Glenn Beck: An Hour With Author Vince Flynn

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," November 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Welcome to "The Glenn Beck Program."

Tonight, a special hour with the best-selling author Vince Flynn.


BECK: I swear to you, my chin is getting so big I'm going to have to give it pants soon. I need that neckline slimmer thing.

Hello, America. We've got kind of a special hour — I found long time ago that the only people that will really tell you the truth on what could happen, and the only people that really know are fiction authors. They have to — they have to know what's really going on so then they can weave a story in that is believable. They'll also tell you the truth. They have nothing to gain.

One of my favorite fiction authors is here and we're going to spend an hour with him. And I promise you, I think you're going to learn things here and you're going to hear truths that you don't hear very often.

Most days, I think our main worry is just — you know, how is your job? You got your job still? The economy — the giant debt that we are saddling onto our grandkids. You know, the simple things like the Marxists that happen to be around the White House, the massive corruption with the people in Washington that are supposed to be representing us, and especially, when times are these tough as they are now, now is not the time to take our eyes off of national security.

You know, I — I have several friends that are in Special Forces, and they have told me, and they have taught me history — history that we know being onto other side of the coin.

Our country in the past has infiltrated our enemy's borders, sowing the seeds of discontent. There comes a time in every nation's history when it is about to tip over. We have sent our operatives in to push, as Cass Sunstein says, "nudge" them a little bit. Don't you think our enemies are maybe doing the same thing? Do we have people within our own borders right now nudging us?

At the same time, Iran gets closer to building a nuclear weapon, threatening our once dear ally Israel, of course, do we have any allies anymore? At least our traditional allies, we've thrown Israel under the bus. We've thrown England under the bus.

China, which owns a ton of our debt, grows stronger every single day. They're making it clear that their success or failure is not tied to our dollar, as we would like to think it is. In fact, they've been warning us.

In fact, just this week, they came out and said, "Hey, you might want to reconsider that health care thing, it seems pretty pricey to us." That's like your banker calling you up and saying, "I don't know if you can afford that house."

Terrorism, Fort Hood — yes, I'm one of the guys who will actually call it what it is. It's still a huge threat.

What kind of message are we sending when we try Khalid Sheik Mohammed right here in New York City instead of trying him in a criminal court and then executing him?

Let me ask you this: how does it make any sense when this city, New York, is about to collapse under its own financial weight? What is it going to cost to keep this island safe with that trial going on just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center was?

Meanwhile, we owe our lives our fortunes and our sacred honor to those who keep us safe, the heroes, not the bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are raking the heroes over the coals. Why is that happening?

It feels like we have lost our way as a nation. Where are we headed? Is our national security strategy — do we even have one now? And what can we do to turn things around?

Vince Flynn is the author of "Pursuit of Honor."

Vince, how are you?


BECK: Or Vinny, I gotta — I know your mother calls you Vinny. So, I think...

FLYNN: Anybody who knew me growing up calls me Vinny.

BECK: OK. So, Vince, first of all, let me explain why I have you on. You, tell me a little bit about your novels and how you do research on your novels.

FLYNN: I have a lot of contacts in Washington, D.C., a lot of them retired because they're the ones who talk more. And I get inside with them. I talk about.

BECK: When you say Washington, D.C.., wouldn't you say that it's more accurate to say Langley, Virginia?

FLYNN: Langley, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland.

BECK: Sure. OK.

FLYNN: The areas outside of Washington, D.C.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: Those are the people that talk.

And what happened early on when I started writing this, it was not easy to get people to talk to me, but my books follow some of the formula and it's something I believe in, which is that the men and women who serve us in the — at the CIA, in the FBI, Secret Service and in the military — they're the real heroes.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: They don't get paid a lot of money. They are not in it for fame or fortune.

BECK: Right.

FLYNN: And then the villains are the terrorists and the secondary villains are politicians, self-serving politicians.

BECK: Right.

FLYNN: And I do have some good politicians from both parties in the book, but, you know, typically they are the ones running interference and making it difficult for these people to protect us.


FLYNN: And so, now, they open up to me. And I get phone calls — sometimes I don't want to name names but I get a lot of phone calls, foreign heads of state, intelligence agencies, current — not the current president, previous president and the president before that. A lot of access into areas that really kind of blows me away sometimes.

BECK: Right. And you're not doing it because you're — you're not telling state secrets. What you're doing is you're trying to understand how the system works, what we really do, so then you can create a fiction book that is believe able? It's like Tom Clancy.


