Sometimes the outfit I work for, U.S. Term Limits, takes a little heat when we criticize a politician for breaking a term limits pledge. If we say Republican Congressman George Nethercutt should keep his word and step down from office, some Republicans are annoyed. If we say Democrat Congressman Marty Meehan should keep his word and step down, some Democrats are annoyed.
Well, we believe integrity is a nonpartisan virtue.
The term limit pledge is a solemn promise to give up power after a short time in office. It’s not a promise about when you’re gonna meet somebody for lunch. It says you will serve as a citizen legislator who puts principles and people first. Congressmen Matt Salmon and Mark Sanford understand. They’re keeping their promises and stepping down this year. Says Salmon: “The longer people stay, the more indistinguishable the parties are.”
Rep. Sanford adds, “We get so hung up on the party thing we miss the bigger picture.” We all have our own political views, and many of us are aligned with a party. But truth must come before party. That’s what makes us Americans first. And if truth is on our side, we have nothing to fear from term limits.
New people endeavoring to be citizen legislators will find the right course in policy decisions more often than those who place their party first. Keeping your word is a lot more essential to a free society than being a Republican or Democrat or a career politician.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.