Senator Tom Coburn wants the states to hold a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He would also like to have the Con-Con add an amendment mandating term limits for members of Congress.
When voters are dissatisfied en masse with Congressmen, calls begin to be heard for term limits, but that may make the situation worse, particularly if a constitutional convention is called for the stated purpose.
While term limits may seem like a great idea to help limit the destructiveness of big-government politicians, term limits also force Constitution-abiding statesmen out of office. An educated electorate will elect genuine constitutionalists who abide by their oath of office. The short cut of term limits is not a long-term solution. The John Birch Society supports freedom at the ballot box and therefore opposes term limits.
Today in 2010 many newly-awakened activists are calling for term limits and a constitutional convention (often referred to as a con-con). The John Birch Society has been leading the fight against these tempting "cure-alls" for several decades now. This article, "Term Limits Temptation: Creating the Pretext for a Con-Con" by George Detweiler is a valuable summary of the arguments against term limits and a constitutional convention, and will be useful for constitutionalists as they fend off this new round of enthusiasm for term limits and a con-con. It was originally published in the June 10, 1996 issue of The New American magazine.