The late author, Vince Flynn (1966-2013), died at an early age from prostatic cancer. A popular writer of contemporary “thrillers” set in the context of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), an appellation that some regard as an oxymoron, he left many aficionados mourning the loss of his entertaining, literary talent. His works employed fiction as a vehicle for criticism — criticism of those who themselves unjustly criticize, in his opinion, the governmental operatives dedicated to protecting that which remains of our American freedom.
In detail, Mr. Flynn described how power-hungry politicians subvert self-sacrificing actions of heroes in the field against enemies of these United States of America — enemies who would attack the national well-being here and abroad and, in doing so, kill and maim its citizens. Mr. Flynn described how these politicians posture for the public in order to gain publicity leading to popularity and votes in order maintain their positions of power, influence, and money not simply as citizen-politicians but as lifetime career-politicians.
Mr. Flynn described how the gullible, often ignorant mass-media promote the politicians’ misbehavior in order to gain viewers, boost their own ratings, and increase revenues from advertisers, which in so-called public broadcasting are called “underwriters”. Indeed, as Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) noted, the media massage the message.
In detail, Mr. Flynn described how self-serving bureaucrats connive, deceive, and manipulate in order to further their own, personal careers at the expense of the true heroes in the field; of the few, honest supervisors in the offices; and of the citizens of the nation that they supposedly serve. Their rewards are proximity to political power; enhanced authority; protection of their positions; and potential for further advancement. From them come “leaks” to the mass-media of highly secretive information that aid our enemies while undermining our allies and ourselves; the reward being enhanced prestige and other, secretive information to which they should not be privy.
The final consequence of Mr. Flynn’s telling of tales is the eliciting of frustration and resentment among those freedom-loving Americans who support the Constitution of the United States of America and promote most traditional ideals and values. To date, the frustration and rage has remained impotent. Ah, but for how long?
Not all politicians and bureaucrats in Mr. Flynn’s tales were uni-dimensionally power-hungry and self-serving. Some were true ideologues who sincerely believed in their own self-righteous and inconsistent ways; in the self-assumed validity of that which they did in the name of the general welfare; in “lawyerism”; and in so-called humanitarianism, which itself has degenerated into a self-destructive obscenity. Whatever their beliefs, the consequences of their actions became liabilities to his heroes and assets to their enemies.
Right and Wrong
So, ask yourself, “Who was right? Mr. Flynn’s heroes or his villains?”
At first glance, his heroes. Ah, but first glances can be deceiving.
In this case, were they? Yes! Why?
Mr. Flynn neglected to include one crucial element in his tales — an element vital to the foundation of this nation now on fire. He neglected to mention that, for his heroic operatives in the field to conduct themselves as they did, pursuant to the Constitution Congress firstly must have declared a State of War and have named the enemy, which need not have been a sovereign nation.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little, temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Without such a Declaration of War, Mr. Flynn’s heroes were committing mayhem and murder in the name of the liberty that they themselves were undermining. Yes, their targets were “bad guys and gals”. Yes, basically the heroes were “good guys and gals”. So?
Accordingly, Mr. Flynn put his readership into a bind — scientifically known as an avoidance/avoidance conflict. It relates to the old Zen-based question, Would you rather be shot or hanged? Answer? Neither!
Biobehavioral Science and the Scientific Method demand adherence to the following, three guidelines: specificity, objectivity, and accountability. If we Americans of whatever political stripe demand application of those guidelines — guidelines that have benefitted humanity so much — not just to government but to law, education, and medical delivery, we can escape the kind of bind that Mr. Flynn so deftly created.
Biobehavioral Science says, “ In a given context, behavior has specific consequences.”
Therein lies the story. Context and consequences.
Behavioral excesses such as governmental abuse of power have unfavorable consequences. Behavioral deficits such as refusing to enforce the law for political reasons have unfavorable consequences.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke (1729-1787)
We Americans still have choices albeit choices amidst an enveloping, oppressive tyranny. We can exercise those choices via the balloting box, but we need actual not fictional heroes to speak with force and to seek political offices with determination. Currently, we have but few — understandably so. The system is corrupt to favor the incumbents from the two, major parties that pass power back and forth.
How can we change this currently dismal context eliciting anger and despair? Not in “sound-bites”; sham debates; nor bombastic, empty rhetoric.
We can find the answer in logical, rational policies and programs scientifically-based and scientifically-driven by honest, intelligent, thoughtful men and women who care more about this nation than about their own personal fame and fortunes.
“For every complex and difficult problem, there is a simple solution — and it is wrong.” -H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
What detailed blueprint for change should these courageous but currently absent leaders follow when comes the time? After all, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.
A semi-fictional novel entitled Inescapable Consequences contains such a scientifically-based and scientifically-driven, detailed blueprint. No, the book is not brief. No, the sentences are not all short. No, the words are not all simple. No, the characters are not fanciful and uni-dimensional.
In January 2016, these United States of America entered another electoral year with the usual array of bozos and buffoons competing for the presidency — most talking down to an American electorate that most of them view with utter contempt as recently exemplified by the refusal of the federal government to prosecute Hillary Clinton for crimes that would have landed any other American in prison long ago . That contempt is mutual. The ultimate consequences potentially are lethal to the nation.
“An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.” -Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)
Must we Americans follow Toynbee’s observation? Is there no alternative?
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Rebellion? Is it desirable? Is it warranted? If so, when? By whom? How? Will the supposed cure prove worse than the disease?
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