Congressional term limits is a hot topic these days and on the minds of many in the nation. The people are concerned that power in the hands of so few, for so long, leads to corruption, or something to that effect. How about the vision of the Founding Fathers of our nation though? They envisioned citizen legislators, doing their duty, serving their nation then going home to reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their actions. That is not what has been happening for quite some time, instead the “citizen legislators” end up making a career of it, and getting very wealthy in the process.
So, if you’re in favor, how can we bring about term limits in the first place? Congress makes the laws, so they would have to impose said term limits on themselves, and how often does the subject even get broached in either the House or Senate? Almost never. Why would they deprive themselves of those six-figure salaries and seven-figure benefits? Sadly, if the two-party system persists, it’s highly unlikely that such a thing will happen.
The possibility of third-party candidates getting into Congress to push such an agenda is not impossible, but it is difficult due to the two-party stranglehold on the political process, voter apathy and ballot access hurdles put in place at the state level across the nation. However, it is the most likely recipe for success due to the other avenues available, and the extreme difficulties they present.
Convention of States* is one way many believe is the best way to effect this change. However, if a CoS is achieved, let’s keep a couple things in mind. The convention will most likely be run by the same two parties that have been failing the nation for decades already, and substantial, positive changes are highly unlikely in that scenario. Let’s also not forget that term limits are not the most important issue to everyone calling for a CoS, so it would most likely be akin to getting everyone to agree on toppings for a pizza, and I think we all know how challenging that can be at times. Let’s say you’re on the other side of the issue and don’t think term limits are necessary. Personally, I’ve heard the argument that we already have term limits, they’re called elections. If this is a viable defense, then why are there term limits on the POTUS? If it’s a matter of too much power in the hands of one man for too long, the same could be said of every member of Congress, who has approximately a 10% approval rate and 90% re-election rate, with numbers like that, I don’t think the argument that elections are effective to term limiting.
~*A convention of states is a convention called by the state legislatures for proposing amendments to the Constitution. They are given power to do this under Article V of the Constitution. It is not a constitutional convention. It cannot throw out the Constitution because its authority is derived from the Constitution.
*Guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, values, and core platform planks of the Veterans Party of America.