TERM LIMITS The First Step to Getting BACK to Limited Government
by James Jaeger
A recent Gallup poll finds that 86% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job. Only 10% approve.
But how can this be? In a representative democracy aren't WE THE PEOPLE supposed to vote-in the Congress we approve of? Isn't Congress supposed to represent our views? How can only 10% of WE THE PEOPLE approve of the Congress we have elected? It makes no sense, until one takes a closer look at what's going on.
Back in the 18th century when the nation was formed, the population was less than 3 million people. There were few roads and no cars, trains or airplanes. Traveling to Washington DC to serve in government was thus a hardship, not only for the few people that could make the journey, but for the people that remained home on the farm as they had one less hand to help with the chores. Given these impediments and travel risks (such as increased exposure to deadly diseases), the Founders did not want to add any more road blocks to government service. Thus, term limits were imposed on neither the Congress or the Presidency. The fewer disincentives on the few people willing to serve, the better. BUT if a citizen was willing to journey to Washington and make government service a long-term affair -- a career in politics -- well THAT made sense.
Obviously times have changed. We now have a population of about 310 million which supplies plenty of candidates. Travel to and from Washington DC is no hardship because we now have interstate highways, cars, trains and jets. And one farmer can now provide for food for thousands of families through mechanized farming. Thus the need for long-term service -- a career in politics -- makes NO sense.
But old habits die slowly. Thus, today we have the opposite problem the Founders had: a government that STAYS in Washington too long, a Congress that's entrenched.
Ironically, entrenchment is exactly the thing the Founders did NOT want to happen. They wanted a fluid government where power easily, and peacefully, transferred from person to person, group to group as the needs of the nation changed. They did NOT want anymore kings or emperors with long lines of succession and the entrenched power that accumulates in these systems of government.
Thus, the Founders faced a bit of a balancing act as they drafted the Constitution. While they wanted to encourage people to enter government, they didn't want them to stay too long.
George Washington, the nation's first president, was sensitive to this balance. Washington was a very popular president. He could easily have served a third term, but he dropped out after his second. Thomas Jefferson was also sensitive to this balance, as evidenced by his statement:
"If some termination to the services of the chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life."
And to the credit of our early past presidents, few, with the exception of Ulysses S. Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt, attempted to serve more than two terms. Grant sought a third term but lost the election in 1877. Roosevelt was the only president to be elected to a fourth term in the election of 1944, but he died the following year in office.
Since Roosevelt demonstrated that a president COULD become entrenched, WE THE PEOPLE soon recognized that a term limit now made sense for the Executive branch. Thus, in 1947, the 22nd Amendment was passed placing a term limit on the presidency of two terms, of four years each, with no possibility of return thereafter.
The Corruption of Power:
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, an English politician and historian better known as simply, Lord Acton, once remarked that:
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
If the premonitions of our founding presidents should be taken seriously -- given what they knew had happened in Europe over thousands of years of kings and dictators -- should not WE THE PEOPLE connect some dots with what's happening today? Well, don't look now, but we currently have hundreds of "Roosevelts" sitting in Congress, many for way more than three terms. And even though so many of them are entrenched, only 10% of WE THE PEOPLE approve of their actions.
If power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, it would seem that we now have a Congress that has not only been corrupted, but corrupted ABSOLUTELY, for this Congress is acting in violation of over 80% of WE THE PEOPLES' will.
Like we did for the Presidency, maybe it's time to take a serious look at term limits for Congress, and how such limits relate to the concept of limited government.
The Liabilities of Entrenchment:
Many argue that term limits on Congress are not necessary. After all, WE THE PEOPLE can vote them out any time we want and if they are doing a good job, why not allow them to stay. In addition, most people LIKE their congressman; it's the OTHER guy's congressman they detest. Their congressman is not "entrenched," he's "experienced and s/he has been re-elected because s/he "has been doing a good job." And actually, this is all true, for getting elected over and over, DOES make a Congressman good at his job. It DOES provide invaluable experience.
But what is this "experience" and who is it "good" for?
Just Doing His Job:
Granted, in a representative democracy, each Congressman is supposed to "work" for his state or district. He's supposed to "bring home the bacon." He's supposed to garner some portion of the federal funds the central government in Washington DC has available for the states. In other words, your congressman is supposed to be good at ravaging PART of the billions looted by the federal government through the taxation and debt imposed on the nation as a whole. THIS is where "experience" comes in handy for a "good" Congressman who is just doing his job.