BECK: I used to think he was a CIA plant.

FLYNN: But, in fact, I actually will not put things in the book.

BECK: Right.

FLYNN: I've gotten to — there's a couple of thing I've unearthed lately going back, let's say, four years, that I think is so explosive and so ingenious on our part that I don't want to put it in my book because I don't want to tip our hand to the enemy.

BECK: The New York Times right now is going to, "Please, tell us what it is so we can write in the front page of the paper."


BECK: All right. So, just so people understood why I was having a fiction author on.


BECK: . I can't get people in Washington to tell the truth. I can't get people — I can't get people to come up — you know, they'll say to me in the hallway and I'll see them here at FOX or, you know, wherever, and they'll say, you keep telling — you are exactly right. I put them on the air and they're, like, "Well, that's crazy talk."

I mean — because they don't want to be associated with dangerous kind of — what they perceive as dangerous talk what I just refer to as "frank talk."

FLYNN: Well, you know what? O'Reilly said this to me once years ago, when Hollywood wouldn't make any of my books to a movie.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: Now, finally, it looks it might happen. Bill said, "They're not going to make — they won't make your books into a movie because they want to be invited to the right cocktail parties." And there is something to be said, especially in this town, a lot of people miss in Washington, they don't want to be — they want to be on the inside. They want to be invited to all the right stuff and they want to be thought of as an enlightened, compassionate, caring person.

BECK: Yes. I don't really care. I just.

FLYNN: Well — no, you do care. You care about the truth.

BECK: Yes, that's all I care. You want to be compassionate.


FLYNN: You care about party politics and all the other stuff.

BECK: Yes, you want to compare about — you want to care about compassion and doing the right thing, you got to know what the right thing is, and the only way you do it is to talk it through.

OK. I can't figure out this Khalid Sheikh Mohammed thing. It makes no sense. Help me out on this. Economically, it will just devastate the city of New York, trying to keep this island safe as we are trying the hairy-back guy.


BECK: So, it makes no sense economically. You're going to re- traumatize all those people.


BECK: ...who live and work by the World Trade Center. You're going to have these dirtbags right a block or two away from where the World Trade Center still hasn't been rebuilt.


BECK: And you're going to re-traumatize those people. And the other thing that just fascinates me is, the president is still having military tribunals. He hasn't stopped those. So, what is the heck is really going on here?

FLYNN: I've heard a lot of people talking this week about why we are doing it and we've already — you know, we tried the guys from '93 and we tried Zacarias Moussaoui. There's a huge difference. Those guys were arrested here in America.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: And I still think there is a case for them to be treated or be tried before a military tribunal, like we did the Nazi spies who landed on Long Island during World War II.

The big — my long-term worry here is that this is a play by Eric Holder to go after the CIA and embarrass them. And possibly.

BECK: He's a good guy.

FLYNN: I — this is the guy that pardoned Rich, who is one of the biggest ex-patriots in the history of the country, who was doing business with Iran while we had hostages over there. He fled to Switzerland with hundreds of millions of dollars and bribed his way into a pardon in the closing hours of the Clinton administration. Eric Holder shepherded it.

But the thing that really worries me is, most Americans don't understand that New York has carried a disproportionate amount of this burden, psychologically — this war on terror.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: Because of that crater that is still there.


FLYNN: So, maybe there are some other areas that could help out right now. If we're going to go the federal court route, I think there's a solution here. And we should take some of the stimulus money and we should go to the field up in Pennsylvania where the plane went down, and we should build a museum up there. Start it out as a courthouse, real bare bones, Amish-style courthouse, bring in three federal judges, try `em up there in the middle of that field.

And when you're done with the trial, you can go ahead and turn it into a museum.

Here's the other thing they should.

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. Do we execute them there?

FLYNN: No, no. Here's my — that's the one — that's the good idea that I think we can actually do. Here is the other good idea that we'll never do, Glenn.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: Which is simply this: you bring 'em up there, before we get all the lawyers involved, you sit them down in front of the judges and you say, "We hear," the judge, "We hear that you would like, you pled guilty and you would like to be executed." And they'll say, "Yes," hopefully, they'll say, "Yes. We pled guilty. We want to be executed," as they did down at Guantanamo.

