Monday, April 28, 2008

Time To Clean House

The President of the United States by law may only serve 2 full terms in office. Many state governors are limited to terms that equal not more than 12 full years. These amendments to the federal and many state constitutions have been placed there for various reasons. No POTUS has ever served more than 2 terms with the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt. George Washington set the standard of 2 terms when he refused to seek a third term in office arguably because he did not believe that Americans should elect a ruler for life no matter how popular of a President they are. Shortly after Roosevelt’s death, the constitution was amended and the two- term limit established.

As for Governors, the states have amended their own constitutions for a variety of reasons. Such reasons have been corruption or the appearance of, becoming out of touch with the voters, fear of becoming too powerful and others. Whatever the reasons, the states had every right to limit the terms. The debates over these amendments being good for the each of these states remain an ongoing issue.

Why do we only restrict these seats of power? Are not all elected officials supposed to serve as an elected representative of those entrusting him or her to the office that they hold? Could the same reasons these seats have limited terms attached apply also to everyone from United States Senators all the way down to the local City Council and School Board Members?

Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely – Lord John Dalberg Acton

The real power in government does not always lie with the man holding the highest office. We have a three tiered system of government at both the federal and state level. Each is supposed to keep the other in check but it does not always work that way. The legislative branch is the ones who make the rules and approves or denies request from the President or Governor unless they issue an executive order. The President and Governors are placed into positions that if they do not sign into law those bills that have been passed by the state or federal congress, then when the “executives” want something passed that they do not overwhelming support, it becomes harder regardless of the good it does the people they serve.

United States Senators serve 6 year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives serve 2 years. Why do we not limit the time these people serve in office as we do the President? Is it inconceivable that a member of congress could become too powerful (Kennedy, Kerry, Byrd, Reid, Rangel, Hatch, Stevens). Is it not possible that they could over time become out of touch with their constituents?

The President has up to 8 years to complete their vision for America. Some Governors have between 8 & 12 depending on the state. Why can’t Senators and Representatives complete all the things they want for America in 12 years? If I had an agenda and could not complete it in 12 years, I think I would need to forget the idea. Why not the same here?
Who do you think all those paid lobbyist are meeting with? Who receives PAC money year round for reelections? What government officials are riding around on corporate jets and eating on corporate credit cards at places you and I will never afford to eat at in our lifetime?

If we were to limit our representatives to 12 years only, then party politics will not cease to exist, but would be cut down by a large amount. The stalemate that has existed in congress and has continued to grow for the past 40 years would start to crumble. The “career politician” will start to take a back seat to political production. Either you produce or you limited time is cut even more. If 12 year limits were in place, this general election we would be seeing the end of 55 Senators (55%) and 208 members of the House of Representatives (47.8%). With that big of a change, perhaps congress could start working together for a change for the real common good of the people.

Kevin Bryant


Anonymous said...

That really makes a lot of how do we go about making it law....

republican patriot said...

Well, agreeing with the idea is much easier then getting it passed as law. Because
the Congress in general MAKES the laws, they exclude themselves on many of the horrific
things that we as citizens have to abide by, such as social security (they surely
don't) health insurance (they voted themselves that too), pension packages (you
don't even want to hear what they get there).....they are for all intents and
purposes the elitist group of the USA, and the worst part is that we have to pick
one of 2 senators for president!

Anonymous said...

In 1994 the Republicans included term limits as part of the Contract With America. They never followed up on it. Some states tried to do it on a state-by-state basis, but the Supreme Court ruled (correctly, IMO) that this was unconstitutional. Term limits must be imposed through a constitutional amendment. The GOP needs to push it again and this time mean it.