Convention of States
Let’s be honest. Washington is not going to fix itself. Currently there are 29 US Senators and 66 House representatives who have served 20 years or more in Congress! It was never the intent of the Founding Fathers to have career politicians serving in Congress. As a matter of fact, in the Articles of Confederation, the document which preceded the Constitution, there was a provision which in essence established term limits for delegates.
Eventually, during the ratification debates on the Constitution, James Madison said, “I dislike, and strongly dislike … the abandonment, in every instance, of the principle of rotation in office, and most particularly in the case of the President…”
Given this information, why would they ratify the Constitution without a clause for term limits? At the time the Constitution was ratified, serving in Congress was viewed as a part-time job, where upon returning to their home state, these representatives would return to their normal occupations. The thought of any representative making a career out of serving in Congress seemed illogical.
Today we have congressmen who not only serve full-time in Congress, they have turned it into their career. Certainly these career politicians have no incentive to pass any legislation that would set term limits. Doing that would only serve to shorten their own careers.
The idea of having career congressmen poses serious problems. An inherent problem is clearly their motivation for serving. Members of congress who have, or aspire to make a career out of being in Washington are naturally going to face the conflict of interest between doing what is best to serve their constituents and doing what is best to serve themselves.
Today, this problem surfaces all too frequently. We don’t have look much further than to Paul Ryan who was elected in the House to replace former Speaker John Boehner. Ryan who is a Republican from Wisconsin, campaigned as a conservative, and during his early years in the House appeared to conduct himself as the fiscal conservative he claimed to be. Since becoming Speaker of the House, we are seeing an altogether different side of Paul Ryan. He’s been a member of Congress since 1998, falling short of the 20-year mark by only three years.
The other Republican leader in Congress, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has spent 20 years in Washington. He won re-election to the Senate during the last midterm elections by running on the promise of repealing Obamacare. A promise his constituents in the Commonwealth of Kentucky believed. Obviously McConnell’s motivation was purely to retain his seat in the US Senate. Since re-election, he has made no significant effort towards the repeal of Obamacare. In an article written yesterday at ConservativeReview.com, McConnell admits to empowering liberal democrats and essentially capitulating to them.
Congressmen can assure themselves of making a career out of being in Washington by looking to the K-Street lobbyists. These lobbyists provide the money trail that turn congressmen who make just under $200,000 annually, into incredibly rich individuals. The promise of a wealthy career in Washington is simply too good to pass up. As an example, John Boehner was considered more accomplished at fundraising than anything else he did as Speaker of the House.
Washington is broken and it is going to simply get worse unless there is a way to rein in the power of the government. In August 2013, Mark Levin released a book entitled, “The Liberty Amendments”. In his book, Levin points to Article 5 of the Constitution as a means to fix what is broken in Washington. During his radio show, he’s frequently credited the Founding Fathers with providing us with this option as an emergency measure to preserve the Constitutional Republic. Levin proposes several amendments, and among them is an amendment to set term limits for Congress. If you have yet to read this book, I strongly encourage you to do so as it gives hope during a time of increasing despair. He’s made the first chapter of this book publicly available here, where you can read the case he builds for enacting Article 5, Convention of States.
I am a very strong supporter of the Convention of States process, but I think it’s crucial for everyone to form their own opinion. I encourage all conservative patriots, at the very least, to take the time to read the first chapter of Mark’s book which I’ve made available to you above. After you finish reading the chapter, please peruse the Convention of States website here, to learn more about it and to discover what you can do to support this cause.
God Bless America!