Then you give them two choices. All right. Option A, you're going to the federal system, where we're not going to treat you — we're going to mix you in with the general population. Option two is, we go up to New York. We find the tallest building that is slated for demolition, and we put you guys on the top floor and we'll bring about 20,000 gallons of jet fuel and we light the candle.

You guys can then choose how you want to martyr yourself. Are you going to burn to death and die of smoke inhalation? Or you're going to jump to your death. Your choice.

BECK: Are you a Saudi citizen?


BECK: Because that's the kind of stuff they do in Saudi courts. It is.


BECK: You don't have people blowing up buildings in Saudi Arabia.

FLYNN: No, but I — this idea that we are going to show the world the compassion of the United States legal system and the full power.

BECK: People find that in the — in the extremist Muslim world, they find that to be weakness.

FLYNN: Weakness and laughable. Keep in mind, you know, this is — first of all, you and I have talked on your radio show before. This is about religion. It is about a struggle within Islam.

And the longer that we continue to coddle Islam and say, "Oh, this isn't — this isn't about religion, it isn't about religion."

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. Hang on. Separate this. It's not about religion, Christianity versus Islam. It's about Islam versus Islam.

FLYNN: There is an internal struggle within Islam. And the problem is, the moderate Muslims don't feel confident in speaking up because we're not there to back them up on this. We're simply, you know, in this and we talk — we get into political correctness and the fact that if you're a Muslim in this country, you have minority status — which means we can't criticize you. Well, the reality is: the hard-core Muslims in this county and abroad are the biggest group of sexists, bigots, racists on the planet.

These are the men — it's an all-male club — that wants to live with rules that were made hundreds of years ago but they don't want the religion to advance out of, say, 300 years ago and become modernized with the rest of the religions.

BECK: Well, the thing that — I mean, up in Massachusetts this week, they announced that no Christmas, no mention of it, no green and red paper, nothing. Now, progressives don't want that to happen but progressives have no problem sitting down at the table and becoming — brokering a deal and becoming friends with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who stones homosexuals...


BECK: the town square. Where — what is that?

FLYNN: It's this upside-down world that we live in where we afford political correctness to the most intolerant group of individuals on the planet.

BECK: All right. So, let's go to — let's got to P.C. because I can't — I can't take it with Chuck Schumer saying that, you know, it's guns and the lax gun laws. You know what killed the 13 soldiers at Fort Hood? It was a nutjob Muslim extremist.


BECK: . who had access to a gun because of the loophole called political correctness.


BECK: That guy would never have had a gun in the America of my grandparents, because my grandparents would have said, "Excuse me, you think — you think what? Allahu Akbar what?"

FLYNN: Yes, you're a soldier of Allah.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: It bothers me that people talk about the fact that this Hasan was hazed, as if he is a junior high kid, a high school student at the Columbine. He was an officer of the United States military.

And the reason why he was hazed, Glenn, wasn't because he was Muslim.
He was hazed because he was running around saying things like, "It was OK that Muslim extremists shot the Army recruiter down in Little Rock."

Can you imagine a fellow officer in the United States Army saying that? Of course, these guys were upset with him and they didn't feel comfortable around him. The system wouldn't push him out. So, these guys isolated him.

But I have been warning you about this for years though. Let me — let me tie this one thing together. Political correctness is neutering our intelligence agencies yet again. The Joint Terrorism Task Force that's run by the FBI and Counterterrorism Center down in Langley is run by the CIA and the FBI, they have everything in place to have stopped something like this.

The problem is: they were told by the attorneys, "Oh, we don't want to affect this guy's civil liberties."

God forbid, you put him on a watch list so that when he applies for a firearm, a little bell goes off on someone's computer in Washington and says, "Hey, this guy has been running around saying this crazy stuff, he's bought a high-powered handgun that holds 21 rounds in the grip and he bought a bunch of extra ammunition. Maybe we should keep an eye on him.

Maybe we should alert base security so that when he goes up to the checkpoint, they can search to see if the guns in his car."

But no, that doesn't happen because nobody wants to offend — we don't want to offend anybody.

BECK: Let me ask you this — I just got a note from a bunch of retired officers, NYPD and firefighters here in New York. And they said, "We are going to stand and we're going to protest. We do not want these dirtbags coming to New York." And they asked if the 9/12 Project would stand with them.

I can't answer for the 9/12 Project because that's an individual thing. Everything makes — you know, it's libertarian, you do whatever you want.

I will.


BECK: Would you stand with them?

