Editor’s note: Guest editorials may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The following is from Tennessee State Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-2nd District).
I took an oath as a police officer where I swore before God that I would protect and serve. I took another oath when I was sworn in as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives to defend the unalienable rights of the people, and defend the Constitution. I’ve lived my life by those oaths.
My life’s work has basically been serving the people, and that’s a privilege that I’ve held dearly for over 36 years. When you’re a police officer things are often presented as black or white. Either someone is breaking the law or they’re not. There usually is a right and wrong, and it’s pretty easy to understand the difference between the two.
That’s how I understand the difference between good government and bad government. Either an elected official is there to serve the constituents, or they’re using the office entrusted to them to place their own desires above what the people want.
As voters, we’re not immune from this either. We either believe politicians are acting in our best interests, or they’re career politicians and acting in their own self-interests. I’ve been exposed to too much reality as a police officer to know that human behavior can often be predicted when dealing with large groups, and I understand that human desire often wins out more times than it should, so it doesn’t surprise me when there are a lot of lobbyists and special interest groups trying to cozy up and gain influence with Congress. That’s natural when any group of people possess that much power. But the solution is simple — term limit Congress!
The people have made their feelings known on this issue. It is glaringly obvious to voters that Congress is broken and in need of substantive repair. The political gamesmanship, combative talking points, and feigned outrage persist to guarantee the status quo. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Congress consistently earns more than an 80% disapproval rating for its lack of success. On the other hand, congressional term limits consistently polls as one of the most popular issues (78% in Tennessee) among both Republican and Democrat electorates.
I was proud to support term limiting Congress by voting yes on House Joint Resolution 8. This resolution (if also passed by the Senate) would add Tennessee to the list of states calling for term limits for Congress by bringing forth an amendment for each state to consider ratifying. The people of Tennessee overwhelmingly want term limits on Congress, and it’s time we stand up to make it happen. Do we think Congress will propose their own term limits? Of course not. But by the authority invested in the states under Article V of the Constitution, we can get it done. Therefore, I respectfully and earnestly urge the state Senate to pass House Joint Resolution 8 next year. Together we can take a step toward greater sanity in Congress.