Date: October 21, 2010
To: Concerned American Patriots
From: Ed Stanley – GOOOH – Georgia’s 7th District
Re: Every Other Thursday Memo – Term Limits (“Limits” being the operative)
It seems everyone has a desire to limit the time our politicians spend in their elected office. Most would agree that time is the enemy of effective citizen representation. Why should there be term limits? Would it make a difference?
TERM LIMITS PAST & PRESENT – Currently our laws do not provide for specific term limits for Congress, but the idea of limiting terms for government officials is not new. In Ancient Greece (about 500 B.C.), the Council of 500 (The Boule) were limited to 2, one-year terms within 10 years so that.. “a large number of Athenians held some political position in their lifetime” (see “The Athenian Origins of Direct Democracy” by Steven Kreis). The Constitution defines the Terms of the offices of Congress but no limit. Only the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution addresses term limits (Executive Branch only). So if our Founders and 234 years of practice haven’t produced an Amendment of the Constitution calling for Term Limits in Congress, why now? The answer is simple: Congress has obviously become a glorified “Good ‘Ole Boys & Girls Club” with benefits & bonus packages that can rarely be matched in the private sector. They have set up a lifestyle for themselves equal to that enjoyed by royalty, such as Pelosi’s air travel services furnished by the military for both she and members of her family.
Special dining rooms, Rolls Royce health care packages, the power to pick and choose which laws they pass that will or will not apply to them, special interest money, guaranteed career (in Congress or as a lobbyist) and on and on. Who could give that up!?!
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS? – Consequently, it appears that we have a Congress that is out of touch with reality. They are so immersed in their “club privileges” that they do not relate to the anger of we the people toward their out-of-control spending and violation of Constitutional principles. Congress has an all time low approval rating of 11%; yet the “club” continues to initiate new members into the rituals of following the agendas of the political parties and special interests. Should someone not follow the party agenda, such as Sen. Lieberman’s support of the Iraqi invasion in 2002, he is excommunicated from the party. The more longevity a member of Congress has, the more he is beholden to money from special interests for campaign finance. National Convention asserts that campaign finance reform is futile, because it is a conflict of interests for Congress to pass laws regulating their own re-election funds. And the more Congress becomes disengaged in reality, perpetuating their culture of greed graft and corruption, the more helpless we feel to be able to fix the problem. Corporate and special interests employ 63 lobbyists for every Congressperson in order to influence legislation. The most devastating result, however, is voter apathy. In the last 50 years, the average voter turnout for a general election (every four years) is 55.2%. It is worse for midterms at 40%. That means that less than half of the American voting public show up to vote on average. If that isn’t an indicator of apathy, then what is? Is it that the voter doesn’t care? Or is it that the voter feels disenfranchised in dealing with a system so corrupt, so rigged that they feel powerless to do anything about it? How do you feel?
WHAT’S THE CURE? –Indications are that the parties are losing their grip and the time is now to offer an alternative to the status quo that mutes this death knell currently ringing in Congress. 78% of the electorate is in favor of term limits according to a recent Fox News Poll. The only real chance for term limits is when the lot of them is ousted and those dedicated to such necessary reform are installed. Now is the time to put forth the alternative – GOOOH (not a party – a process pre-loaded with term limits for all GOOOH candidates). IF GOOOH had a platform (it doesn’t – that is up to each Congressional District) it would have one plank in it – TERM LIMITS. It would be just as The Founders envisioned – go represent your constituents, then go home, and go back to work! There is a reason The Founders established that every seat would be up for election every two years! They knew. We know. Let’s let the world know.
The GOOOH plan is the only clear cut plan in which we can address term limits. Term limits will discourage members from becoming too enamored with the culture of tenure inside the “Beltway.” The task facing us is monumental, no doubt. And yet we have no choice. If we are to preserve freedom, honor the Constitution and protect future Americans from the career politician, term limits must be the law of the land for The House (at least). Only then will we get the power of government back into the hands of the people where it belongs. In spite of the corruption of power in politics, in 2012 we can exercise the ultimate power at the ballot box with a refreshing alternative for America to elect; a term-limited GOOOH candidate. Let’s GOOOH! It CAN be done! (Many thanks to Nancy Johns for her contribution to this week’s EOTM!)