FLYNN: Oh, I'll be out here. I'll be on the first plane. I'll donate some money.

My concern with this is, I — one of the great luxuries of what I do for a living is I spend six to eight months a year for a minimum of two hours a day, often eight hours a day, alone, trying to figure out where this stuff is going, putting myself in the shoes of a terrorist.

And here's what I don't like about bringing this thing to New York City: We saw what happened in Mumbai. We saw what happened in Fort Hood. We saw what happened in Bali.

The terrorists are learning. It's not going to be planes next time. They are learning that it is — that stuff is really difficult to pull off. The easy stuff is a guy with a gun — is a guy with a backpack bomb.

BECK: I said the other day that the Fort Hood thing is, you know what a shark bump is, right before a shark eats you, it bumps into you first, and you remain still, and it decides how much of a threat are you, what are you.


BECK: And so, it bumps you before it eats you.

FLYNN: Assess you.

BECK: Exactly right. This was — I'm not saying this was a coordinated shark bump, but this is a shark bump. They have learned, "Ah, look, they're weak here."


BECK: "Eat them here."

FLYNN: I — the plot in my tenth book, "Extreme Measures," exposes this kind of nightmare scenario that is low-tech, not high-tech. They've tried to get their hands on bio-weapons. They've tried to get their hands on chemical weapons. They've tried to get their hands on nuclear weapons.

They are on the record saying, "We would love to vaporize New York City and Washington, D.C.," on the record. This is — I'm not making this stuff up.

BECK: I've read their words.

FLYNN: And what they've learned now is, it's a lot easier to just get these guys guns and ammunition and do a Mumbai. Get hand grenades and Molotov cocktails, go take over a hotel and burn it down. And yes, the New York City Police Department is the finest police department in the world.

BECK: They're to the limit.

FLYNN: But, yes, but.

BECK: They're to the limit.

FLYNN: Why invite this? That's my point.

BECK: Yes, that's what I mean!

FLYNN: Why invite it? Hey, Guantanamo is not perfect. But you know what, war never is.

BECK: Let me ask you this — they're thinking now about putting the prisoners from Guantanamo, and it's a great stimulus, look at how many these senators and these congressmen are actually saying, "Look at how many jobs this will create."

Think this through with me. You're a fiction writer. Tell me if this sounds plausible.

You put a prison in Illinois. It's all the worst of the worst, the Guantanamo people. Well, you got to allow them to have the rights of having visitors, so now, you have the worst of the worst coming to visit the worst of the worst, and they're coming through O'Hare, and they happen to be in the town with the tallest building in America.

Does that sound like there going to be trouble?

FLYNN: I don't think the citizens of Chicago will go for that.

BECK: I think they will.

FLYNN: You think they will?

BECK: No. No, I think the citizens of Chicago will.

FLYNN: They will go for it because of the money.

BECK: Yes. They will be exactly like the citizens of America — do you know that health care now is one point less in the polls, one point less than Hillary Care was, and remember how toxic Hillary Care was?


BECK: They didn't want to — you don't call it Obama Care because it makes people think of Hillary Care. It's one point less in the latest polls, and yet, they're going to jam it through. I think the people of Chicago will say the same thing that people of America have been saying about health care. But they will jam it through.

FLYNN: This group jams it through.

Eric Holder did it. Eric Holder, instead of doing the right thing here and trying these guys in a military tribunal, which he was getting some pushback from the Pentagon, but know what, they were picked up by the U.S. military and CIA overseas, and that's where they should be tried. Instead of doing that, he does this in and around maneuver on a Friday. He announces it when the president is out of the country.

And I — again, I think it's (INAUDIBLE). I have to say one thing about Guantanamo, that I hear people constantly say, that Guantanamo is the number one recruiting tool for al Qaeda. And I hear that all the time and think, really? Show me how many terrorists we've caught that say they joined al Qaeda or the Taliban or some of the organization and say, "I joined because of Guantanamo"? That's not true.

These people, as you know, they come from countries where there are no Miranda rights, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq — these countries are not big on judicial process and civil liberties. To think that Guantanamo has become the number one recruiting tool for these guys loses sight of the fact that they hit us on 9/11.

Why? Why did they do it? Nobody can answer that question. Very few people can answer it. You can answer it. They did it because, A, they said we had military bases in Saudi Arabia, and B, our relationship with Israel, and C, this is a big one — they don't like our culture. They don't like the fact that we're talking about equality of the sexes. They don't like the fact that we — you can actually come over here and promote your religion.

