Three sug­ges­tions to set Amer­ica right again

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

With the re­cent elec­tion cam­paign hav­ing lasted ap­prox­i­mately 600 days, it is no won­der weary vot­ers were mut­ter­ing, “Are we there yet?” Given the out­come, my an­swer would have to be“not yet.”

This elec­tion will be sliced and diced for years, but I think it comes down to a sim­ple ex­pla­na­tion: Peo­ple were tired and dis­gusted with the old, and were more than ready to try some­thing new. So with the ball rolling in that di­rec­tion, here are my sug­ges­tions for items to ad­dress as still un­fin­ished busi­ness.

Amer­ica needs a con­sti­tu­tional con­ven­tion. And I have three fairly sim­ple ideas for what I think should be ac­com­plished. We can start with an easy one. Congress and mem­bers thereof shall not be ex­empt from any law, rule, or reg­u­la­tion oth­er­wise ap­pli­ca­ble to any other or­ga­ni­za­tion or in­di­vid­ual.

Sec­ond: The term for a mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives shall be lim­ited to six years, with one-sixth of those seats be­ing up for elec­tion ev­ery year. The term for a mem­ber of the Se­nate shall be lim­ited to six years, with one­sixth of those seats be­ing up for elec­tion ev­ery year. No mem­ber of Congress shall be el­i­gi­ble for elec­tion, re­elec­tion or ap­point­ment to ei­ther the House or the Se­nate with­out hav­ing first been out of Congress for a time equal to their re­spec­tive term of of­fice. Any mem­ber of Congress hav­ing al­ready served for a pe­riod longer than or equal to the above term lim­its at the time of rat­i­fi­ca­tion of this amend­ment, may com­plete the term then serv­ing, but shall not be el­i­gi­ble to con­tinue in of­fice with­out first hav­ing been out of of­fice for the re­quired length of time. Any state or ter­ri­tory hav­ing mul­ti­ple rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Congress shall not be sub­ject to hav­ing that rep­re­sen­ta­tion ex­pire si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­cept on a stag­gered ba­sis.

Third: Congress shall not set for it­self or be en­ti­tled to any perk of of­fice not con­sid­ered to be gen­er­ally avail­able to the Amer­i­can pub­lic as a whole. If this last sug­ges­tion is a lit­tle ob­tuse, that means no in-house gyms or bar­ber shops/beauty sa­lons at pub­lic ex­pense; no un­fet­tered, front-ofthe-line ac­cess to mil­i­tar y med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties un­less en­ti­tled to such ac­cess by virtue of mil­i­tary ser­vice; no two years of ser­vice to be fully vested in a life time pen­sion; no au­to­matic pay in­creases, etc. Mem­bers of Congress are pub­lic ser­vants. They should act ac­cord­ingly and not like heaven-se­lected roy­alty sub­ject to the divine right of kings. “Are we there yet?” No, we are not. On­ward.

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