Monday, May 12, 2008

Here is another editorial I wrote for the Free-Lance Star, published on 4 May 08, regarding Congressional Term Limits. Please write your Congressmen and Congresswomen to urge them to support an amendment.

To the editor,

I am writing to urge all of your readers (and my fellow citizens) to lobby our Representatives in Congress to propose and/or work to secure passage of a Constitutional Amendment establishing Congressional term limits.

This is an issue that any citizen should support, regardless of party affiliation. Congressional term limits can only have a positive effect on the responsiveness of our elected legislators, by establishing a set timeframe for them to attempt to deliver on promises. It will help deter politics as a career choice and bring the legislative branch back towards the citizenry.

For some nonpartisan history on the subject, Republicans pledged to establish Congressional term limits in their 1994 Contract with America, consistent with the overwhelming national desire to bring Congress closer to a citizen government. Congress has repeatedly failed to deliver (after all, the very people who vote on the amendment would be limiting themselves). It is time to let them know that we expect them to represent our interests in this matter -- not their own. Success of this effort is long overdue, and it is absurd that our Representatives continue to thumb their noses at the American people when polls show a greater-than-75% support for such limits.

Since the 1994 pledge, there has been some disagreement on what House term limits should be (three vs six), but an acceptable compromise has been proposed: setting a limit of three terms and allowing state legislatures to permit up to three additional terms if they so desire. Senators would be limited to two six-year terms.

We should all be calling on our Representatives to have the courage to speak up for this cause, propose the amendment with their fellow Representatives, work to secure the right amount of publicity for the issue, and vote to pass the amendment. Yes, there are other important issues facing our country, but this governmental reform would be a key first step to enabling progress in so many other areas.

Very respectfully,
Ben Bursae

Fredericksburg, VA