Our first and perhaps greatest Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, ended his Gettysburg Address by calling on his fellow Americans to rededicate themselves to the “great task” of preserving our “government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people.” I share that commitment, which is why I have always supported term limits for our elected federal officials.

Too often today our representatives and senators seek reelection not by making an argument to their constituents, but by issuing an ultimatum. It usually goes something like this: “I know we’re all citizens in a free republic and that means you can vote for whomever you want, but given the amount of seniority and authority that I’ve built up during my long career in Washington, if you don’t vote for me, our district or state will lose money, power, and influence.”

But this is not a choice—it’s a ploy to increase the power of Washington elites at the expense of everyone else.

Instead of intimidating voters into supporting the candidate with a proven record of maximizing their share of government spoils, Americans should be empowered to choose the candidate they think is best suited to help preserve our government of, by, and for the people.

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