Fiction Imitation Fact

Sherrill Fulghum By Sherrill Fulghum, 28th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

They say life imitates art; but can fact imitate fiction? How much fact is in fiction?

The fact in fiction

I love a good spy or counterespionage novel. I have a handful of authors I really enjoy reading; one of those is Tom Clancy.

I recently finished “Executive Orders” by Clancy and in the book, he had some very interesting ideas about politics and the government.

When the Founding Fathers first created the government for the new country of America, they intended for the members of Congress and the President to be “an every man” - a person elected by his peers who would return to his home and job after serving his country for a term or two. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and the rest never meant for politician to be a full time job.

In “Executive Orders” features returning protagonist Jack Ryan and was released in 1997. After a terrorist attack devastates the Capitol Building killing the President, all nine members of the Supreme Court, and a good deal of Congress; the Vice President – Jack Ryan – is sworn in as the new President. An admitted non politician Ryan tells his fellow Americans that he doesn't want career politicians to fill in vacated Congressional seats; he wants “normal” American citizens – doctors, teachers, business people. Of course the politicians go nuts and immediately cry foul and say that Ryan is not fit for the job.

In one of his speeches President Ryan tells the gathered crowd that the Constitution of the United States wasn't written to tell the citizens what they are allowed to do; but rather to tell the government what they CANNOT do. All too often people are quick to cry foul whenever they feel someone is taking away their rights. The problem is many of them have never really read the document to know and understand exactly what is being said.

The truth is that the document states from the very beginning - Congress shall make NO law prohibiting...

Congress - or the government cannot...
tell the citizens what religion to follow
or keep citizens from expressing their own thoughts and opinions
or keep citizens from casting a vote for the candidate of their choice
or enslave the citizens

In the case of the 18th and 21st Amendments, it was first passed and then repealed by a ¾ vote of the citizenry. After first denying American the right to alcohol with the 18th Amendment, the law was repealed and alcohol was once again legal with passage of the 21st amendment.

Many of the Articles and Amendments in the Constitution are related to the governing body itself relating to their construction and election thereof.

Tom Clancy's President Ryan was by all “normal” political standards an unorthodoxed man who wished to return the government back to the way it was intended to be; run by people who knew and understood the wants and needs of their constituents.

Granted the book was a work of fiction, but Clancy has offered some very interesting thoughts and ideas about how a democratic country should be run. With the work in Congress...or lack recent years; perhaps we should listen to what Tom Clancy has to say.


Congress, Executive Orders, Federal Lawas, Spy Novels, Tom Clancy, Us Constitution

Meet the author

author avatar Sherrill Fulghum
Sherrill is an award winning journalist with a speciality in music and entertainment. She is also a photographer.

Sherril is a writer for thedailyvoice

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