Senator Ted Cruz Campaigns On Term Limits Amendment

by Oletta Branstiter

Senator Cruz seeks reelection while proposing term limits.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently sent out a donation request to help fund his 2018 campaign, touting his Constitutional amendment for mandatory term limits co-sponsored by Florida Representative Ron DeSantis early this year.

According to a January 3, 2017, press release, “The amendment would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms.”

The statement continued:

D.C. is broken. The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people. It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions. The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification. With control of a decisive majority of the states, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, we have a responsibility to answer the voters’ call-to-action. We must deliver.” 

While appearing admirable, Senator Cruz seems to have has traded his Constitutional principles for trumped-up populism on this issue.

Irresponsible citizens are pacified by simplistic promises of quick fixes.

In 1994, while still attending university as a Political Science and History major, Roger Beckett, named to the Constitution-defending Ashbrook Center of Ashland University in 2013, wrote:

The Articles of Confederation contained term limits for delegates, but the Framers of our Constitution chose not to include term limits in the Constitution. Instead, it was decided that members of the House of Representatives, the body of Congress that directly represents the people, would be sent back to the people every two years for re-election. This short term in office was put in the place of term limits to assure that our elected officials would remain accountable to the people. 

While many may argue that the 2016 Presidential Election proved that the general electorate is ill-equipped to choose nominees wisely, legislating term limits gives voters more excuses to be lazy and irresponsible citizen-rulers.

Roger Beckett advises:

In theory, term limits should not be necessary. One very important check of the members of the House of Representatives occurs every other November, and it occurs in the form of an election.

Beckett summarizes the commentary of Robert Drinan, former member of Congress and professor of law at Georgetown University, regarding the practical expectations of legislated term limits:

Term limits will not make the rousing change that is expected of them. The problems that are behind the call for term limits are not a result of Members of Congress remaining in office for lengthy periods of time. The real problem lies in the use, or misuse, of power in the federal government and the distribution of power between our local and federal government. 

The real problem lies with voters failing to fulfill their due diligence in vetting candidates elected to office in the first place, and re-electing representatives that have sacrificed Constitutional principles for costly, unconstitutional solutions to problems that shouldn’t even be dealt with at the federal level.

Beckett continues:

Limiting terms in office would not stop this practice of allowing the federal government to expand in order for Members of Congress to remain in good standing back home. Indeed, term limits will not assure that our elected officials will put what is good for our country over what is beneficial in their districts. 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz began his political career founded on firm Constitutional principles, supporting his decisions with firm arguments based on the rule of law. In reward, he rose quickly to the status of a Presidential candidate. When the Nationalistic populism of a narcissistic demagogue enticed an ignorant electorate to sacrifice Conservative standards for revenge politics and pragmatic promises, the principles of an idealogue were rejected. 

The Cruz-DeSantis proposal merely provides additional justification for voters to abandon their duty as citizen-rulers.

After eight years of Socialism-lite under the Obama administration and the startling success of Bernie Sanders‘ Democratic Socialist campaign, the American electorate clearly demonstrated their lack of Constitutional comprehension and commitment.

Legislating term limits gives the electorate the perfect excuse to further neglect their job of holding representatives accountable to their oath of office. Why bother vetting nominees who will only have six to twelve years to inflict unconstitutional damage on our nation? If you think voter participation is low now, just wait until this law is passed. An increased number of citizens will consider it too much trouble to vet new candidates even more often. 

A law to restrict the number of terms for our representatives is a lazy and counter-productive solution.

So, how do we restrict legislative abuses without term limits?

The most effective remedy is often one that takes more time and effort. The next generation of citizen-rulers must be educated to understand that limited government that preserves and protects the most liberty is best accomplished at the local and state levels after private sector fixes have been exhausted. District representatives at the state level should be responsible for the vast majority of the needs of our societies in a federalism. Representatives at the federal level should be held accountable for a greatly reduced list of efforts, concentrating on protecting individual liberty and national security. 

Quick fixes like term limit legislation will only postpone and hamper the real work to be done. We must promote and provide civics education that restores the principles of limited government while reigniting the desire to claim the full extent of our God-given Liberty as citizen-rulers of this great nation.

Join me in sharing the lessons in Our Nation’s Foundations.




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