After all, if your Congressman is not very "experienced" in VOTE SWAPPING -- the act of taking what one believes in, reducing it to the level of TRASH, and then trading this trash with other entrenched congressmen -- s/he is not very "good" at massive COLLUSION.
If your Congressman is not very "experienced" in CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS -- the act of prostituting oneself on K-street for corporate and union money so that this money can be used to buy mainstream TV spots that propagandize the public into endlessly voting for you and the status quo -- s/he is not very "good" at mass BRIBERY.
AND, if your Congressman is not very "experienced" in PORK and "earmarks" -- the act of pledging to use the public treasury for the general welfare, but instead using the power of office to divert funds into pet projects that only benefit campaign contributors -- s/he is not very "good" at massive FRAUD.
As nice as all this is for the enrichment of everyone's district, surely, when the nation was established, the Founders did NOT envision "experience" in COLLUSION, BRIBERY and massive FRAUD as part of a "good" Congressman's resume.
But today, these are the exact, unwritten, job descriptions of almost every entrenched Congressman.
In fact, our Congressmen have become so "experienced" in their long-term careers, they have become partners with the very corporations that fund their political campaigns. For instance the banking business. Some of the first corporations the Congress partnered with were the elite New York banking corporations. To kick off the partnership, the Congress forged some legislation in 1913 that would establish the Federal Reserve System -- the money system that would forever ensure their long term careers in government.
Since the Federal Reserve System makes it possible for Congressmen to borrow endless money by converting their debt in to dollar bills -- they don't have to do unpopular things like declare war and tax their constituents for the battles. All they have to do is strut around and promise endless entitlements and special privileges and their constituents think they are all the more "experienced" and "good" at their jobs.
Again, if a Congressman "brings home the bacon" -- gets federal money, perks, handouts and special privileges for his local people, corporations and unions -- that congressman is "good" and "experienced."
But since local corporations generally have more money than local people, they are more able to allocate more dollars to the campaign of their "good" and "experienced" local Congressman. In return that "good" and "experienced" local Congressman can get MORE laws made, not only for the local area, but to burden the entire nation. Thus endless laws and permits are created to stifle competition and entrepreneurs in favor of established corporations. And the unions do the same kind of things to ensure there will be NO competition with them either. Look at the massive teacher's union and the antiquated property taxes that fund the entire corrupt, socialist public school system. Is it any wonder the United States is becoming a Marxist-influenced nation of bureaucrats and greedy corporate fascists? See the documentary films entitled, "CULTURAL MARXISM - The Corruption of America" and "CORPORATE FASCISM - The Destruction of America's Middle Class" at http://www.MoviePubs.Net/singles.htm
As this process continues -- WE THE PEOPLE voting for our "good" and "experienced" Congressman and WE THE CORPORATIONS and UNIONS endlessly funding the campaigns of career-congressmen -- the government grows ever bigger and more fascist.
Endless Laws and Regulations:
Is it thus any wonder why we have so many frivolous laws and such endless debt?
And how did less than 1% end up with over 40% of the nation's assets and 60% of its income streams? Where did all this wealth disparity come from?
Why has the "American Dream" -- the idea that if one worked hard to deliver an honest, needed and wanted product or service to society, they would be rewarded monetarily and otherwise -- evaporated?
To the millions now marching all over the country in the OCCUPY WALL STREET rallies and the TEA PARTY movement, the status quo isn't working. It's destroying not only the American Dream, but the Republic. The Republic, set up by the Framers, is supposed to be a much smaller, more citizen-responsive government. Today, WE THE PEOPLE hardly have any say in our government due, not only to massive CORPORATE lobbying, but massive UNION lobbying.
It's time for Democrats to stop blaming the Republicans' CORPORATE lobbies AND it's time for Republicans to stop blaming the Democrats' UNION lobbies. This partisan bickering will not solve the problem and is in fact part of the problem itself:
WHILE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS BICKER AND FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER OVER FRIVOLOUS ISSUES, TOTALITARIAN FORCES -- BOTH MARXIST AND FASCIST -- HAVE HIJACKED THE U.S. CONGRESS AND THIS ROGUE CONGRESS IS NOW PASSING ENDLESS LAWS -- SUCH AS THE PATRIOT ACT -- TO BUILD A POLICE STATE THAT COULD ENSLAVE ALL OF US.
