Congressional Term Limits Showcased in An Act of Self-Defense
I just finished reading An Act of Self-Defense and can honestly say that it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Considering that this is a first novel for author, Erne Lewis, I was quite impressed with the results. Although this is a work of fiction, the subject matter – congressional term limits – is an interesting one that’s sure to give readers pause to think.
Term Limits in a Nutshell
There’s a growing belief among many voters that unlimited congressional terms leads to cynicism, arrogance, mediocrity, indifference and even corruption among our leaders. The current system discourages newer, more capable individuals from running for office because they realize it would take years for them to achieve recognition for their bills. Term limits resolves the issue because seniority is no longer a factor – all legislators will be relatively new arrivals. Gone will be the days of career politicians serving endless terms, forming close connections to special interest groups and organizations which often do not have the best interests of voters in mind.
Understandably, Congress is opposed to term limits. The idea is frightening to those professional politicians who have enjoyed decades of political power and decision-making often at the expense of the rights and freedoms of American citizens.
Proponents of term limits argue that the office of the President has been effectively term limited, so why not Congress as well? Leaders who’ve spent more time working in the real world, as opposed to those who’ve made a living as career politicians, are certainly more valuable to the people they were elected to represent.
An Act of Self-Defense
Author Erne Lewis presents the issue of term limits in a fictionalized account of what could happen when the government is confronted with an ultimatum given by economist, TJ Stewart, and his small group of followers known as the Term Limits Revolution (TLR) – “to approve a Term Limits Amendment to the Constitution and send it to the people for their approval. Or the long term incumbents, unless they first resign, will be term-limited in the only way you leave us."
What follows is a race against the clock for The Department of Justice, who has labeled the TLR a terrorist group. The DOJ will stop at nothing, including the use of vicious, bloody torture tactics, to prevent the TLR from gaining momentum and achieving their goals. With some inside help, the TLR manages to stay just one step ahead of the DOJ in order to continue their quest to restore liberty to the people.
Readers should pay close attention to the detail in which Mr. Lewis outlines the TLR assessment of how Congress has taken advantage of the fact that it’s possible for incumbent members to remain in office indefinitely. There is much for readers to learn from the TLR statements and demands.
The Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act
The Patriot Act is examined in this novel as well. Mr. Lewis’ book forces us to recognize the power the Patriot Act has given our government over our individual rights in the name of national security. An Act of Self-Defense addresses some of the more controversial parts of the Patriot Act – privacy and government surveillance – which critics believe violates both our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights.
The controversial National Defense Authorization Act is expertly woven into the story as well and provides readers with the opportunity to put themselves in the same what if position as the book’s protagonists.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a timely, thought-provoking and action-packed story that will have you questioning the true motivation of the representatives we’ve voted into office.