Perspective: Demand congressional term limits

I am concerned about the lack of concern that permeates throughout our elected representative government. Their uncontrollable thirst for power, money, and special privileges through gerrymandering along with their love of donations from special interest groups (legalized bribery) has turned our Congress into a corrupt cesspool.

Some, if not most, politicians will do anything for a chance to be on TV acting like they really care or even had some viable alternative solutions to existing problems. There is no doubt that “career” politicians have a much greater probability of producing bad outcomes for our country. Politicians who view their “career job” as being members of Congress are much more likely to feel comfortable selling out the country to special interest groups (after all they contribute to their campaigns and it benefits them personally).

A recent good example of this is when over 95% of Americans desired more stringent background checks of assault rifle purchases that were opposed by assault rifle manufacturers and the NRA, then Congress sides with the NRA. Just as Congressional term limits with a consistent 90% approval rating. I am afraid our representative democracy is being greatly influenced and controlled by big money and funded by selfish special interests and corporations. Remember “corporations are people too”, or money has a voice same as an individual (Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court), that literally gutted our hard fought for campaign (McCain-Feingold) finance laws.

One of the 14 primary identifying characteristics of fascism (Dr. Lawrence Britt, “Fascism Anyone”) is allowing corporations, (the industrial and business aristocracy) to dictate policies, such as which leaders are put in charge of federal departments that could/would exercise power over its citizens thereby creating a mutually beneficial business/governmental relationship controlled that only by the powerful elite few.

I fear we are seeing that today. Needlessly lowering corporate tax rates at the long-term expense of the vast middle class is just another example of a country leaning towards fascism. Another major characteristic of fascism is pushing conception of enemies, trying to rally people to the need to eliminate a perceived common threat (racial, ethnic, religious minorities, news media, and etcetera).

Sound familiar anyone?

It is time for an independent commission made up of Indiana scholars, not politicians, to draw up new rules to ensure Indiana’s way of drawing congressional district boundaries are fair and non-partisan. It is time for citizens to demand elected representatives to support congressional term limits.

Funny, I have a feeling most politicians will not like the idea. Oh, the taste of power and money is so sweet.

Dan Barrett

4 Responses to Perspective: Demand congressional term limits

  1. Leo Hollinden November 16, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Dan, I agree with you 100% on term limits in congress. But on your assault rifle tirade, not so much. Let me show you the definition of assault rifle taken from the dictionary which obviously none of the Democrat law makers have read.
    as·sault ri·fle
    noun: assault rifle; plural noun: assault rifles

    a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for infantry use.

    An AR-15 is not an assault rifle because it is not automatic. It is a semi-automatic rifle, it is not an M-4 or M16.

  2. Mrs. Ima Ruth Green November 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    “…citizens demand term limits…” or else what? You can’t mean it will cost votes – i.e., their jobs, by not be re-elected, because there aren’t enough voters who care – and who actually vote – to make a difference. Statistics, even if one agreed with them (which in this case I don’t agree with those cited for the cause herein) and they were actually correct (which often they aren’t depending on who/where they come from) are much different than votes, don’t translate or equate to votes, because voters are often uninformed, misinformed and/or are either too few or don’t vote in enough numbers on the side of a cause to matter anymore – and the politicians know it. Many potential voters don’t even understand the voting process and the power they actually could have, are supposed to have (if they understood and voted) and once did have in grander times. A sad state we’re in to be sure – ignorance of history assures us of blindness for the future.

  3. Daryl Hensley November 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturned Arkansas Amendment 73 which allowed the state to set limits on ballot access for Congressional seats. The Supreme Court affirmed that the Constitution sets the requirements for Congressional representatives and the only way to change that is via a 2/3rd majority of the House and Senate or a Constitutional Convention in which 2/3rd’s of the States ratified the change.

    “The Supreme Court affirmed by a 5-4 vote. The majority and minority articulated different views of the character of the federal structure established in the Constitution. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens concluded that:”

    “ Finally, state-imposed restrictions, unlike the congressionally imposed restrictions at issue in Powell, violate a third idea central to this basic principle: that the right to choose representatives belongs not to the States, but to the people. … Following the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913, this ideal was extended to elections for the Senate. The Congress of the United States, therefore, is not a confederation of nations in which separate sovereigns are represented by appointed delegates, but is instead a body composed of representatives of the people. ”
    He further ruled that sustaining Amendment 73 would result in “a patchwork of state qualifications” for U.S. Representatives, and described that consequence as inconsistent with “the uniformity and national character that the framers sought to ensure.” Concurring, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the amendment would interfere with the “relationship between the people of the Nation and their National Government.”

    Term limits for states and local entities are completely up to those entities constitutions as the US Constitution makes no provisions for state or local elections.

    The Supreme Court and the Constitution wanted the people of each state to decide whom they wanted to represent them in Congress. One just needs to look at the Alabama Senate race to see how terrible both parties are behaving to influence who gets elected. The Republicans don’t want the far right leaning Moore and the Democrats have brought up the sexual misconduct card they used in the last Presidential election. It now appears that several of the main accusers have strong ties to Democrats or their story has some inconsistencies it them. Anytime Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom show up, you just have to roll your eyes and say here we go again.

    Though I am not a Roy Moore supporter, I do respect the right of the citizens of Alabama to conduct their own election without outside influence from the Democrats, Republicans and the media.

    As for bans on assault weapons. That too is a Constitutional issue under the 2nd Amendment. That too would require a 2/3rd’s vote. The key word is vote. We cannot let “polls” like the Quinnipiac Poll you mentioned, determine what laws we should change but an actual vote at the ballot box. If we relied on “polls” to determine policy, how accurate are they really? Quinnipiac’s poll on recent elections were definitely inaccurate.

    Daryl Hensley – Jasper

  4. dan barrett November 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Leo, Really a tirade? Define tirade. I was referring to an article in the Wall Street Journal I read regarding polls which may, or may not, indicate a separation between the desires of the majority as opposed to the control of the few based on money, influence and power. You missed my point or maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough in my narration. My purpose was not to support a poll, which may be accurate or not so.

    Daryl, you bring up some interesting points regarding sexual harassment. Many men, in positions of power, think they can use that power to pressure the fairer sex into unwanted submission. Democrats, Republicans or independents, Communist, Nazis, KKK, Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Buddhist, Muslims makes no difference. I’ve seen this play out in various theaters of operations. Nobody, no race, ethic group, color, no religion, political affiliation has a monopoly on sexual predators and pedophiles. They are sick people and that sickness is a scourge on humanity. The $15,000,000 paid out to those Congressional staffers who complained about being sexually harassed by members of Congress should be paid back to the US Treasury by the perpetrators.