Petitioning

!!!! Petitioning began today !!!

I stood out front of a local food lion for a little while this morning attempting to collect signatures.  I only managed to get a small number to start- but a start is a start.  A few people took pamphlets- so hopefully they’ll go online and contact me to sign, once they’ve had a chance to read a little bit.

I only ran into one guy who wanted to debate- but refused to sign.  He began to argue that he believed 12 years was not long enough, and that it would contribute to high turn over.

Hmm, really?!  Twelve years isn’t long enough to hold such a powerful position?  High turn over– is that inherently a problem?

1) The longer you are in office the more tempted you will be to allow yourself to be bought in order to stay in power.

2) We are shaped by our environment- the longer you are exposed to an environment where you are courted and bowed down to by people, companies, industries, and even other countries the harder it is to relate to the people you are supposed to be serving.

This particular man felt they should have at least 20 years, claiming they should at least get a generation.  These days with the rapid changes in technology and industry– it’s hard to believe a generation is still 20 years- feels more like 10.  Things change so fast– 20 years is really quite a long time.  What were you doing 20 years ago?  What will you be doing in 20 years?  Will you have changed?  Will the world have changed?

… 12 years was decided for a variety of reasons– as a compromise between recognizing some experience is good but wanting to prevent career politications, as to what states might support, and what number fits in nicely with the current term lengths (2 and 6).

At the moment of debate of course I faltered- but his arguments weren’t strong, I just wasn’t fully prepared for them.  I will know better next-time.  But ultimately, petitioning is not the time for debating, that can occur at other times, and online.

What are your thoughts?  Share below.

Also you can check out the web site and facebook page if you’d like to get involved.

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

 

Term Limits 13

Advertisements

President vs Congress

Has anyone else noticed how people love “a” scapegoat.  I see it everywhere.  Lately, I’ve seen a lot of things like this popping up in my social media.

Image

Memes seem to be making it so easy for people to spew hatred.  Since memes weren’t as big when Bush (2001-2009) was in office, I found it a little harder to find a good example–

Image

Yet, here we are bashing on and picking on the leaders of our country – (who the people did vote for) – forgetting, it seems that they don’t actually work alone. Congress could have put their strength and might against going into war after war, which continues to drain our finances.  Congress could also put their foot down today— but it appears that Congress isn’t actually functioning anymore.  Congress could work together to figure out a budget that actually means not raising the debt ceiling, for example.

Healthy debate that leads to compromises which are good for the people seems to be a thing of the past for most members of Congress.   Yet, the general public seems to let Congress members get by with very little attention and scathing- allowing all their hatred and dissatisfaction rain down on a single person.   Isn’t it time to remember our government isn’t made up of one person– but many people.

The following is only a “correlation” not a causation, I am aware– but it is still interesting.  As you can see in 1982, 58 member of the Senate had overlapping ideological views and as the years progressed fewer and fewer members had overlapping ideological views.  This is what I see as a major contributing factor to the growing dysfunction in our government.  It’s not about a particular political party- it’s about leaders inability to use reason and compromise in order to make a more functional government.

Image

 

By 1951 the 22nd Amendment was passed and instituting term limits on the presidency.

Today, members of Congress may remain in Congress as long as they continue to get elected.   Is it time for that to change?

Please leave your thoughts below– I am about reasoned conversation and open discussion.  We need to be talking about important issues, like the functionality of our government.

Check it out:

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

Civic action- Activism

“But the dynamics of citizen direct action were already having an effect” ( Smith, 2012, p. 27)– in reference to the civil rights movement.

“So intense was the public interest in the environment and so fierce the political pressure from grassroots America that Nixon, who was far from a tree-hugging environmentalist, felt compelled to declare his fealty to environmental protection…” (Smith, 2012, pg. 31).

Finally:

“In those early years of environmental enthusiasm, quite a lot was achieved.  The results were visible.  … The public thought the job was done.  Voter interest subsided, and as it subsided, so did government action” (Smith, 2012, p. 32).

