By Gary R’nel
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An increasing number of Americans feel disenfranchised and disengaged from their elected officials. The Pew Research Center finds “near continuous decline in public trust of government”. According to a recent CNN poll just 13 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time.
General election voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest it’s been in any election cycle since World War II.
Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots. Census numbers show that more than 70 million U.S. citizens of voting age are not registered voters.
The hierarchy, bureaucracy and structure of the Washington Elite are to blame. There are several components. Wall Street and the big banks, K Street and its unyielding influence on lawmakers, Super Pacs and the unfathomable amounts of cash necessary to secure an election, and politicians who, from the moment they are sworn in to office, seek reelection.
Several pundits have suggested that term limits would remedy all of the above. Term limits would in fact further disenfranchise the electorate from the process. The American public has been endowed and blessed with the right to support candidates of our choice. John McCain announced this week that he will seek re-election to a sixth Senate term next year. The Arizona Republican was first elected to the House in 1982 and to the Senate in 1986. He will be 80 years old on Election Day 2016. McCain supporters should maintain the right to vote for him again unimpeded by government regulations.
An amended constitution approving term limits would further sow the seeds of disinterest in the electoral process and strip citizens of their inherent right to support the candidate of their choice. Term limits would have a deleterious effect on voter turnout. Motivation to get to the polls and defeat that untrustworthy incumbent is no longer your concern. The government is now taking care of that for you. You have been stripped of one of the most cherished rights you possess as an American citizen.
More than 30 Republicans in the House and Senate are already on record this year in support of an amendment to the constitution. Maybe these 30 could use a refresher course in the motivation behind the Declaration of Independence.