Watch a documentary film entitled "SPOILER - How a Third Political Party Could Win" available at www.SpoilerUSA.org.
Under the current, special interest-infested Congress -- and on the watch of both the Democratic and Republican Parties -- the United States has become a debt-ridden empire that stretches across the globe, fueled by unconstitutional fiat money generated by the Federal Reserve System. See "FIAT EMPIRE - How the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution" at http://www.FiatEmpire.org
This empire is now obeying the dictates of WE THE CORPORATIONS and the UN rather than WE THE PEOPLE.
This Empire has destroyed the middle class.
This Empire has destroyed the manufacturing base created by the middle class.
This Empire has built up a military-industrial complex so large, that weapons are now its main export.
This Empire is arming the world with weapons and promoting endless wars for profit and oil.
This Empire has created Pax Dollarum, an Order of fiat currency that's enslaving, not only its citizens, but its vassal states and relegating them to a treadmill of endless debt and high-tech serfdom.
And the source of the Empire is an entrenched Congress that, unlike its 18th century congressional counterpart, now needs term limits. It needs term limits because the voice of WE THE PEOPLE has been limited by WE THE CORPORATIONS, WE THE UNIONS and the lap-dog, mainstream media that serves them both. But why is this? It's because of three primary flaws in our thinking:
1) that corporations and unions are people;
2) that money is speech;
3) that term limits are NOT necessary.
The Road Back From Serfdom:
The road back to a Constitutional Republic, with limited government under the direct authority of WE THE PEOPLE, is not as difficult as some would believe.
All WE THE PEOPLE have to accomplish, as the first step, is to get term limits enacted.
After term limits are enacted, every other form of Constitutional legislation will fall into place more easily and Congressmen will be able to focus on REPEALING laws. In essence, all we have to do is look at the long-term time track, ascertain the decade that the Americn Dream was alive and well and start systematically recinding OUT-POINT legislation in reverse chronological order to that decade. This is the manigerial methodology for reverting a plunging statistic (i.e., a condition of emergency or danger) back to a "normal" condition from where an IDEAL SCENE can be postulated by WE THE PEOPLE and all out-points between the now normal EXISTING SCENE and that postulated IDEAL SCENE can be systematically removed on up to a condition of power in the IDEAL SCENE.
A NATION IS NOT HEADED TOWARDS AN IDEAL SCENE OF FREEDOM UNLESS MORE LAWS ARE REPEALED EVERY YEAR THAN ENACTED, AND THE LAWS THAT SURVIVE ARE VIABLE. FREEDOM AND LIBERTY ARE THE ANTITHESIS OF UNVIABLE LAWS AND REGULATION.
And when Congress is not busy repealing laws, they can be busy doing other aspects of the PEOPLES' business. If they don't have to spend 2/3rds of their terms scheming over how to get re-elected by kissing corporate and union butt for the advertising funds to sucker WE THE PEOPLE into continuously voting for them, they can be doing the People's work.
When Congressmen are NOT career politicians, they have no need for social networks where CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS (a form of bribery) are constantly required and where VOTE SWAPPING (a form of collusion) easily takes place; and where allocating PORK (a form of fraud) is expected in order to endlessly get re-elected. In other words:
TERM LIMITS START THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY, FOR IT BREAKS THE SOCIAL NETWORK THAT ENABLES THE ABUSE OF POWER LORD ACTON AND THE FOUNDERS WARNED US ABOUT.
All dictators and kings use entrenched, centralized power. THIS is why the United States was designed to be a democratic Republic with power distributed to people in various branches for limited periods of time and with checks and balances.
Thus, the axiomatic transitive leading to a return to Constitutional government is:
I. WE THE PEOPLE MUST INSIST ON A CONGRESS THAT FOLLOWS THE CONSTITUTION.
II. A CONGRESS THAT WILL NOT ENACT TERM LIMITS, IS A CONGRESS THAT WILL NOT LIMIT GOVERNMENT.
III. A CONGRESS THAT WILL NOT LIMIT GOVERNMENT IS A CONGRESS THAT IS NOT FOLLOWING THE CONSTITUTION.
How to Accomplish Term-Limits:
But so far, WE THE PEOPLE have failed at electing a Congress that has done anything more than just TALK about term limits.
