All credits to:
Term Limits for US Congress PAC
Give me a couple of minutes of your time and I am confident I can convince you that this is a workable solution.
This is not just a facebook page with armchair warriors. This is an all-volunteer, feet on the ground movement across the nation, although we are definitely taking advantage of social networks to get the word out.
Now let’s talk about Congress.
The Princeton and Northwestern study of 20 years of Congressional decisions proved what we already knew, that only those with money have a voice in Congress. They proved that the opinions and needs of the bottom 90% of income earners in the US have no impact on Congressional decisions. We have corporations and special interest groups spending billions annually (appx $3.2 Billion annually) influencing the decisions being made and its working. Those lobbying are showing skyrocketing incomes and the rest of us are struggling to keep up with the cost of living.
The average net worth of members of Congress increase over a million each year, while on a $174,000 salary. They become rich and powerful in Congress, then when they retire, about half of them become lobbyists. Oh, did I mention that many members of Congress also have family members that are lobbyists? Or, that many members of Congress own stock in the very companies they’re passing legislation for?
Needless to say, DC has become a self-serving pool of corruption and they’re not going to change a thing while they’re benefiting from the existing environment.
Now let’s talk about how to fix it.
There are so many changes that need to be made, such as campaign reform, limiting lobbyist influence, and creating a representative environment. The problem is that these types of changes are too complex to be Constitutional Amendments, so we need legislation.
The problem becomes further compounded by the Congressional Rule that seniority equals authority. There’s no way in the world that the senior/most powerful members of Congress, who decide how the parties will vote and who have been benefitting from the current environment for 30 or 40 years, will let the necessary legislation reach the floor.
In an ideal world the answer would be to vote these senior members out of office. Unfortunately, the voting system has become perverted by social apathy, the power of the two polarized parties, and the mountains of money thrown at incumbents by the lobbyists who have bought them off.
They become so powerful that in 2014, 58% running for re-election didn’t even have a challenger in the primaries. When you throw in the polarized parties, people like you and I are stuck in the voting booth looking at two names; the incumbent we dislike or the party whose ideology we can’t stand. The result of this environment is that with the lowest approval rating in history, 96% were re-elected in 2014, and 98% were re-elected in 2016.
If we can’t vote them out, we’re left with one option; including a term limits Amendment in the US Constitution. Before I explain how we can do this without Congress’s approval, let me give you an example of what we will see.
If a 12 year max for life (equals 2 senate terms) term limit was ratified today, the 227 senior/most powerful members of Congress would not be eligible for re-election. This single step would eliminate EVERY long-term relationship between Congress and lobbyists. In addition, lobbyists have confessed that it takes millions and years to buy a seat in Congress. With term limits in place, there would be an average of 89 new members of Congress every two years. While 12 years is plenty of time for experience, this turnover rate would never again allow lobbyists the time necessary to control a majority in Congress.
Here’s how we’re going to do it.
Our founding fathers were some pretty brilliant men. Having battled for our freedom from an aristocratic and unrepresentative government, they were very aware that the possibility of our own government evolving into something similar was a possibility. What many people are unaware of is that the founders added a panic button in the Constitution in case this happened.
Article 5 of the US Constitution is the article that defines how Amendments are added to the Constitution. Again, what many don’t realize is that they included TWO options for adding an Amendment.
The first is pretty commonly known. If an Amendment passes a super-majority vote in the House and in the Senate, it then goes out to the states for ratification.
The second option of Article 5 is the panic button and the reason most of you haven’t heard about it is because those in power don’t want you to. If you have heard about it, the odds are that you’ve heard some disinformation that is now being pumped out to try to keep Americans from using it.
Congress and those benefitting from the corrupt environment in DC have a lot of power and money. The last thing they want is for us to realize that a means exists that allows the people and states to supersede Congress’s authority.
When 2/3’s of the States (34 States) apply for an Article 5 Convention for the same purpose, a Convention is called. Each state sends delegates to the Convention, where they discuss the topic and vote on an Amendment. If the Amendment passes at the Convention, it is returned to the states where it must be ratified by ¾’s of the States (38 States), just like the ratification of the first option of Article 5. If ratified by 38 States, it becomes an Amendment to the US Constitution, and there’s nothing Congress can do to stop it.
If anyone tries to scare you away from this option, remind them that ONLY Amendments can be proposed at a Convention and that the ratification process is the safety that our forefathers installed for either option. There are not 38 States that lean to the right. There are not 38 States that lean to the left. The only type of Amendment that will be ratified is a non-partisan Amendment such as Term Limits.
Obviously, the next step is to convince the State Governments to apply for an Article 5 Convention for Term Limits. The State Legislatures are as upset with Congress as we are and they stand to benefit by getting rid of the senior/most powerful members of Congress. But, there will always be the fence-sitters and those scared of change. That’s where the petitioning comes in.
Petitions have a much stronger affect at the state level than the federal level. Petition signers within a state are much more likely to impact a state legislator’s future. The more signatures we have in a state, when we approach the state governor, the more pressure we apply to the fence-sitters to support calling a Convention.
What we need.
Signing the petition, e-petition or hard copy, is a great start, but if that’s all you do, then you’re counting on a handful of us to reach the entire nation. But, if YOU sign the petition and also volunteer to fill a petition (15 signatures) or even a partial petition, we can accelerate this process dramatically.
Now the ball’s in your court. You can sign and wait, in which case this will take many years. Or, you can sign and volunteer, and we can quickly begin changing the course of our government back to a representative body.
Remember. Corruption is color-blind. It is not red. It is not blue. On this one occasion, on this one non-partisan topic, we must set aside our labels and work together as Americans.