You ever try to go over to Saudi Arabia with a couple of Bibles in your suitcase and see what happens?

BECK: No, and I don't think I'm going to try.


BECK: We're going to talk more with Vince Flynn, coming up in a second.


BECK: We're back with Vince Flynn, the author of "Pursuit of Honor,"
which is one of the fiction books that I read over the summer that is absolutely just tremendous.

You're one of my favorite writers.

I — how long ago was it — when did we first meet? Four years, five years ago?

FLYNN: No, no, no.

BECK: Longer?

FLYNN: You were in Philly in that little 300-watt A.M. radio station down in the basement of that.

BECK: That's not true.


FLYNN: But it was a decent — but you were in Philly.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: I was there the day you were considering moving to New York and I was telling you, that's fine if you do, but just...


FLYNN: ...outside the blast radius.

BECK: That's right. You were the guy who said you have to figure out where the blast radius is. And I know. I know exactly where it is.

FLYNN: Unfortunately. Unfortunately.

BECK: The thing I liked about you, Vince, when we first met was: A, you said it like it was, and B, you're not some elitist. Where in the world that seems to being run by elitists and by people who don't understand the importance of failure. When we first starting talking, you
— here you are a writer.


BECK: . one of the biggest selling fiction writers around now, probably, well — and you have dyslexia.

FLYNN: Yes. I grew up diagnosed in third grade, went to those classes, SLBP, slow learning behavior problem. Those ladies were great. You know, they taught me how to kind of skip over the words that I couldn't pronounce and move on. I still won't read allowed in public. I get cold sweats.

BECK: Seriously?

FLYNN: Stutter and stammer. But — and I do believe.

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. So, if I gave — I'm not going to ask you to do it, but if I gave you this, you couldn't?

FLYNN: I would sweat bullets, read very slow and I could probably get through it, but I wouldn't — I just won't do it.

BECK: How is it?

FLYNN: When I give a lot of speeches, they're always on the fly. I mean, I know what I'm going to say roughly, but I do not — will not read.

BECK: Even if you've written notes yourself, like your own books.

FLYNN: I won't do, will not do it. I have such bad memories, sitting in the back of a classroom, being told, you know, everybody is going to read a paragraph, and skipping ahead to my paragraph and being mortified and trying to read it enough times so that I wouldn't stutter and stammer, getting called on, even in high school. And it gets to me and I'd be going, "ah, ah," horrible reader — ran from the problem.

BECK: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer — you didn't read books?

FLYNN: Oh, it's the weirdest thing. I — I'm in college. I got a sit — I've taken a class (INAUDIBLE) and hand a paper in, it comes back, it got a big red F on it. I'm not there the day it comes back. I show up at lunch the next day and a buddy of mine had picked it up and it's laying there on the lunch table and it's got a big red F and underneath it says, "I don't know how in the hell you got into college. I don't know how you're going to graduate. This is the worst paper I've read in 10 years I've been teaching."

I hid from the problem. I did just enough to get by. I was a good athlete so that got me by, that gave the confidence to go forward.

And then Al McGuire came and spoke, who coached the Marquette Warriors to a national championship, at University of St. Thomas where I was going to school. He talked about how he was dyslexic and he grew up, he got his way through high school and college cheating. And on a basketball scholarship and went back after they won the national championship and taught himself how to read and write.

And I thought, "If this guy can do it, I got to do it." So, I went back and I taught myself the fundamentals of writing, and I started reading for the first time. My mom and dad had been on me for years. So, I finally picked up "Trinity" by Leon Uris. I plowed through it and I was hooked.

BECK: A big book.

FLYNN: Yes, a very emotional book.

BECK: Wow.

FLYNN: And so then, it was Tom Clancy was coming on the scene at the time.

BECK: So, wait, wait, wait. Sorry for — just not knowing much about dyslexia. But — so, it's not a problem if you are reading silently? It's just a problem with.


FLYNN: What happens when you're reading silently is you skip over the words.


FLYNN: And you become a speed reader. So, if you missed one word in a sentence, that's not a big of deal.

BECK: Right.

FLYNN: But when you get to the end of the paragraph...

BECK: Got it.


FLYNN: ...what's going on, the end of the page, you just fly through it. I'm a horrible speller. I omit words. My editor, Emily Bestler, she deals with this all the time. I just leave words out of my manuscript, I'm typing so fast and I come up with creative ways to spell things, but what I didn't know is it's a gift, Glenn.


