in New Mexico. Proud of all of ’em, but especially my Wife of 32 years. I did my share of drugs, alcohol and stupid things until God put my wife in my life. Congratulations on your sobriety and even more on your marriage, stay the course Matthew. Enjoy your books a lot, except for that President Scott ’cause he’s a democrat. Keep up the good work, but most importantly take Christ as your savior and if you have tell as many as you can!

    • Matthew Betley on February 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks, Marc. I appreciate the support. More importantly, you’ve raised some seriously fine boys, it sounds like. And President Scott is a Blue Dog Democrat – strong on national defense but more moderate on the social issues. (Although in reality, there are no moderate democrats anymore.) Take care and stay tuned. 🙂

  10. Mike Crowl on March 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Matt, congrats on the 22 March anniversary. And, I completely agree with this new direction you’ve taken. That’s the principle reason I abandoned Twitter for the past year or so. It just gets to be too much.

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