On November 27th, 2012, Congressman Ralph Hall (R-TX) cast a vote that was promptly made newsworthy due to the fact that he was the oldest Congressman to ever cast a vote. It was his 18,549th vote. That’s a case for term limits if I ever saw one.
I will most likely take some flak from people in my local area who read this because Congressman Hall is somewhat of an icon around here. To be quite frank, he is a nice man and a bit of a comedian. He is plain spoken and he loves this country and has served his district well for many years. My husband has photographed more than one event where Congressman Hall was the guest speaker and I have met him on more than one occasion. He, of his own accord, sent my husband a flag that was flown over the White House so this article is in no way a personal vendetta against Congressman Hall.
Congressman Hall was first elected to serve the 4th district of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 and has been reelected to each succeeding Congress. Congressman Hall did not put himself in the House of Representatives for 32 years–the constituents of his district elected him.
The working career of the average person is around 40-45 years. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the dean of the House, has the longest service of any House Member in History. He has been a Representative for 55 years. Why do even the Democrats want a Representative that has been in the House for 55 years?
The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 9.8 years (4.9 Terms) and for Senators it was 11.4 years (1.9 terms). The 113th Congress does have 79 freshmen but incumbents were sent back to Washington at the rate of 94%. What were we thinking?
U.S. Term Limits President Philip Blumel said, “Limiting terms will allow citizen legislators to come to Washington, DC, fix the problems and then go home to resume their lives, instead of becoming encamped in the cloistered world inside the DC Beltway.”
Governor Mike Huckabee says, “Voters have to accept their responsibility in this disaster of a government.” I agree. We are responsible for what is happening to this country. We lost the election but we have not lost the war. It is time to quit whining, roll up our shirtsleeves and get our hands dirty. Let’s see where we can make change and do it. Look at our local politicians. Are we contacting them and telling them what we, as constituents, elected them to stand for? Are we watching their votes and questioning them when we do not agree? And are we making sure they do vote? ”A “no show” is not acceptable when our future is in their hands. If we are not doing these things, then we are not doing our job as citizens of this great nation. Never, ever forget that we are still a great nation.
A quote that has been attributed to many different people–from Anthony Robbins to Mark Twain with Albert Einstein thrown in for good measure—states, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”.
I am ready for something different. We need true legislators who are dedicated to spending their time defending the constitution and not simply ingratiating themselves to lobbyists. We need new leadership continually infiltrating Congress to ensure all taxpayer dollars are wisely spent. We need to end the era of career politicians who have led us to a $16 trillion dollar national debt.
It is time for “We the People” to call our Congressmen and Senators. We must demand a constitutional amendment calling for term limits. It is time for a change.