Mark Levin’s First Liberty Amendment
Bill Quick

I’ve alluded several times to Mark Levin’s new book,The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, and the strategy Levin lays out for retaking the American constitutional republic from the strangling, tyrannical grasp of the Washington Leviathan and the 100 year old Progressive assault on our liberties and the Constitution that purported guarantees them.

I’m going to give you a look, over the next several days, at his proposed amendments, and talk a bit about his thinking – and mine – on each of them.

If you want the whole discussion, complete with copious cites to the thinking of the Founders and Framers, buy the book.  Which you really should do anyway.

Okay, let’s start:

An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress 

SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.

SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.

There was a time when I opposed term limits, on the theory that the right to vote guaranteed the application of term limits if constituencies desired to do so.  In other words, while term limits might automatically remove “bad” legislators and executives, they might also force the removal of “good” ones against the wishes of their supporters.

I no longer feel this way.

We have created a political and cultural situation – or, rather, the progressive movement, expressed through both of our major parties, has created it – that more or less guarantees the impossibility of removing any legislator at the federal level, no matter how atrocious their record or behavior, by means of the ballot.  Only in the smallest and most egregious instances do we ever see malefactors in high office removed by vote, and even when that happens, voting districts have been so gerrymandered that a more or less carbon copy is guaranteed to achieve succession.  And in the end nothing ever changes, and the progressive project marches ever onward to greater and greater power, and greater and greater  tyranny.

The only way to break this endless daisy chain is to break it.  Progressives would claim that term limits are aimed exclusively against them, and they might convince the weak-minded of this, but term limits would apply to all.  It is true that the effects would be felt disproportionately by progressives and tyrant wannabes, because, sadly, such comprise the vast majority of our electeded governance at the federal level.

Even worse, as Levin points out, those few politicians who seek federal office soon learn that the road to permanent success and reelection is to represent the Washington Ruling Class and Permanent Ruling Party against the interests of their own consitutents.  In other words, while they may start out representing those who elected them, in the end they represent only the powers and interests that guarantee their reelection.

The Framers did not envision the sort of professional political class under which our liberties groan and break today.  It is no accident that the first President to break the unofficial tradition of no more than two terms set by George Washington was uber-progressive Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an explicit enemy of the U.S. Constitution.  In the wake of his four-term reign Congress and the states made the two-term limit constitutionally explicit, but unfortunately they did not do likewise for themselves.

We need to change that now.  Washington, Jefferson, Adams all would have been appalled by the vast and permanent political superstructure our Ruling Class has created for itself.   But they gave us the means to break it up and vastly lessen its qualities of permanence.

Let’s use those means and impose term limits on those who think they should personally rule us forever.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Mark Levin’s First Liberty Amendment — 7 Comments

  1. I favor term limits, but it must include the bureaucracy too, else we have an unelected, unaccountable oligarchy. And all new rules promulgated in the Federal Registry must be approved by the Congress and signed by the President, as Constitutionally required for any law.

  2. JD, not to worry, Levin addresses all of these and much, much more. This is why I suggest all those interested actually read the book – and then look into the cites of the Framers and the history underlying the creation of our Constitution.

    Never fear, though. I’ll be posting all ten of Mark’s Liberty Amendments, so if nothing else, you will all at least have some notion of what his proposals actually are.

  3. I would be a little more … “flexible” on term limits. For example, I suggest prohibiting anyone from running for office unless at least 50% of his working career had been working for a NON-GOVERNMENT, for-profit company. I would further interpret “working career” to commence at the time of graduation from the last educational or military organization.

    So, you’re 25, graduated from college at 22, and you’ve been working as a congressional gopher for 3 years? Get a real “for profit” job, and run for office when you’re 28. You’re a college professor, and you’ve never worked for a company? Get a job and come back when you actually KNOW something about the real world that didn’t come out of a book.

    You’ve been a used car dealer for 15 years, and you want to run for the Senate? Fine; but once you hit 15 years in government service, you can’t run for ANY office until you’re back above the 50% mark. After your three terms (18 years) it’ll be back to work for you.

    You’re a doctor in private practice? Welcome aboard! You’re a doctor working in research for a governmental agency? Get a REAL job – or a real practice – and see us when you hit the 50% “real job” mark.

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