Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Establish term limits in Congress to eliminate career politicians.
The rampant polarization of the political system in the United States has never been more evident than in the recent actions (or non-actions) of Congress. Most Democrats refuse to consider Republican initiatives, and Republicans cannot see past the current Administration’s agenda to consider supporting it in any way. Even though the writers of the Constitution originally intended for no member to remain too long in Congress for fear of limiting American freedoms, the House and Senate have become career positions with more regard for political agendas than for the public service for which they’ve been elected. It is imperative that we convince our Congressional representatives that imposing Congressional term limits is the right thing to do in order to facilitate growth and positive change in our government.
This will not be an easy sell. Congress would need to propose such an amendment, to be ratified by the states. Considering not only the monetary and power perks at stake but also legislators’ track records with getting a two-third’s majority vote on anything, it is highly unlikely that such an amendment would even be initiated. Efforts by citizens to force term limits have been thwarted, most recently by the Supreme Court who cited that states do not have the right to propose term limits for the national government. This 1995 ruling stopped a campaign by 23 states who had passed ballot provisions.
The common thought is that ‘we the people’ have the power to vote in (and out) our representatives in government. We can refuse to vote for any incumbent who has served in Congress more than two terms, and we can encourage others to do the same. But any informed voter must know that corporate and political lobbyists work very hard to ensure the right number of votes go to the politician who is on their side. It’s not ethical, but unfortunately, it is legal and widespread.
By signing the petition below, you can join many Americans in sending a message to Congress that we have had enough of their political tactics and personal agendas and are advocating that this country be represented by individuals with fresh, new ideas and a passion for public service.
Dear Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives,
It is imperative that you propose an amendment to be ratified by the states, establishing Congressional term limits, as was intended in the original Articles of Confederation. Service in the Senate and House was not meant to be a career position. When our forefathers wrote the Constitution, they expected that the votes of the people would keep a strong and steady flow of states’ representatives into public service. What they didn’t expect was the role corporate and political lobbyists, not to mention greed and power, play in our current voting framework.
Most representatives seem polarized by party and much of the work that needs to be done to get this country back on track fiscally is either thrown out or voted in amid other high-dollar special interest projects. You can’t deny that an overwhelming number of Americans is fed up and wants to see change – any change – at this point. Establishing set term limits (the original plan laid out 3 two-year terms for the House and 2 three-year terms for the Senate) is the right thing to do in order to facilitate growth and positive change in our government.
I urge you to consider the needs of this country above your own and work toward adding this long-needed amendment into the U.S. Constitution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo by K Connors.