Term Limits

Bill Neinast


The remaining time is short.  The battle lines will be drawn in less than three weeks.  If you have been a bit lazy in practicing with your sword, you need to hone your skills with that weapon in the next few days.

Remember when you draw your weapon—your vote in the upcoming election—it is a two edged sword.  It can cut yeah or nay, or for or against a candidate or proposal.

Here is a personal example of using those two edges.  Two years ago, there was a very hard battle for the White House.  I had written this column previously describing candidate Trump as an unsavory character.  

Playground bully, juvenile, and vindictive were just three of the  accusations I laid on him.  Nonetheless, he won the Republican nomination for President.  

Meanwhile, the Democrats, in a replay of the Texas history of Ma and Pa Ferguson,  nominated Ma Hillary Clinton for President.  Notwithstanding some references to her as the most brilliant woman alive today, I consider her among the most corrupt, dishonest, and unqualified candidates for public office.

My decision to not vote for her was easy, but how to prevent her and her philandering husband from moving back to Pennsylvania Avenue was more difficult.  

There were actually four choices on the ballot.  The Libertarian and Green parties also had candidates for President.

The character traits of both of those candidates were much better than either Trump or Clinton.  Neither, however, had even a remote chance of winning the election.  A vote for either could reduce the possibility of Trump being the winner.

So in hopes of keeping Hillary out of the White House, I used my two sided blade or ballot to vote against her by reluctantly marking the Trump space on the ballot.

Thankfully, the ploy may have been one of many similar votes that left Hillary to blame everyone but herself for the loss.

Notwithstanding some very irritating practices of our President, this use of the two edged ballot helped produce a very good result.  

Now that its utility has been proven once again, it is time to consider a use that has been overlooked or ignored.

The two edged ballot could be used to install a program or policy that most thinking voters wish for.  Properly coordinated, the ballot could impose term limits on senators and members of Congress.

First, this would require formation of two political parties or sub parties on the TEA party platform.  These would be the TLD and the TLR parties, or the Term Limits Democrats and the Term Limits Republicans.

The single plank in the platforms of the TLD and TLR would be to limit senators and members of Congress to six or eight years in office. 

To be effective, this would require some TDL adherents to vote Republican in some cases and vice  versa.

For example, Jon Doe, a Democrat, has been a congressman for three terms, or six years.  He runs for re-election and wins the primary.  But there is also  a Republican candidate for that office on the November ballot.

In the general election, the TLD members who voted against Doe in the primary but were outnumbered by other voters would have to use that double edged sword by voting for the Republican candidate.

If enough voters in both parties adopted this philosophy and practiced what they preached, we would have an effective term limits policy that would work in most cases.

This, unfortunately, would require a constitutional amendment.    Section E of Article I of the Constitution establishes a six year term for senators.  That term was set when senators were elected by state legislators to represent the states, not the “people” of the state or district.

So if a system, whether formal or informal, is to be established to limit time in capitol, the term of senators would have to be changed to two years.  Then limit service to eight years.

If eight years is long enough for the President, why should it be longer for Congress.

So here’s  the perspective.

The ballot is a powerful, two edged sword.  Be sure you are prepared to use it effectively in the next few weeks. 



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