Why did I share these quotes from a book I’m currently reading (Smith, Hedrick (2012).  Who stole the American dream. New York, NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks)?    Because I want people to remember that in the past, when people worked together through grassroots movements, which began small, but grew, things did change.  Change doesn’t happen from hoping, or wishing, it happens because people get together, take action, and make their opinions obvious to the elected officials.

Whether it’s Term Limits for U.S. Congress or some other issue you feel passionate about — for change to happen you have to make yourself heard. (Feel free to leave a comment on an issue you feel passionate about and are ready to take real action for.)  You have to make yourself REAL to those who are making the big decisions.  We are many.  They are a few.  If we actually exercise  our strength in numbers– things can be altered.    That’s not naive optimism- history has proven otherwise.

Let’s make our voices heard again- let’s re-engage.

Term Limits11

North Carolina State Lead: James Davies

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Term-Limits-for-US-Congress-North-Carolina/1428069334076570

Thoughts on Term Limits for U.S. Congress

As the day of petitioning edges closer, I am very curious to your thoughts about Term Limits for U.S. Congress.  I have met some people who are completely on board, but then I come across one or two who are adamantly against it and a few more who just aren’t sure.

Admittedly no idea is perfect– but I am very interested in reading about how others think about the issue.  Please take a moment to comment and share your opinions, thoughts, or questions.  It’s important that we are open to having quality dialogue about issues affecting our country.

As I’ve said before this is not about a particular political party– but about whether it is a good idea to institute a 12 year limit on members of Congress.

Finally– to help activate a discussion about the issue, please take a moment to share a link to this blog or re-blog a post, or tell your friends about what is going on.  Even if they don’t agree, it’s important to raise awareness of what is going on.

We can’t be afraid to have political conversations– if they don’t happen it’s like saying you don’t care about how your life is influenced by a strong and very large government– and you are willingly giving up all your rights and freedoms.  Conversation is one of our most powerful tools.

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

term limits10

Orange County North Carolina

Finally got a facebook page just to organize Orange County, North Carolina.  If you are not in that area- please check out the main pages so you can find your state and/or county leads.

Main Pages:
http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

Orange County, NC:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Term-Limits-for-US-Congress-North-Carolina-Orange-County/283254878501863

 

Image

20 Days

If Term Limits for U.S. Congress is something you are behind and support– there are only 20 days left before petitioning begins and there are still a few states that need leaders, many counties that need leaders, and lots of room for as many petitioners all of the U.S. that we can get.

Please take a moment to read up on Term Limits–

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

and decide if this you are willing to join our movement.  For any movement to be successful people need to actually be willing to offer up some time and do their part of activism.  I know come May 26th- I’ll be hitting the streets to collect signatures, and I hope that you’ll be joining me and countless others.

 

Term Limits9

What about voting?

So far— there are 2 arguments that seem to come up against instituting term limits for congress.

1) It takes time to learn the job.

2) That’s what voting is for.

——-

So let me address these….

First, Term Limits is advocating for a 12 year limit.  Are you trying to say that it takes more than 12 years before a Congressional member learns how to do their job?  If that is the case, we have a whole other problem.  At most, teachers hit their best potential between 3 and 5 years… but after 12 you start to burn out a bit… generally.  I know some of you will say– teaching is nothing like being a Senator.  But, seriously, our Congress members don’t just wake up and go from flipping burgers to filling the seats of Congress.  They have years of background in business or politics.  It makes no sense to say that it should take them more than a few years to master their job duties.

 

Second,  if voting worked- things wouldn’t be working as they are, which is that they aren’t working. People are on extreme ends these days- unwilling to come to the middle, unwilling to work together.

Currently most people who bother to vote, vote on name recognition and media exposure (which is related to money).  If people are only voting on name recognition, then the longer a politician is in office, it goes to assume that their name will be more recognizable, which has nothing to do with the kind of  job they did.

If the people are voting based on media exposure, then those politicians being funded by the wealthy, corporations, and lobbyists are getting the vote, but they aren’t actually working for the voters.  It takes years for those relationships to form.  Therefore, the goal is that by limiting their time in office, we are breaking and weakening that relationship.

