Best-selling author Vince Flynn died last week at 47, losing a two-year battle with prostate cancer. Aside from the fact that his death is a great loss to a legion of fans, me included, there are some interesting ideas that can be drawn from his life and work.
For anyone who has not read his page-turning books, here is a brief synopsis of his first one, which had the title Term Limits. The essence of the story is that three long-serving (think lifetime) senators and representatives in Washington, in their arrogance and self-importance had talked to the wrong people about a pending special-operations assault on a terrorist operation in Africa. Their loose lips resulted in the terrorists ambushing a Navy SEALs team sent to conduct the operation, with the loss of a number of the team members. As a result, the leader of the team resigned from the Navy and organized his own private team of retired or former SEALs to take vengeance. A couple of senators and representatives were assassinated before the fictional team and its leader decided they had done enough. In later books, the same characters played more minor roles, continuing to fight terrorism as private citizens in co-operation with the CIA. In those later books, Flynn created a different protagonist, a CIA assassin, who went around the world taking out terrorists and even politicians who represented serious threats to the U.S.
Flynn’s books were so accurate in their detail, especially on the inner-workings of the U.S. federal government, that the feds even investigated him to try to learn where he was getting his information. He just scoffed at them and kept writing page-turners that tended to make politicians and bureaucrats uncomfortable.
Aside from the fact that he was one of the greatest techno-thriller authors of our time, with a huge following, Flynn left us with some very pregnant ideas. Flynn didn’t have much use for either of the major parties, Republicans or Democrats. On that, he has a very good point! Both of them have failed the country miserably, having become highly efficient at getting themselves elected, but very inept at bringing about any desperately needed changes.
I don’t know where Flynn got the title for his first book, Term Limits, but it and his dislike of the major parties, does bring to mind some much needed changes we the people need to make—not in the same way—but through legal and ballot-box measures. Since the two-party system has failed miserably, perhaps we need some multiple new parties. We already have one in the Tea Party, which has some excellent ideas.
There once was a Term Limit movement in this country and it needs to be revived and become a party. A major part of our problem in this country is that once Democrats and Republicans are elected, they use their power (and our money) to give them lifetime sinecures and become wealthy. That is not the way the founders intended it. We should have a Term Limit party in which all members would swear that if elected to any office at any level—from the local city council or even dogcatcher—they would only serve two terms. That should be the maximum for anyone in any office at any level and should become law. That would help ensure a much more faithful representation of the people and the ideas they have, which do change. I have much more faith in the people than in any politician or political party. Those (politicians and political parties) certainly have disgraced themselves thoroughly in our time.
Another new party should be the Repeal Party. To be a member of that one, you would have to swear that you would not introduce any new law or ordinance, at any level of government, until you had successfully sponsored the repeal of three others. We are drowning in laws and regulations, many of them going back centuries. For example, in some cities it’s still illegal to drive a car down Main Street unless you have two runners going ahead of you to warn those with horses! A repeal party could work for decades before it would make a dent in all the laws that need to be eliminated. A good idea might be to start with the most recent ones and work backwards! Of course you also could call it the lawyer’s unemployment party, which also wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Obviously, I believe what we need now is a multi-party system. There are other parties that could be formed. The two-party system has failed miserably, has divided the country, and the parties have become massive, unwieldy oligarchies concerned far more with their own survival and their office-holders than the survival of the nation or the well-being of the people. Term Limit them all (legally) and then repeal all their nasty work back to the Constitution and Bill of Rights and start over!