A CONSERVATIVE VIEW ON ELECTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Fellow hubbers and other readers it should come as no surprise that I am a conservative. Based on my conservative bent I will propound my views on the process of election reform. Some of these views will seem old hat to many of you with conservative beliefs but I have one that may surprise you.

 

ELECTION REFORM-TERM LIMITS

I believe that election reform and term limits are necessary to the survival of The United State of America, as we know it. One term limit proposal that is making the rounds today is enumerated below in keeping with enumerated powers within the Constitution. I read these views expressed by fellow hubber Tim Bryce this week in his Hub, “Term Limits”.

  1. Term limits for congressmen should be enacted by every state to a maximum of 6 two-year terms to a minimum of 3 two-year terms.
  2. Term limits for senators should be enacted by every state to a maximum of 2 six-year terms to a minimum of 1 six-year term.
  3. All member of the Legislative branch should be subject to following all laws they enact. This includes Social Security, Medicare, EEOC, Health Care, etc, etc.
  4. All member of the Legislative branch should be made to provide for his or her (the PC police at Microsoft Word made the suggestion that I change their to his or her) own retirement like all other citizens. Legislators should retire on their own 401K programs, IRAs and Social Security.

You may notice that items 1 and 2 are to be done be each and every state as enumerated in the Constitution but since items 3 and 4 are Federal laws enacted by Congress they have to be Federally enacted reforms in the form of laws or preferably Constitutional Amendments

 

THE SURPRISE

I believe with all my conservative heart we must get the money out of the election process. I only see one way to accomplish this feat. That would be a Constitutional Amendment for public financing of every Federal elective office. A Constitutional Amendment is necessary to enact this reform for the reasons enumerated below.

  1. Each and every candidate must have equal public money only to run for office to break the power of big money interests. All PAC money and other big money interests must be banned from election advertising. This amendment will include lobbyists, unions, corporations and political parties and other special interests.
  2. Campaigns must be of limited duration similar to the UK. This must be an integral part of the amendment since money is limited and no other source is allowed including personal fortunes.

CONCLUSION

As long as election cycles are a permanent fixture of American life they will be too costly to eliminate big moneyed interests from the election process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As long as special interest money has a place in American politics then King Makers like George Soros wield enormous power over all of us in our everyday lives!!!!!!!!!!

We must eliminate both scourges of professional politicians and big moneyed interests from our political lives in order to insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We must take our country back for ourselves and future generations!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my humble opinion and I welcome yours on both the elimination of professional politicians and big moneyed interests!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please be specific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments 42 comments

reversecharles profile image

reversecharles 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

without revolution my friend, i do not see how "change" within the system is possible, unless it comes from within.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

reversecharles,

I too am advocating a "bloodless" revolution within the system led by citizen soldiers with their ballots!!!!

Thank you for your thought provoking comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I agree with term limits since it goes back to the "power tends to corrupt" idea. The longer the politician holds power the more the opportunity and temptation is for corruption. The money aspect baffles me. It sounds good but in all probability there would be ways around it.


SusanP 5 years ago

Sadly, since those in office must be the ones to pass your/our proposals, these changes you mention will never come up for a vote.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

dahoglund,

This is my best shot at limiting money after much thought.

Thank you for your cogent comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

SusanP,

I agree with your point at this time. That's why term limits must come first. Once we return to citizen legislator then we can limit moneyed interests. It's up to We The People!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your insighful comment.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Term limits and spending limits are impositions on our freedom of speech. Both sides are beholden to Big Money, but the media has convinced many voters that Big Unions somehow represent little people and Big Business doesn't. 7 out of the top 10 contributors to political campaigns from 1989 to 2010 are labor unions:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

We need better candidates and better voters.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Nicomp,

Your point of view has some validity however the freedoms limited by term limits and limits on moneyed interests may be the only salvation of the nation.

Thank you for your thought provoking comment.


eovery profile image

eovery 5 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Tom, I like the idea of term limits. The down side of this is when we get a good congressman, I would like to have him/her stay. I think the term limits that our mutual friend Tim Bryce are great. I could be open to doubling the terms so that we could have a senior and junior style, so we keep someone there who knows the ropes.

This also would bring up bad times. What would it have been like if in 2008 if we elected in all new congressmen. There would have been more democrats in there than there is now.

