The people we elect to the House and Senate must be the best possible representatives from each district and state. They should be leaders within their community. They must be of high morals and integrity. Their history might include volunteer work; graciously giving of their time without compensation. They may be, but should not be, chosen because they are the wealthiest, best known or most easily recognized unless they have a lengthy and demonstrated history of doing what is best for others. National celebrity is not a qualification for ranking government office. Career politicians need not apply!
Term limits is an expression we often hear regarding our legislative branch. Unfortunately, the ones charged with setting limits on how long a person is able to take taxpayer money without genuine responsibility for its proper use are those who want to keep doing it for as long as possible. Many have known no job other than politics or living off the public dole in some capacity, e.g. community organizer. Some are approaching a half century in office. One is beyond that mark. This is not service to the country, this is the cancerous growth of a government barnacle.
“We the People” need to come together in an Article V Convention of States to formally amend the guidelines that govern our nation and those who administer the guidelines. The convention must set limits of tenure for our representatives and define responsibility and accountability for those people we authorize to make decisions on our behalf. The Convention must be a forum open to the citizens, not just the public parasites previously elected.
One such suggestion for serious consideration is three two-year terms for House members and two four-year terms for the Senate. After service, the departing members are entitled to the retirement they have funded along with a taxpayer match of $1 for every $3 they invest in themselves.
Additionally, we need an ethics committee made up, not of shoulder and elbow rubbing peers, but honest people from various walks of life who are interested in true public service with a sincere interest in the best, most honest and dependable government imaginable. Without regard for political mindset (however, political activism is a preclusion), it is possible to assemble intelligent people whose primary vocation is among the various construction trades, hospitality, sales, finance, transportation, agriculture, sports, education or any field other than law and politics.
Those people selected for the ethics committee must be thoroughly vetted by their community, local and federal law enforcement before their names are submitted for consideration.
The position on the committee should be a commitment termed at three years. For the sake of continuity, the first, and only the first, body having individual engagement commitment of 1, 2 and 3 years. The positions cannot be a predicate or stepping stone for political office. The committee might be made up of credible people currently out of work, those seeking a break from their field to assess the viability of changing to another calling or people simply interested in a strong, sound and honest governing body. The committee must have the capability and authority to remove corrupt, criminal or dishonorable elected and appointed individuals from the payrolls of the American taxpayer.
We need term limits to suppress the corruption that longevity breeds within our elected officials. These changes will not happen from within, they must come from and be controlled by “We the People”.
While lawyers might be the most knowledgeable about legalese, the laws need to be written such that the average person can read and understand them. The specificity of language by which we are expected to live our everyday lives can leave no doubt or be ambiguous. When it comes to obeying current laws, we find convoluted language with apertures so gross that any interpretation is possible.
Let us return to a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”.