President-Elect Donald J. Trump wasn’t my choice. Yet, as with any president of these United States, I say: work with him when he’s doing right.
And Mr. Trump is doing right by pushing Congress to vote on term limits.
Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week, month and year for many decades — going as far back as public polling goes — Americans have firmly and overwhelmingly supported term limits. According to a 2016 Rasmussen poll, 74 percent favor term limits for Congress, with only 13 percent opposed.
The support unites us: 77 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents together want to limit Congress.
Don’t believe polls? How about election results?
Years ago, syndicated columnist George Will remarked, “To the question ‘Where most recently have term limits passed?’ the answer is: ‘Wherever most recently people were permitted to vote on them.” That remains the case.*
Still, the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips predicted in “The Fix” column that, “Trump’s term limits proposal won’t happen.” Why? Simple, she explained, “Congress doesn’t want it.”
Not to mention that sending the term limits amendment just introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) to the states for ratification requires a supermajority two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate.
Nonetheless, a clean up-or-down vote on a single term limits amendment puts every member of Congress on record. And Mr. Trump is certainly capable of using the bully pulpit of the presidency — and brash enough to remind voters — should their congressman vote against term limits.
It could be Trump’s trump card come 2018.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Support for term limits even brings Mr. Trump and outgoing President Obama together. “I think we want to see new voices and new ideas emerge,” Obama declared after the election. “That’s part of the reason why I think term limits are a really useful thing.”