Newly-elected Republican US congressman Mike Fitzpatrick of the 8th district in Pennsylvania (Bucks County, near Philadelphia) is taking a pledge to serve no more than a total of six years in the House of Representatives.
In the past, newly-elected Pennsylvania Republican US senator Pat Toomey took the pledge when he served in the House, stepping down after three terms.
In fact many new GOP legislators in Washington are taking such a self-imposed pledge of anywhere from 6 years to 12 years.
And there is new talk of a Constitutional amendment for term limits which was discussed in the early 1990s but then forgotten. These discussions ended after the Republican takeover of the House in 1994 tamped down the issue, which was a reaction to Democrat domination in the House for 40 years.
What does all this revived talk about term limits mean?
It means that there are members of one party in America who are opposed to the very idea of a political Ruling Class in America. They are Republicans, mostly conservatives. And it proves once again that the people most interested in the founding principles of America are those of us on the principled right, who wish to preserve freedom for all, not usurp it for the few through political might.
Is it time for a Constitutional amendment?
Yes. And it makes sense. There already is a two-term limit on the president passed after FDR was elected four times (but only served a few months of his fourth term). Why not for all elected federal officials?
How about 12 and 12 – a maximum 12 years for a congressperson (six two-year terms) and 12 years for a US senator (two six-year terms).
This would truly return power to the people and encourage more citizen-legislators as the Founders envisioned, preventing career politicians from coming to dominate the Congress and the citizens through political connections that maintain their power at the expense of We the People.
Because as we know, the biggest power gluttons in America are Democrats who always have hung on to power longer than Republicans. And for good reason. Their seniority allows them to build more and more government power for themselves and their party. Because government is the lifeblood of Democrats. They believe that government is the solution for all problems, and so it would follow that a permanent political class also would be part of their agenda.
This is what America was founded to prevent in the first place, as a single beacon of freedom from the heavy hand of government around the world and throughout history.
Term limits would be a natural for Republicans. Because Republicans do not really even by nature like being in the government. They are much more likely to be private-sector people who want to work hard and improve themselves on their own; to make society better by improving themselves one person at a time; and who are not disposed to the communal process of legislation and political deal-making. Republicans often serve in office today only to prevent the Democrats from becoming too powerful and confounding the people with more and more laws including a health care bill that “we will find out what is in it after we pass it,” according to Nancy Pelosi’s thinking.
And that is precisely the kind of arrogance and power OVER the people that the Founders warned against.
Because conservatives know that government is anathema to genuine freedom. Thus conservatives are naturally averse to government in inversely the force that Democrats are attracted to government.
The Founders urged us all to seek office, however, that it is our duty. And increasingly after the events of recent years Republicans and conservatives are realizing anew that you can’t trust the Democrats no way, no how, that we must fight for every political office from the municipal level on up. Because every office counts in the struggle for liberty, particularly now that the recession has exposed the big-spending Democrats for the fiscal wastrels that conservatives have been warning about for decades. And the longer they serve, the more they spend.
While there have been some long-serving Republicans, most members of the permanent political class in Washington are Democrats with tenures like late senators Robert Byrd (57 years total including his tenure in the House, the longest-serving person in the history of the US Congress) and Ted Kennedy (47 years) or House members like John Dingell (56 years and counting).
Today, the federal government is a multi-trillion dollar business. And to control that much wealth is more than all the top Fortune 500 corporations combined. It is more money and more discretionary power over more people. And Democrats love that power.
At the same time, Democrats do not do well in the private sector. We all know bland people who think that the only goal in life is to have a public job with security and full benefits. Political office also makes a good goal. You do not need to “apply” but just run for office. You don’t necessarily have to know anything, just how to make deals with other Democrats and dazzle the public with press releases and other public relations.
Professional politicians often are people of low achievement who know that they can succeed by shaking hands and kissing babies, but not by balancing a checkbook and writing paychecks. Or creating products and bringing them to market.
And so with the recession and renewed talk about the role of government and the need to stop politicians from entrenching themselves and enriching themselves and their friends at the public trough, talk of term limits is back. And that is a good thing.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.