But yest term limits appears to be very necessary. Alos, think a good leader will be helping out the next candidate, and be on his/her team, so the effect of term limits may help in the transition, or hurt in the case of a bad legislator.

Keep on hubbing!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

eovery,

I find merit in all your positions. I do think, however that the founders intended for legislators to go back home after serving and new blood to rule the land on a consistant basis!!!!!!!

Thank you for your cogent comments.


Jolly Rogero profile image

Jolly Rogero 5 years ago

Most of those who would be effected by these changes don't have enough integrity to enact your proposals into law.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Jolly Rogero,

We must constantly replace them until we find the intregrity in the right persons.

Thank you for your thought provoking comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Tom, I believe term limits would solve a lot of problems in the good ole boy system. I don't think it is something they will do willingly. Pressure from all of us will be required I guess. Very good hub.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

Tom - in much of this I must disagree. So long as money is required to get you thoughts heard, (thus tied to free speech) I would rather deal with the problems generated by too much of it, than put limits on free speech. Neither do I see the point of term limits when there are some good congressmen, and or senators, that do make a difference through their longevity (and thus seniority)

Congressional pay is a whole nother matter though in the scheme of things it is not way out of whack for someone who affects or has responsibility for approx 650,000 people.

Congressional healthcare is not free, it is the same choices of plans as all federal employees and they must pay their premiums as well.

Where we do agree strongly is that all of them should be subject to all the laws, without equivocation. Great Hub!!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Pamela,

I agree term limits would solve many problems in the system but we must constantly replace them one by one on a consistant basis. This will allow us to apply the pressure necessary to gain control of the political process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your insighful comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Hmrjmr1,

I asked for comments to be specific and your's is specific. In my opinion we must agree to agree where we have common ground and we must disagree where we don't.

In the case of freedom of speech the freedoms limited by term limits and limits on moneyed interests may be the only salvation of the nation.

All done respectfully.

Thank you for your comment.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

For me the most important "change" is that members of Congress should be subjected to the same laws they pass for the rest of us. I think that alone might just make Congress more responsible. They may even be tempted to read the legislation they pass. I also think with the advent of a more enlightened and involved public, comes the possibility that serving in Congress may no longer be a job someone might want to keep for a lifetime. They probably would impose their own term limits and head for the hills.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Pop,

I agree with your thoughts on imposing all laws enacted by congress on congressmen.

However I question the collective memory of the public to ensure public involvement and thoughful voting without term limits being enacted into Fedaral law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your thought provoking comment.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Tom,

Here's what happens in my home city: the city council members are term-limited, therefore they couldn't care less about long term effects of anything they do. They regularly step down near the end of their last term in order to get a political crony into the machine and build up some name recognition before the next election. The city pension fund is upside down to the tune of millions of dollars but the council members insist on chasing grants to build a street car through the worst part of town.

The jails are overcrowded but the casino revenue will not be used to build a new jail, rather the city fathers know they will be long gone when crime reaches a tipping point. They begin planning their next career move on the day they get elected to cut council. We have no continuity and it's killing us.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

nicomp,

I sympathize with your plight. It sounds like you live in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best advice I can give to you is to move somewhere else where responsible conservatives rule on a consistant basis and continuity won't matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Nicomp I'm sorry but read my hub on hub manners. I don't allow hubber to adresss other hubbers in MY hubs!!!!!


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Helpful discussion on big money interests and term limits, Tom! I have a question for you. What would you do here in TX where a Rep governor is running for a third term? I don't think I want to vote for the liberal Dem. I'm still thinking through how to vote.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Ms Dee,

Under no circumstances would I vote for the Liberal. If the incumbant is a common sense conservative put an X by his name and if not don't vote for this office.

Thank you for your intriguing question.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

I agree with term limits and certainly wish there could be a limit to the amounts spent by candidates.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

sheila b.

We have a common bond in political matters. We're common sense conservatives!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your agreeable comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Wayne,

I understand your concerns about the media but I think with the upsurgence of Fox News, conservative radio and websites that will balance out the Lame Stream Media in the end.

The taxpayers already have a tremendous burdon with the system as it is, so all in all I think money can be saved!!!!!!

Thank you for your insightful comment.


LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 5 years ago

Tom, how about this comment: In my opinion, everything you wrote is 100% correct...100%.

