Sunday, January 03, 2010

Term Limits

I just received an email from a supporter championing the "Congressional Reform Act of 2010." The "Act" limits Congressmen to a fixed number of terms, stating:

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

I oppose term limits.

The author of this "Act" does not understand the concept of "citizen legislatures." The idea does not mean serve ONE term and go home, and never return to Washington. It means government is so small that the business of the legislature is accomplished in a few days or weeks, and then all the citizen-legislators return home to their farms and businesses, which is their real livelihood, for the rest of the year.

Obviously it's been a long time since we've had constitutionally-sized government. It will be a long time before we return to constitutionally-sized government. If we kick out all the Ron Pauls and replace them with inexperienced Constitutionalists, they will not be as effective in battling career bureaucrats as a career Constitutionalist like Ron Paul would.

The proper goal is not rotating inexperienced legislators, but shrinking down the size of government until career legislators [those who do not have any business at home, but whose only business is as a politician] are no longer needed.

If Thomas Jefferson were running today on a platform of opposing the growing socialism in Washington, I would vote for him term after term after term, knowing that he will be outnumbered in Congress, and that it will take a couple of generations to undue what has been done over the last 100 or more years.

If voters send me to Congress to root out unconstitutional bureaucracies, I would not be able to accomplish this task in six years. I woudn't want to be term-limited. I would hope voters would continually re-elect me, term after term after term, until so much of the federal government has been abolished that Congress only need meet in session for a few weeks a year.


Nelson Lee Walker of said...

The only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to get a truly new Congress is :

• It gives us a one-term-limited Congress without using an amendment
• It encourages ordinary citizens to run for Congress
• It is supported by 70% of the country (see Rasmussen and Cato polls)
• It is completely nonpartisan
• If repeated, it ends career politicians in Congress
• It opens the way to a “citizen Congress” of guys like you and me
* It would open a torrent of fresh ideas to improve our government
• It ends the seniority system that keeps freshmen powerless
• It doesn’t cost money. But you MUST vote! Just don’t vote for an incumbent
• It takes effect immediately on Election Day
• When the ‘pros’ stop running, ordinary citizens will run and win
• If it doesn’t work, do it again and again! It will work eventually,without a doubt.


Nelson Lee Walker of

Kevin Craig said...

Hitler brought Germany a "truly new" government.

The only thing worse than mindlessly voting FOR an incumbent is mindlessly voting AGAINST Ron Paul simply because he is an incumbent.

Under some proposals, Benjamin Franklin would have been "term limited" from signing the Constitution because he had been a "career politician" for ten years since he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Name one person who signed the Constitution who was not a "career politician" (and I'll name the rest).

The goal is not to have an entrenched permanent career bureaucracy pulling the strings of amateur one-term congressmen who don't know the ropes in Washington D.C. We need dozens more career politicians like Ron Paul to abolish these bureacracies and explain to America how the Free Market can better provide the services allegedly provided by the bureaucrats.

We don't need "ordinary citizens" in Congress. We need extraordinary leaders like Ron Paul.

If I were elected and abolished one government agency during my first term, I hope to be re-elected to abolish two agencies, then re-elected to abolish four, and if I can make a career out of this, and die in an America where "Liberty Under God" exists once more, I think America's Founders would be more pleased than if all we do is arbitrarily elect new inexperienced amateurs every election to oversee the perpetual socialism that now exists.

Jeff Z. said...

I, too, oppose term limits and Kevin has already provided some very good reasons for opposition. I share Mr. Walker's frustration with career politicians and incumbent fat cats, but we already have the best term limit device possible in place. It's called the "vote". The greatest threats to our liberty are a pervasive apathy among the electorate and far too many people buying into the two party con game. Term limits are not the answer! Liberty minded folks getting energetically involved and actively supporting liberty minded candidates is the answer.