Right Idea, Wrong Reasons

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Recently, Democrat Presidential candidate Tom Steyer released TV ads in Iowa declaring he was the only one talking about term limits for members of Congress. His rationale: because there’s not enough diversity in Congress, and that’s what’s preventing progressive change in America. Never mind the fact progressive ideas have turned the West Coast into a shithole, literally in San Francisco’s case, or that Americans might not want a more progressive country because…well, San Francisco.

However, I do say I have to agree with Steyer on term limits. I used to be against them because I felt the only term limits should be placed on Congress members by the voters. Then, I went to work in the service industry. Within a few years, I came to the realization the people who I saw doing incredibly stupid stuff might actually vote. And given some of the people getting elected, the elected might only be marginally smarter than the voters.

Term limits are a way for the people to take back at least some control of the government because it has the potential to be a deterrent to lobbyists from all sides. One of the ways special interest groups sustain their power base is by helping elect candidates who will uphold these groups’ ideals and goals. Steyer’s plan is to allow only 12 years in Congress, which isn’t completely unreasonable to me. If you only have a limited amount of time to work with, special interest groups won’t have as much sway over a candidate near the end of his or her term. If written narrowly enough, I could get behind Steyer’s term limits push.

Now, here’s where I part company. Steyer may be the only Presidential candidate talking about term limits because…he doesn’t realize he doesn’t have the power to unilaterally make it happen. Thanks to a little thing the kids like to call separation of powers, the President can’t make Congress abide by term limits unless they agree with the idea. With thinking like this, I have to wonder how he made his billions because it’s not because he’s a critical thinker.

And that brings us to the other reason Steyer’s term limits idea wouldn’t work: Congress doesn’t want them. Out of the 18 candidates running from the Democratic side, 7 of them would be directly impacted right now, with an additional 3 that were in positions that would have been impacted by it. And let’s not overlook the fact both major parties would lose astonishing numbers of Representatives and Senators without replacements to continue their sloth…I mean work. If you want Democrats and Republicans to come together, forcing term limits on them would be a good way to make that happen.

Plus, there’s no guarantee more people of color, women, or women of color will get elected with term limits. It just means spots will open up faster for them to run. Sure, you might be able to catch lightning in a bottle by electing The Squad, but you might also elect solid candidates like Mia Love or incompetent candidates like Katie Hill. Term limits have nothing to do with who gets elected.

Nor do they have anything to do with the ideology of those elected. Not every woman, person of color, or woman of color is a progressive, like the aforementioned Mia Love. In fact, there are quite a few people of all colors and both genders who align more with Donald Trump than with Tom Steyer, and those numbers are growing. Assuming someone of a different color and/or gender think the way you do because of said color and/or gender is a mistake not worth making in a Presidential campaign.

Fortunately, Mr. 1% is polling close to what percentage he is in the socioeconomic stratosphere, so it’s unlikely he’ll see the White House anywhere but as part of a guided tour. Even so, I have to give him credit for talking about term limits. In fact, I fully support Tom Steyer being bound by term limits beyond the 8 years the Constitution states.

I’m thinking…zero terms.

Elitism in Politics

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Political Elitism is what pushes people away from politics. But it attracts those who seek to gain power or prestige. This is not what our nation’s Founders intended.

Our nation’s Founders were bold men. They were God-fearing and well educated. And they succeeded in creating a nation and government like no other. The world had never had such a system before and it hasn’t been duplicated anywhere else since the United States was born. The United States is the exception and we are in danger of loosing it forever.

Our political structure was designed by and for a God-fearing and well educated people. This is the only way to have a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. Otherwise it will become a government of the elite and power seekers.

Every time I get elected to the county central committee, it is the same people. I try to rotate myself out so I do not fall and become one of them. And only step back up when there are no others willing to step forward.

But to see the same faces for 2-3 decades on the central committee is a bit disenchanting. And the Party Leadership wonders why it cannot attract new voters to their banner.

We are all disenfranchised. We have record numbers of voters participating in this election cycle. Yet we send the same people to the National Convention that we sent in previous election cycles. The same power brokers. The same losers that gave the GOP McCain and Romney as presidential nominees. And they scratch their heads wondering why we loose time and time again.

Well when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results it’s called insanity. Unfortunately it runs high in political organizations. Because they are infected by the elitists and the power hungry.

We need to send new blood to our offices. From the county central committees to the state central committees and other standing offices. And more importantly to the National Convention as well.

The elitists and power hungry must be pushed out of the leadership positions within the GOP. The leadership needs to be made up of people that are called to serve, not called to power as a moth to the flame.

Maybe there should be term limits enacted at the local party leadership level. To remove the power hungry and elitists from their thrones. And to allow those that are truly called to serve their communities to these offices of leadership.

Term Limits

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I have long been an opponent of term limits but now I believe them to be the saving grace for our Republic.

We have an issue with voter apathy in our great nation. It causes the Republic to fail at all levels of government and has created our political elite class of career politicians.

So we can do nothing and watch the Republic continue to fall and eventually collapse on itself. Or we can institute mandatory voter registration and participation statues. This makes sure everyone votes but the quality of those votes may slip drastically. As it has in other nations that currently have such legislation.

That leaves us with the only option of mandating term limits on all branches of government at all levels of government.

In my home state we have a governor currently in the middle of his sixth term. He is now the longest serving governor in the United States. Although he did have a period between terms, it is still a very long time. 22 years thus far being governor. He might as well be a King. My mother before her death back in 2007 called him “governor for life”.

Likewise our senior US Senator has been in office since 1981. He too is on his sixth term in office at 35 straight years.

These are just my own local examples. I’m sure they can be found in every state of our Republic. We need to end this political elite class and bring “We the People” back to government. Term limits sound like the best answer.

Based on the term limits for President found in 22nd Amendment. We can expand these by legislation to other branches of government and their offices.

For those executive powers, they should be limited to 2 terms. Generally 8 years for most governors. As this is the limit already in place for the President.

Senators, likewise, should be limited to 2 terms. At the national level that is 12 years in office as they have a 6 year term. States should also limit their own in a similar manner.

Members of the House get a bonus on the number of terms, since they have a 2 year term of office. Give them 5 terms, which is 10 years. About the average between other office holders already mentioned.

Lastly we have the black robed tyrants. The judges. This branch is not elected but appointed by those we elect. As appropriate in a Republic. But they have a life-time appointment to the bench. I am not against the life-time appointment of judges. But I think “We the People” need a bit of a stronger voice when it comes to who is sitting on the benches.

Many states already have some kind of a judicial retention vote. This should be adopted by all states at the state level and also adopted at the federal level. Thus all courts from the smallest county magistrate to the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court will face a retention vote.

Taking the play from my own state’s play book for the retention process. Every judge will come up for retention after their 1st year on the bench after they have been appointed. And then every 6th year from their appointment. This will enable “We the People” to have a bit stronger voice in the checks and balances of our Republic and government. And will bring about the end of the political elites.