Term Limits Platform Position Adopted

By unanimous approval of its voting membership, at meeting duly assembled in Weston, Lewis County on November 13, 2010, the CPWV has adopted the following platform position on Term Limits.

America’s founders never intended politics to be a career.  Public service was meant to be a short term civic duty upon which one then returned to private life.  In 1776, the maximum service in the Pennsylvania General Assembly was set at “four years in seven.” Similarly, in an October 2, 1779 letter, Thomas Jefferson urged a limitation of tenure “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress.” Subsequently, the fifth Article of the Articles of Confederation stated that “no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years.” Benjamin Franklin referred to term limits as “mandatory vacation.”  George Mason stated that, “nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation.”

And, politics was never meant to be a source of personal profit.  About our federal constitution, historian Mercy Otis Warren warned that “there is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done….” Likewise, novelist James Fennimore Cooper described the common view that “contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed.” With homesteading in Congress and its associated corporate and lobbyist influence made possible by reelection rates that now approach 100%, history has proven these men uncannily prophetic.

As a result of the reforms of the early 1990s, fifteen state legislatures presently have members serving in rotation.  In accord with this wise practice, but rather than debating an arbitrary number of terms to limit, we propose simply prohibiting reelection to any particular office until the candidate has occupied himself elsewhere for a period of time equivalent to the term sought.  Under this plan, no one will be campaigning for his or her current office while still serving in it thus yielding the most efficient use of time for public benefit.  Therefore, there will be no two consecutive terms.

Our object is not to prevent good people from serving, but to prevent politics as a lucrative way of life.  With no incumbents, the focus of elected officials will be exclusively on the proper affairs of the people.  Enthusiastic freshman will undoubtedly bring a plethora of new ideas to the political arena.  As to concerns of maintaining continuity of rules of procedure, these neophytes will surely be balanced by plenty of seasoned statesmen who will find themselves in demand alternating between different offices of public trust and their private professions.  Honor, integrity, and competency will be restored to government service.

Second Amendment Platform Position Adopted

By unanimous approval of its voting membership, at meeting duly assembled in Weston, Lewis County on November 13, 2010, the CPWV has adopted the following platform position on the Second Amendment and Personal Defense.

We affirm Article III, § 22 of the Constitution of West Virginia whereby all men have the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home, and state and for lawful hunting and recreation use.  As such, we support the Castle Doctrine which holds that law-abiding citizens should not be forced to retreat in the face of criminal attack, and should be legally entitled to meet force with force to save their own lives and the lives of others or for the protection of property.  State laws should be reformed to prohibit criminals from suing for “damages,” prohibit employers from firing workers who lawfully store their firearms in locked vehicles, and prohibit firearms confiscation or use in a time of local or national emergency.

Furthermore, such arms are not limited to just those functional via gunpowder, but include any variety of implement which a free person may choose to employ in repel of unwanted aggression, or for a tool, hobby, or collectible purposes.  Such property shall be free of any sort of arbitrary size, shape, configuration, or quantity restrictions, and may be kept in any safe controlled location of its owner’s choosing, anywhere on his person or otherwise.

National “instant check” information should not be retained in any form of database. We strongly oppose the collection of names of gun show attendees for forwarding to federal government authorities, as this is a form of surveillance.  We oppose the licensing of gun owners, all forms of gun registration, and any form of rationing of firearms, munitions, component sales or limiting the production thereof.  Additionally, we advocate Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont style freedom where no permit or fee is required to exercise a person’s right to open or conceal carry a weapon, and seek reciprocity with the several States for the same.  The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In his original draft of the Bill of Rights, George Mason wrote “… a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe Defense of a free State; that Standing Armies in Time of Peace are dangerous to Liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided as far as the Circumstances and Protection of the Community will admit; and that in all Cases, the military should be under strict Subordination to, and governed by the Civil Power.”  And, in Federalist 46, James Madison wrote, “Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. …To these [a standing army] be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.” It is clear, therefore, that our founders intended for the militia to be our peacetime force comprised of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.

In accord with this original intent, we advocate that sheriffs in every county, under the leadership of the governor, make provisions for the reestablishment of a properly trained and equipped, volunteer, and physically fit citizens militia of West Virginia people; Mountaineers who are readily available for call to service to assist the public in any urgent situation preliminary to Congress organizing any other armed force under formal declaration.  This country was founded by patriots who fought with both pen and sword in order to give their posterity the freedoms we enjoy today- a revolution won by common individuals temporarily organized yet considered enemies by their imperial government for their object of resisting the established tyranny.  Lexington and Concord stir the hearts of real Americans.  We must heed George Santayana’s wisdom, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.