FLYNN: Yes, what I didn't know as a kid is it's a gift. You don't feel like when you're — you feel like you're stupid. You feel like you're in the back of the classroom, you don't get it. It's coming natural to everybody else and you feel stupid.

And I talked to a lot of kids about this. There is this great place in the Twin Cities called the Growth Academy and I'm on the board. And they specialize in kids with learning disabilities and they capture them at an early age and they work on them with intensive small classes to get the kids mainstreamed so they can get back. Because once you learn some of these tricks, you can be fine down the road.

BECK: Right.

FLYNN: And the big thing is, the ad agencies of the world, the creative people on Broadway and in Hollywood, they're all — it's just a disproportionate number of dyslexics.

BECK: I hated my ADD, ADD off the charts. Do you know what my ADD allows me to do?

FLYNN: Radio show, television show, three books a year.

BECK: Yes. I mean, just — I mean, I can — I can function — I have actually had a meeting before. This is, I don't know, about a year ago and somebody was visiting and said, "Why you do — how do you do that?"

I was in a — I had a meeting and we had four different meetings, and there were two doors here, and there was a meeting and a couch here. There was somebody else at a computer here, and all I did was talk, and when they were doing something, then I'd turn to the next group of people, talk a little bit, turn into that door, turn into that door, and I just kept turning in a circle.

I mean, it is a gift. What used to be a problem is a gift.

FLYNN: It's problem as a kid. And when I go around and talk to schools, what I tell the kids are, first of all, you have to accept each other's differences. Some of you are going to be a crappy football player, some of you are going to be a great mathematician. Whatever it is, accept each other's differences and help prop each other up.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: Because if you're — if you're not fitting in, and you feel stupid, you better be good at something. It'd better be music or football or something.

BECK: You know, it doesn't have to have — you don't have to know.


BECK: I didn't figure things out until my mid-30s. When did you figure — when did you say, "I'm going to be a writer"?

FLYNN: I started thinking about it at 21. Because every time I sat down to read one of these books, I knew what was going to happen. It was the weirdest thing. It was the gift. I can recite lines.

I will watch your show and blurt out stuff that you're about to say. It is the way the dyslexic mind works. I can't explain it. But what I tell you these kids - these sales -

BECK: He's got Tourette's, too, now. People do that all the time.
They watch my show and shout things out.

FLYNN: But these kids with - I tell these parents with kids with ADD: Your kids drive you nuts by now because they've always got energy. But guess who's going to take care of you in the retirement home?

It's going to be little Johnny because he's going to be the best salesperson that some company has ever had because he won't know how to stop. He will just keep calling people. So it's a gift and -

BECK: When did your success come?

FLYNN: Thirty - I self-published "Term Limits" when I was 31. I had 60-plus rejection letters. I put them all up on a bulletin board where I wrote every day. And I'd say, "I'm going to prove you people wrong."

It was a great source was strength that Clancy and Grisham had been rejected by every publishing house in New York City. So I figured, "You know what? I'm going to stick with it. So I self-published "Term Limits" in '97. Once at number one at Twin Cities, it got picked up by Simon and Schuster. And now, the 11th book just came out this past month.

BECK: America, this is the thing you have to understand. You just heard the story of Vince Flynn, one of the biggest selling authors in America today, probably one of the biggest in the world.

And it was the story of struggle, and being told you're stupid and failure and everything else. This is the story that we need to remember. We all know these stories. We all know different people with these stories. Failure leads to success. Let's slow down on everybody's too big to fail. Let them fail. It's a blessing. Back in a second.


BECK: We're back with Vince Flynn, the author of "Pursuit of Honor." If you haven't read it, get it. When did it come out? August?

FLYNN: October 13.

BECK: October, really?



BECK: My gosh.

FLYNN: You are an influential member of the media so you got an advance copy.

BECK: Yes. It's a fantastic book. Fantastic book. One of my favorites of the year. OK. So I want to talk to you because you called me - when was it, Saturday? Last Saturday? You called me and you said "Glenn, we got to - I mean, this is insane. How do we get things back?"

And you had some suggestions, and we spent some time talking about the Republican Party, and the people that express their concerns to you that people like me -

FLYNN: Might blow it all up.

BECK: Might wreck the Republican Party. And I think my response to you was, good, only because I really believe that if wrecking the Republican Party means holding them accountable for reckless spending ...


