This past Saturday, Oct 22nd from Gettysburg Pennsylvania, Donald J. Trump delivered his very own Contract with the American Voter speech. In it the GOP Presidential nominee enumerated some of the changes he vows to make. The most striking to me was the Constitutional Amendment regarding term limits for Congress.
This is nothing new; any conservative has heard and possibly made the argument for term limits, in most polls the measure garners upward to 65% support. I have always been perplexed by this argument. After all, the bulwark of conservatism, to my mind has always been smaller government. A Constitutional amendment doesn’t fit that definition unless it repeals another amendment such as in the case of the 21st repealing the 18th Amendment prohibiting the sale, manufacture, import or consumption of alcohol. A Constitutional amendment imposing term limits is just another law – an expansion of government, if you will.
Ironic to me further still is the appearance support of term limits projects. Again, as a Conservative, I hear many of my colleagues espouse the virtues of education and involvement. The mere execution of those actions would negate the need for term limits. We police the Government by voting out the ineffective instead of giving Government more power to police itself. Instead we cry “Government’s too big! We need a law — enforced by government — to fix that!”
Then, there’s the unintended consequences of it all. Suppose we adopt term limits. Let’s say we limit Congress to three terms. What if, in her third term, your Representative finally has gained some steam on your favorite piece of legislation. For me it would be the abolishment of IRS. Any opposition to this measure now knows all they need do is stonewall for such a period of time as to see your candidates term come to limit. Talk about hoisted on your own petard.
What of staff? Will there be term limits on those who really run DC? The staffers? How does that work? Every 6 years everyone in Washington is new? Given the current apparent learning curve, I’d say people will be leaving just about the time they learn their way to the cafeteria. DC would be pretty much at perpetual standstill. Perhaps that’s a good thing given what has come out of it of late.
Term limits is the 0300 Saturday morning face tattoo. In the moment it seems like all you’ve always wanted and that which will make your life complete. In reality, it will serve as a reminder of momentary bad judgment for years to come. The good news is, thanks to modern technology, a tattoo is easier to remove than a Constitutional Amendment.
If I haven’t made it obvious, I agree with, at least in theory, the 65% whom back term limits. We have far too many career politicians whom somehow manage to become millionaires on $185,000 a year. We have far too many politicians whom are hell bent on doing little more than feathering their own nests. I merely feel – as I thought all conservatives do – that We The People can or at least should be able to do a better job of it by merely doing our jobs and voting them out of office. Send the bad ones packing and let the good ones work without a ticking time bomb over their shoulder. Government can’t handle health care. Social Security is a wreck. I think we can all agree everything we put in the hands of government becomes bastardized, adulterated and just all around screwed up. Why in the world would we turn over, in essence whom we have as our representatives to government? We can’t have our cake and eat it too. We can’t have Government out of our lives and get away with binge watching House of Cards or The Bachelor instead of being present in our own republic. We’re going to need to do the heavy lifting. By becoming the informed, hard-working electorate the forefathers envisaged we negate the need for these term limits. Imagine a world where we are the electorate the Founders intended. Imagine. Then make it reality.
John Harrington is President of Texas Black Rifle Company, political activist and a pro shooter / instructor. John has been teaching people to defend themselves and their Constitutional rights for over a decade.