term limits

On Term Limits

There are a million problems facing humanity. Everyone is to blame.
People in search of answers are often frustrated by one-issue politics, where someone refuses to look at the big picture and votes simply based on their candidate’s position on the issue most important to them.

Yet, this is how we simplify complicated decision-making processes.
So, what if there was one issue that could fix everything?

That issue is, of course, Term Limits.

I’m an old man so I can relate from memory the timeline: 1992, Bill Clinton emerges from nowhere to defeat a sitting president. His base, mostly poor, minorities, unions; the people. Once in office, he passes NAFTA, Welfare Reform, the Crime Bill. Already by 1994 the base is disillusioned to see the last vestiges of the Reagan/Bush agenda put in place by their own candidate, and this opens the door for Gingrich’s Contract with America.

You may not remember the Contract with America, but Gingrich was serious about it and put almost everything to a vote. One of the exceptions was term limits. I guess once you’re in the chair, it doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

Yet the president himself has term limits, so why not the elected officials in the Senate and House of Representatives? Other branches of the government, like the Peace Corps, also have service limits. See, it’s the government, you serve it and then you go back to your life. At least that’s the idea.

As we all know, the Constitution was designed to make sure the people themselves could make their feelings felt. With both major parties so similar in their agenda, putting forward candidates no one seems to want, it seems like 2016 is one of those times where this needs to happen.

Everyone likes to feel like they have power; powerlessness is one of the worst feelings we can suffer through, it’s a torture to the free spirit inside of all of us.

So let term limits be the test of our power. It’s simple, straightforward, and everyone not currently in Congress thinks it’s a good idea.

So what would happen if term limits were put into effect? It’s easy to see how the government will be completely changed, quite literally.

It’s time to amend the Constitution, as we did when we enacted term limits on the presidency with the XXII Amendment, ratified in 1951.

Here’s every word in the amendment:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

That’s it.

The new amendment could be copy/paste find/replace, except that there would be no exception for those already sitting in Congress.

A two-term limit makes a lot of sense, though, doesn’t it? Obama could have easily won this election again, but it’s time to move on.

The Senate is supposed to provide continuity, so two terms allows them to sit for 12 years. Congress is the People’s House, they are there to serve and move on, so they will be limited to four years.

People worry Congress is bought; if so, why not make ‘em pay every time rather than buy it for life?

Once term limits are in place it will dissuade the power hungry; the job will be more attractive to public servants. Career politician is an oxy-moron anyway.

So what can you do right now?

Sometime between now and November your representatives are going to come knocking for your vote. When they do, ask them where they stand on term limits. Ask them if they would support a Constitutional amendment to limit every elected office, including the one they seek, to two terms, just like the presidency. If you want to really scare them, tell them you’re a one issue voter, and this is it.

Once you see the look on their face you’ll know who to support.

Happy voting!

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