BECK: ... special interests, and end of corruption - if that's what wrecks them, good. They should be destroyed.

FLYNN: Yes -

BECK: I think it would save them, quite honestly.

FLYNN: I think that we have had a paradigm shift in this country and everything got pulled to the left. You look 20 years ago, there was no discussion of gay marriage. There was no discussion of pick-your-pet-de-jour issue.

BECK: No -

FLYNN: Universal health care - very little discussion. And everything has pretty much been yanked way to the left so that we have been left feeling like we're crazy because we don't want to pay for someone's abortion.

Irrespective - if you're pro-life or pro-choice, I think we can all kind of agree that it might not be a good idea since we're religiously sensitive at the moment to force someone who is - through their beliefs, does not support abortion. You shouldn't ask their federal tax dollars to pay for it. But that's not a crazy idea.


FLYNN: But you are now labeled a radical if you stand in opposition of something like that. You are considered a radical if you stand in opposition of gay marriage. For the record, I'm pro-gay union. Just don't call it marriage. I'm not a crazy right-winger.

BECK: I stand exactly where the president of the United States Barack Obama stands. Exactly the same place.

FLYNN: Where he stands now.

BECK: Exactly now. He stands exactly where you stand. Look, I don't care what you do in your own bedroom. How does that affect me? I don't care. But let's not destroy an institution - the institution of marriage.

You want to have a civil union, what kind of hate-monger doesn't want people to be able to go to the hospital and visit somebody, or be able to pass things on? That's stupid.


BECK: That's just stupid.

FLYNN: And so that - but we get labeled radicals if we're against it. You know - whatever. They always call us radical because we're conservative.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: But the thing that worries me about the party is the party has somehow decided that we need to become centrists on all things.

BECK: But they're not center.

FLYNN: No, they're not.

BECK: They're not center.

FLYNN: And the funny thing is, I actually think that you and Rush and Levin and Hannity are actually on the same page on some of some of this stuff, which is that the party needs to go back to its roots, what it was with Reagan.

BECK: Principles.

FLYNN: Principles, conservatism. Do not spend money you do not have. It boggles my mind that we as a country can't grasp this simple issue. We will be the first and most selfish multi-generational group that has passed this much debt onto their grandchildren. Where is the shame?


FLYNN: At some point, we've got to back away.

BECK: I want to show you how - because Vince and I talked about it. And I asked him, "Have you ever heard of `The Overton Window' before?" It is the name of my fiction book that is coming out soon. "The Overton Window" - ever heard of it? I'll explain it, coming up next.


BECK: We're just talking to Vince Flynn. He's the author of "Pursuit of Honor," a great guy. Very, very bright.

FLYNN: I don't know about that one.

BECK: I was lying on that. We were talking over the weekend about something. It's actually the name of a fiction book that I'm writing that is coming out next spring. It's called "We Are Americans," subtitled "The Overton Window." Do you know what it is?

FLYNN: When you explained it to me - we kind of talked loosely about something like this years ago, that big lurch to the left.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: And then, you explained it to me in the clinical terms. And I said oh, "That's like needing $5 from your dad so you ask him for $20." Because then, your dad says, "$20? Are you out of your mind? Are you crazy? Here's $5." And you walk away happy.

BECK: OK. Look what's happened, America. "The Overton Window" is a political spectrum. It's a political trick. It's unbelievable. Let's take healthcare, any issue. We used to, when our grandparents were here, the window was right here, OK?

There is the window. And anything outside of that, we usually said, "You know, let's take care of the widows and the orphans. Let's start social security, et cetera, et cetera," so we did.

Anything out of that, the out-of-work and the unemployed, especially those including choice - that was radical. It was out of the window, got it?

Here is what has happened. Politicians move the window. They just keep pushing, and they push it farther and farther to the left or to the right. But they take things that were insane.

For instance, they will move it. Right now, we're here. We're here. Here is the window. Those who don't pay for healthcare, those who choose not to pay for any kind of healthcare, those who choose not to have a job, we're going to fund abortions.

We have extra money from the rich. We can include illegals here, illegal immigrants. Let's give illegal immigrants healthcare. That's crazy talk. They've moved the window, which makes all of this stuff absolutely fine, especially this stuff. We don't even discuss it anymore.