They TALK about term limits to PLACATE us. WE THE PEOPLE are thus confusing TALK with ACTION. TALK does not make for ACTION.
TALK is placation, it makes WE THE PEOPLE think that they are DOING something to actually enact term limits when they are not. All the talk is thus little more than obfuscation based on collusion, bribery and fraud. And remember what your congressman is quite "good" and "experienced" at?
So how do WE THE PEOPLE get term limits enacted by a Congress that refuses to enact term limits?
WE THE PEOPLE GET TERM LIMITS BY CONTINUOUSLY, AND RUTHLESSLY, VOTING OUT ALL INCUMBENTS UNTIL A CONGRESS ARRIVES THAT ACTUALLY ENACTS TERM LIMITS.
This sounds drastic and extreme, if not cruel, but remember this: down through history the way OTHER peoples have solved their entrenched-abuse-of-power problems has been to chop off heads. This author is simply suggesting we VOTE them out, rather than CHOP them out. Surely a Christian nation can muster enough mercy and sense to do this.
And THIS is the only way it will work. If everyone tries to figure out who is a "good" congressman and who is a "bad" congressman -- who we should keep and who should go -- there will be no agreement and thus no one will be voted out.
THERE HAS TO BE A MASSIVE, AND BLIND, PURGE BECAUSE PEOPLE GENERALLY LIKE THEIR CONGRESSMAN AND DISLIKE ALL THE OTHER CONGRESSMEN.
People like THEIR congressman, again, because he's "experienced" and "good" at applying his skills of collusion, bribery and fraud for THEIR benefit, but not necessarily for the general welfare of the nation. In other words:
YOU, MR. OR MS. VOTER -- WHO ARE READING THIS ARTICLE RIGHT NOW -- ARE THE PROBLEM
YOU are a party to collusion, bribery and fraud if YOU condone the activities of YOUR Congressman and thus won't vote him out. Why should everyone else vote out their congressman which YOU hate, yet you are not willing to vote out YOUR congressman who THEY hate?
THUS THE ONLY RATIONAL REMEDY IS TO CONTINUOUSLY VOTE THEM ALL OUT.
Flush them all out based on the fact that all of them are in on this together and none of them are causing real change.
A NEW Congress of NEW Congressmen would do NEW things, starting with a NEW set of term limits. THAT would be "news" unlike the crap the mainstream media parades endlessly to keep your mind off issues like this.
A new Congress would do other new things, like do what they are SUPPOSED to do: honestly represent the wishes of their flesh and blood constituents (without vote swapping) while making choices that would be good for the nation AS A WHOLE rather than just selfishly for their district or state. If this happened, the gridlock in government would attenuate because this gridlock is caused by a complex and insane network of endless collusion, bribery and fraud all held in a delicate, but precarious, balance of unwarranted power -- a governmental structure NOT wanted or envisioned by the Framers.
But Let's Get Partisan:
If you are a Republican and hate Democrats, fine. Just flush out YOUR Republican incumbent congressmen and replace them with new Republican congressmen. If you are a Democrat and hate Republicans, fine. Just flush out YOUR Democratic incumbents and replace them with new Democratic congressmen.
And keep doing this. In doing this, both parties will maintain a status quo quantitatively, BUT, qualitatively everyone will be new and different.
THE ENTRENCHED SOCIAL NETWORK IN WASHINGTON WILL THUS BE BROKEN. THE SEWER WILL BE EMPTIED. CLEAN FRESH WATER WILL FLOW IN. THE MUD WILL EVENTUALLY CLEAR.
Again, if there are no pre-existing social networks whereby VOTE SWAPPING (a form of collusion) can take place; if the social networks needed for CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS (a form of bribery) are dismantled; and if the re-election pressure to allocate endless PORK (a form of fraud) is gone -- real change can happen. The muddy waters of Congress will eventually become clear if a clean flow of fresh water is permitted to flow in to Washington DC.
Voting out incumbents is necessary until term limits are enacted. Thus, term limits is the key. The enactment of term limits is the litmus test because:
THE CONGRESS THAT ACTUALLY PERFORMS THE SELF-SACRIFICING ACT OF ENACTING TERM-LIMITS ON ITSELF, IS THE CONGRESS THAT IS GOING TO MOST PROBABLY START WORKING FOR WE THE PEOPLE OVER WE THE CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS.