This is not to say everyone is voting based on media exposure and name recognition, but that the majority of people who even bother to vote, are voting that way.

 

Hopefully this helps explain some of these concerns.  Please check out Term Limits for U.S. Congress.

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

If you are in NC and want to get involved– leave me a comment.  If you are in another state and want to get involved- go to the facebook page and from there you can find your state page.

Term Limits6

Liking versus Action

So, as May 26 approaches– the number of people “liking” the idea of Term Limits for U.S. Congress is growing… but the number of people agreeing to actually participate is barely increasing at a crawl.

This message went out from the NC leads-

“A message from Kelly Rae and James.
Hello North Carolina.
So we are sitting here looking at the Term Limits for US Congress North Carolina Facebook page and wondering how is it that we have over 800 likes but only 6 people who have volunteered to be County leads when we have 100 counties to fill, not including all of the petitioners that we need going forward.
Have we just not reached the right people? Are people just too busy? Are people afraid to take on one more thing. Are people just afraid? Do people not know how important they truly are?
Please let me be clear when we started here in NC we had no Idea what to do! We knew what the Goal was and is, Term Limits for US Congress but we did not have a clear path to run on. So we took a leap of faith and dove in. Why because we believe Congress should have Term Limits and it seems you do as well.
What is it North Carolina that is preventing you from diving in? Now let me be crystal clear…. The American People Will Impose Term Limits on US Congress and we need all of you to get behind this and step up into a County Lead position or as a petitioner. We need you. We will be here to support and guide. We promise. This is a TEAM effort. A lot of people doing a little bit…. So what do you say North Carolina…
As always…. Thank you for the support you have shown here on Facebook. Please Share this message with all of your friends and family and feel free to comment!!!”

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

People need to realize that if everyone who agrees with the idea, or even 20% of the people decide to actively participate in accomplishing the goal– we can make a real impact.  When I was in undergraduate school in Massachusetts (small state college, not in Boston) there was a small issue on campus … a lot of people were grumbling… so finally we did a little something.  We gathered together with signs and made our opinion public.  It only took a few people to openly object before a meeting was called and an agreement was struck.  We held our signs, us 20-30 people, saying “Sympathy is no substitute for action”— over 10 years later, and I still have that sign.  Why?  Because it is as true then and now- Sympathy is no substitute for action.  We need action- support is good- but action will make all the difference.

 

 

Term LimitsNC

Thoughts? Questions?

If you support the idea of Term Limits for U.S. Congress or don’t– I’d love to see some comments with your reasons.  If you have any questions about what we are trying to accomplish and why– please feel more than free to ask.  

There are a few weeks left before we’ll be hitting the ground gathering signatures– so now is a great time to ask away.

 There are always doubts when it comes to trying to make a big change like this… so no thought or question is too silly or unworthy of sharing.

Image

Citizen Re-engagement

“It will take a political metamorphosis, a populist renaissance, in America to reverse the political and economic tides… to make our country strong and whole again.  The Toynbeean challenge we face requires a response from all of us, a rebirth of civic activism from average people at the grass roots as well as from America’s political and economic leaders.  Millions of Americans will have to come off the sidelines and reengage in direct citizen action in order to reestablish “government of the people by the people, for the people” and to achieve a genuine people’s agenda in Washington” (Smith, xxv).

If we want change- we need to believe that we have the power to make that change happen.  Together we can let those at the top feel our strength and our power.

Term Limits for U.S. Congress might be that grass roots movement that can start to make the changes we need.  It’s nonpartisan- it’s about who has power and who should have power.

Please help us, join the cause.

http://termlimitsforuscongress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TermLimitsforUSCongress

 

I’m nervous about my part.  I wonder if I’ll be able to do enough– yet, that isn’t going to stop me from trying.  It’s time to stop complaining and start doing something about.    Every little bit helps.

 

Term Limits8

 

Reference

Smith, Hedrick (2013).  Who stole the American dream. New York, NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks.