Opinion | Kim McGahey: We need term limits in Congress
Conservative Common Sense
Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House of Representatives, and she is the poster child for why we need term limits for all elected offices in our country. Term limits is the solution to the political gridlock that exists in that national legislative body and in all 50 state legislatures.
Term limits won’t relieve the demographic domination by one party in states like Colorado and districts like Summit County, but it will eliminate control of the political decision-making process by the same few individuals who are now locked in for an indefinite number of years. Because of the huge liberal population influx into Colorado and Summit County over the past decade, our region is controlled by a one-party system, and nothing but a reverse demographic trend refilling the state with conservative voters can change that.
Luckily for the relative fairness of the political process in Colorado and Summit County, both entities implemented term limits back in the 1990s under Republican leadership. We limited the number of years the governor, state legislators, Summit County commissioners and all Summit County elected officials can serve in office. But with the voter rolls now being so lopsided to the blue side of the political spectrum, especially on the Front Range, their ideology remains in power despite those valuable term limits. That power imbalance will continue to dominate state and county politics into the foreseeable future as these liberal voters control election outcomes.
That in itself creates a big problem for fair representation of the minority ideology because the opposing party never gets a chance to override the majority party in power. Many states have large urban population centers in small geographic areas that keep their state executive politics blue while many of their rural counties vote red. As a result, you see many liberal governors battling with conservative state legislatures.
Keeping the same politicians in office year after year after year only serves to help them consolidate their own personal power, wealth and political longevity. Their focus is on their perennial reelection and not what’s best for “we the people.”
And remember, “we the people” hold the power! Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution ensures that we have the necessary tools to keep it: “On the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, Congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments.” This process is nothing new; there are 27 ratified amendments to our Constitution.
One more amendment to approve term limits for all national elected officials, similar to Colorado law, would take decision-making authority away from those career politicians and the unelected bureaucracies they control and return it to its rightful place in the states. Article 5 empowers the states to hold a convention of states to propose constitutional amendments limiting out-of-control federal power, spending and regulations. This would help manage our national debt, eliminate regulations that are crushing free enterprise, control our borders and secure our First Amendment civil liberties that have recently been sacrificed.
Colorado and Summit County fortunately have term limits, which hopefully someday will return political power to the minority party. But our national legislature is hopelessly lost and embattled due to the power controlled by a few career politicians. A convention of states to implement term limits would keep Pelosi, et al., back in the states where they belong.
Kim McGahey’s column “Conservative Common Sense” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. McGahey is a real estate broker, tea party activist and Republican candidate. He has lived in Breckenridge since 1978. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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