(Archive - Week o
f July 11, 2004)

It's term limit time for U.S. Congress
A few years ago the State of Florida made it law that members of Congress who serve in Tallahassee would be limited in the number of years they would be allowed to serve. It is time that this same law be passed for the U.S. Congress. 

If we do not break the cycle that allows people to make a career out of Congress, we can expect even more of the scary trends we have witnessed over the past 30 years in elections.

The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 members who are to be replaced or reelected this November 2. Many of them have made a career of holding this office. And in this election, not many of them will be replaced because of the help from the Special Interest groups and Lobbyists.

People are feeling powerless to do anything about the venality of public officials and even more cynical about their actions (justifiable in many cases), and even more turned off to the idea of going to the polls.

So far around the country this year in primary elections, the voter turnout percentage has been nothing to write home about. That means the biggest percentage of America's eligible voters are not deciding who's going to represent them 100 percent in making laws and public policy.

That is not the majority rule our Founding Fathers envisioned. Fresh from fighting a war that cost many signers of the Declaration of Independence their lives, families, and fortunes, they made the creation of a just Republic and democratic government a top priority. And the people used their newly won right to choose their leaders carefully, intelligently and enthusiastically.

It is vastly different now. People are fat, dumb, happy and ignorant. Stop any 10 people wandering around and give them a basic final exam in high school civics, and you'd be lucky to give two a passing grade.

That's one of the reason members of Congress have a 94 percent re-election rate. Once a member gets in, the public pays little or no attention to what they're doing. And once they get a taste of the perquisites, power, and readily available sexual dalliances, members develop a powerful desire to do whatever it takes to hang on to the goodies and get more.

Solving serious problems takes a remote back seat to survival and self-dealing.

Americans are more likely to become less interested in government than more interested. The only way to break the Washington cycle is to end the potential for members to become the Robert Byrds and Strom Thurmonds of tomorrow.

We need to amend the Constitution to allow senators only two six-year terms and representatives only three four-year terms in office. We also must stipulate that no one who has served as a representative can run for senator and vice versa.

That forces former representatives and senators either to become lobbyists and Beltway Bandit consultants or – far better for the country – to go home, get a job and live under the laws they made.

Senator John Kerry

On January 20, 2005, our nation will be in better hands and it will remain that way for (two terms) eight years. Some non-thinkers believe it is not good to have a president that is considered to be LIBERAL, but they should realize that God was also a liberal. 

Senator John Edwards

Look around and you will see what God gave us. Even the diehard, right-wing conservative Republicans cannot deny this fact.

The theory behind the clean elections concept is basically a sound one. It's similar to the one World War II Gen. George Patton used when he took command of U.S. troops in Africa after the ill-fated Battle of Kaserine Pass and saw how lax discipline among the troops had become, and needed a shakeup. “I will replace their fear of the enemy,” he said, “with their fear of me.”

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