Obviously, a congressman that can't even LIMIT his own term is NOT going to LIMIT the entire government. Thus term limits is the absolute first Act that MUST be accomplished, and the term should be equal to the president's term, no more than 8 years however divided up.
What Could Be:
If the Congress is purged until term limits are enacted -- and it goes without saying that this means the complete staffs of each Congressman must go as well -- again, fresh new legislation will more easily be passed.
Insane systems of accounting -- such as COST PLUS -- will be ushered out; the unconstitutional fiat currency we are now forced to use will be replaced by gold- and silver-backed Constitutional money; the budget will be balanced; the trade deficit will be remedied; the U.S. will stop engaging in wars for profit; the "War of Terror" being waged by the U.S. military-industrial complex and AIPAC all over the planet will die out; we will close down most of the insanely-expensive 900 military bases in 140 countries; we will shut down the commerce department, the education department and the homeland "security" department and re-allocate the national budget to Constitutional uses; and we will rehabilitate the nation's once-proud space program, develop plasma fusion/solar technologies and go on to lead the world to greater heights.
In this kind of an environment, science and technology will grow and everyone will benefit. Problems facing humanity will be solved with such an ease and abundance, war will seem like a silly "remedy" a hostile and immature civilization once flirted with. The U.S. will again gain respect around the world -- lead by freedom, innovation, and productivity.
Money in Politics:
Only a term-limited Congress that is working for WE THE PEOPLE would do these things. Only such a Congress would enact legislation to forbid WE THE CORPORATIONS and WE THE UNIONS from taking over the free-markets with their deep pockets, special interests and self-serving ideologies of greed.
The U.S. Constitution was written for PEOPLE, not CORPORATIONS or UNIONS. Corporations and unions are NOT people. They are artificial entities and groups. As such they have NO rights. A corporation or a union HAS NO RIGHTS.
ONLY FLESH AND BLOOD PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS.
A CORPORATION is not a "person" and MONEY is not "speech" even if some wacko Supreme Court attempts to re-write the dictionary in an attempt to make such so.
Without term limits, certain predatory, if not psychopathic, Congressmen gain "experience" getting re-elected because they become "good" at re-writing and passing laws for WE THE CORPORATIONS and WE THE UNIONS. These congressmen thus garner ever increasing sums of money from the corporations and unions because they become the "political stars" that serve the corporations and unions once re-elected. Thus with every election cycle they get more "experience" screwing WE THE PEOPLE while continuing to placate THEIR constituents as a "good" and "experienced" Congressman back in their home districts.
Term limits short circuit all this because they remove the motivation for a Congressman to serve any entity other than the flesh and blood voter that the Constitution stipulates.
The road back from serfdom is to get in place a Congress that is under the SOLE control of flesh and blood people -- WE THE PEOPLE.
When this happens that Congress can start de-funding departments and terminating programs. It can enact across-the-board budget cuts and start reverse-engineering the insane and damaging legislation passed over the years, such as the PATRIOT ACT, NAFTA, GATT and the GLASS OWEN which established the Federal Reserve System.
Congressmen should be validated for every law they RESCIND rather than PASS. Ron Paul is the model. He votes for very few bills. He never expands the government. Every law passed is a blow to freedom. Almost all of the entrenched Congressmen do little else than deliver blows to freedom. Their legislation is "death to freedom by a thousand knives." They are statists. They are parasites that live off the multi-trillion dollar carcass of government expansion. These Congressmen are violating their Oaths of Office to serve the Constitution and its doctrine of limited government. WE THE PEOPLE must not continue to allow these violations. These violations are grounds upon which we must continue to vote out incumbents.
Take the first step. Continue to vote out every incumbent UNTIL a Congress arrives that is willing to enact term limits. Term limits are the litmus test. If WE THE PEOPLE can't accomplish this simple task, we will never be able to accomplish any other tasks.
A CONGRESSMAN THAT WON'T LIMIT HIS TERM WILL NOT LIMIT THE GOVERNMENT.
We're fortunate the Founders gave WE THE PEOPLE a peaceful method of overthrowing our government from time to time. Don't look now, but it's time.
Originated:25 February 2012
Supplemented: 26 February 2012
Revised: 28 December 2012
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