Sometimes candidates for office say anything to get elected. Even things they don’t really mean. Hey, try to contain your astonishment. And yes, some of them even lie when they pledge to limit their terms in office.
A few years ago, one congressional candidate pledged to self-limit and then, just two or three days after being elected, said, “Oops, ha ha, forget what I promised during the campaign! I don’t regard myself as bound by that term-limit pledge after all!” It’s the kind of thing that gives cynical manipulation a bad name. Thank goodness, then, that there are folks like John Thune, a South Dakota congressman elected in 1996 who has repeatedly affirmed his term-limit pledge, following in the footsteps of honorable citizen legislators like Tom Coburn, Mark Sanford and Matt Salmon.
Congressman Thune is scheduled to leave Congress in 2002, and he’s not wavering. Thune explains it this way: “People in the country today are too cynical because of politicians who say one thing and do another,” he says. “I was sincere about [my term-limits pledge] when I said it, I mean it, and I will honor it.” On his web site, Thune lists as part of his credo that “public policy must encourage personal responsibility.” His personal integrity shows that those words have meaning for him. A political leader who says what he means and means what he says? It can happen. On important stuff, too. It just warms my heart.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.