Public financing is the only way to get elected candidates serving the people and not the corporations or special interest groups that fund their campaigns. Check out the "fair elections Now Act"

I can tell you from experience as my home state of CT has passed the most comprehensive campaign finance laws in the country. We are one of very few states with a balanced budget passed with bi-partisan support. Public financing also allows a lot of candidates to run for office who are not wealthy.

Problem you have is that removing money from politics is not a typical 'conservative' view. You will have trouble getting support from conservatives on this issue.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

LCRBlogger,

I am breathless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not care about CT but I believe in public financing to elimate big moneyed interest from political power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Power to common sense people is is a typical conservative view!!!!!!!!!!!


SheriSapp profile image

SheriSapp 5 years ago from West Virginia

Tom,

Term limits for ALL would be a great start. I also think elections should be funded by individuals, but you are not naive enough to believe the powerful would not find a way to sneak their dollars through as well, with money comes power, and they would work around it; however, it may make it more challenging for them. I also think that tort reform and having the losing party pay ALL legal costs for both sides would eliminate many of the frivolous lawsuits that clog our courts and empty the pockets of everyone. This is a good piece of work, and I can't believe you and LCR actually found some common ground. I thought the rescue of the Chilean miners was a miracle, and here is another one right here on hubpages!!!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Sheri,

I know to make my election reform laws work may require an amendment to The Consitution in order to limit funds to public funding!!!!!!!!

I'm all in favor of tort reform and putting shysters out of business!!!!!

I almost flipped my wig when LCR and I agreed. You're right it miraculous!!!!! He also was constructive on Hmrjmr1's Hub!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Tom, Soon after B.O. was elected, I was going to run for President in 2012. I later wrote a Hub stating why illness wouldn't allow me to do this. Many of your points are in my Platform, I went a little further.

A friend of mine is running for the Senate in 2012 as a Republican. He is strong enough to say these things, if elected.

Good job, the country needs to think more like you. We do not want to become France! H


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Harvey,

I remember you thoughts on a presidential run and you would have had my support. I hope your friend is elected and straightens out our great nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your supportive comment.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

This is one of your best Hubs. I enthusiastically agree with your four term-limit reforms except I do not want a minimum of three terms for Congressmen. If they suck, we need to be able to vote them out after two years.

As far as campaign financing goes, I say we limit contributions to private U.S. citizens, giving from the post-tax dollars. No corporations, no unions, no non-profits, no foreigners.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

James,

We are in full agreement, although I think you misunderstood my proposal. The minimum of 3 term limits for Congressmen makes us capable of voting them out after one 2 year term. If they truly suck we need recall for all Congressmen at any time, although that would be up to each and every state due to the Constitution and States Rights are involved.

Your financing proposal is spot on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ray Thoughts profile image

Ray Thoughts 5 years ago from The East Coast

Tom, you hit the nail on the head!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Ray Thoughts,

We obviously share a common view on conservatism in politics today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your supportive comment.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 5 years ago from Ohio

The only thing I would add is to publish their perks and where they come from. Match up those perks to their decisions. If any decision links to their personal gain...fire them immediately.

Great hub Tom. :)


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Though many people think of me as a liberal, I agree with most of what you say. As far as pay goes, if the elected official does not have any of the same concerns as the people, then they are out of touch -- a feeling I have about our elected representatives. Here in Florida, our newest governor just bought himself the office, using $76 million of his very own dollars. What candidate can compete with that? It is shameful.

I have a problem with all elected officials who are too busy campaigning to do the jobs we have already elected them for. The whole system of how the candidate campaigns needs overhauled.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Tom,

As usual you are a great American and I'll add your suggestion to the list!!!!!!!!!

Thank your for your contribution and comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Connie Smith,

Others may call you a liberal but in my book you display the type of common sense consevative values that made ours the greatest nation on the face of the Earth!!!!!!

Thank you for your visit and comment and welcome to my hub!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Thanks Tom. I do have a concern with two year limits. Not that we do not want to be able to vote out bad Congressmen, but it already seems like these politicans are spending way too much time away from the office campaigning. If they are up for election every two years, we are going to get about 3 months out of them without campaign distractions and then, it is on the campaign trail....they need to campaign on their own time, not ours.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Connie Smith,

I proposed no change in the length of the term of congressmen although I would approve of 2 terms of 4 years each an that way the time wasted campaigning would be limited and the money spent getting elected would decrease. So we are in agreement!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.

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