This is just accepted that we're going to cover this, and this becomes radical. Oh, who would do that? You just want to cover the widows and orphans? Yes. That's where we used to be. Let everybody else - this is total government, and this is? That's total government - that's communism, fascism -

FLYNN: Well, this is benevolent meritocracy. You work. You have one life to live. You take your God-given talents. You go out and you make the best you can out of yourself. You pay taxes. You take care of those who absolutely can't take care of themselves.

This is a loss of freedom. They take the money from those who have worked hard and they decide where to put it. They decide. That's the choice.

BECK: And the trick is the Overton Window. Back in a second with Vince Flynn.


BECK: We are back with Vince Flynn, the author of "Pursuit of Honor." And we were just talking about the shift here. And I think that most people don't understand the shift of politics. I think the Republicans are now the - what? Democrats of the 1990s. And the Democrats are gone. The Democrats that my parents or grandparents might have been, that's gone.

FLYNN: Well, they cracked the door with Reagan. It was when the Democratic Party became the party of abortion, of choice, in the '70s, in a bad economy, opened the door for Ronald Reagan. Because for the first time, people who were traditionally Democrats went out and voted for a Republican.

BECK: So what happened to the - why are the Democrats still - why are so many people still saying, "Yes, I'm a Democrat"? Do they even pay attention of who these people are?

FLYNN: Here's what I think is interesting. They went into high gear in the '90s because of their absolute monopoly with the media. You had a bunch of like-minded people, no diversity of thought.

And every editorial board and newspaper pretty across the country, the major networks, CNN - they have lost it now because of talk radio, FOX News. All of that stuff has now opened up the playing field, so people are going to get their information wherever they want to get it.

Your "Overton Window" example - the media amplified all those crazy ideas in the '90s, which lurched the Democratic Party that much further to the left. You see it in the poll numbers all the time. We are identified as a center-right country.

BECK: Right. But the media keeps saying the center right is extreme and is crazy.


BECK: You know, did you see - there was a story - I know you were quoted on this so I know you saw it. There was a story about two weeks ago in the "New York Times" that said I'm the new Oprah ...


BECK: ... because of people like you. I talk about your books.


BECK: People go out and read these books. There was a story the next day that said, "You know, we have been looking at the number of these books that Glenn Beck is selling and blah blah blah." And maybe there should be a conservative book list. They want to relegate -

FLYNN: They have their liberal booklets forever. This gets me worked up. When I get a chance to speak to kids and business groups, I often use you, Rush and Oprah as an example. All three of you, self-made.

Why do you and Rush get attacked for being self-made, and Oprah gets celebrated? It is because you don't - you and Rush don't fit into their group think of how we should all behave and think.

BECK: Right. But that's what they want to do. They want to separate -


Your books sell mainstream.

FLYNN: Yes. So I went on your show today.

BECK: Right. I know. But what they want to do is separate you out so they can keep the illusion -

FLYNN: I get labeled all the time as if I am some right-wing radical nut job because I think we should go kill the terrorists before they kill us. And I don't feel real bad that waterboarded Sheik Mohammed. I'm a radical because of that.

BECK: I don't know -

FLYNN: And oh, by the way -


BECK: Who knows I could have done it. Did they slow him down by the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on his back? Did they do that? I don't -

FLYNN: They Velcroed him to the table.

BECK: Yes.

FLYNN: And oh, by the way, you know, I voted for Amy Klobuchar who is a wonderful Democratic senator from Minnesota. I am not this right-wing radical, but on national security issues, darn straight.

BECK: OK. Back in a second.


BECK: I just want to leave you, America, with something that I think will hack off a lot of people in the country. It's chapter 50 of "Pursuit of Honor" with Vince Flynn. Nutshell?

FLYNN: I sat down (UNINTELLIGIBLE) last year and I realized all of those senators in Washington who were anti-torture, anti-enhanced measures were all senators with a perfect voting record, who had voted to actually use federal tax dollars to fund late-term abortions. That's what they had voted for.

And so I came up with this contradiction. It's not OK to make the mastermind of 9/11 think he is drowning. But it is OK to stick a spike into an 8 1/2-month-old fetus' head and suck his brains out.

No judgment here on the abortion in the pro-choice matter. I'm just saying, how can we get so worked up about making the one guy think he is drowning and not worked up actually have our tax dollars go towards supporting this procedure. It is pretty out of whack.

BECK: He is an extremist. He is an extremist. Good night, America, from New York. And good night, Mrs. Dunn, wherever you are.

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