Jim Renacci’s Term Limits Pledge: Overcoming the false assumption about institutional value


I felt fortunate to be invited by the Renacci team to be a part of a press conference for Jim Renacci in downtown Cincinnati to sign a U.S. Term Limits pledge in front of the media. My usual thing in events like this are not just to capture what a candidate is doing, but to examine the larger implications in a cultural aspect since that is always my interest. I care what politicians say, but for me it’s always about the larger implication. What Jim Renacci was doing was very smart, his opponent for the Ohio senate seat that Sherrod Brown currently has occupied for many decades now is one of the best examples of what an entrenched politician in Washington D.C. looks like. Renacci is the underdog in the incumbent race so he must go after weaknesses in Sherrod Brown, which is the issue of term limits. So Renacci signed a pledge to only serve two terms as a United States Senator once elected to counter the long and ridiculous record of Sherrod Brown in front of the media which was very effective. But what I like to bring to the table when covering events like this is that big picture, so I camped out in a part of the room that showed the media interaction with Renacci from a vantage point that the regular media won’t or can’t provide. By watching the video below, I think you will find the information very interesting.

The Channel 5 camera was set up on the right of my position and you will notice that not only the on-air talent asked a question, but so did the cameraman. Then positioned around the front of the room was cameras and microphones from most of Cincinnati’s media, both television and radio, and the questions they asked were fascinating. Usually when these kinds of things go on we never get to see the body language and appearance of the people asking questions, so perspective is very helpful. Most of the people in the media are liberal and present themselves as very shallow, and sloppy intellectually—literally, and their appearance shows it. It certainly says a lot about the slant they provide to any coverage that they do give. Even saying that I thought the coverage of the event was fair, but my video will certainly provide an education as to what really goes on at press events so that viewers can see for themselves how media bias enters into the picture.

What was most interesting was that the concept of term limits was generally a very difficult one for the media to grasp. By the nature of their questions it is clear why the reality of such proposals falls short of communicating effectively with their viewers and listenership. As Jim Renacci explained quite effectively, term limits should be an acceptable practice in politics—yet to the liberal thinking people who serve as filters in the media the concept is foreign to their way of thinking. The assumption by those on the political left, and often on the political right is that elected office is something that is to be aspired to, and therefore there is great intellectual value in having a long-term senator working for “the people” for several decades. But to accomplished business people, like Jim Renacci and Donald Trump, an elected office is like a retirement job. They go for elected office to give something back, not to become something.

What the media present could not grasp was that their concept of institutional value was not relevant to politics, yet just about every senator and congressman is happy to give them that illusion which is what has created such a defective political system. The pledge that Renacci signed is a promise to reverse that trend, but for many politicians who came into office because the private sector was just too scary for them, whether they were failed attorneys or just failed people, they found through a popularity contest—a typical election—redemption and they are very hungry to maintain the illusion that they are members of some aristocratic society that has some kind of special power for their constituents. That is exactly how Sherrod Brown has stayed in office for nearly half a century—because he has maintained an illusion that only someone like him can do the job. But for someone who was already successful before he ever stepped into a public office like Renacci, politics is a service job that he can easily master. The institutional value that the press was speaking about at the press conference doesn’t exist.

The biggest difference between liberals and conservatives is in their beliefs of institutional value over individual input. As a republic the United States was built to have a constant rotation of elected representatives enter office and leave routinely—and were never supposed to make careers out of elected positions. Liberals of course believe in the aristocratic notion that there is collective knowledge embedded within institutional systems that must be preserved by teams of people. In that case Mitch McConnell is just as guilty as Sherrod Brown in the belief that being a long-time senator has more value than a newcomer fresh to a seat. The procedural protocol of the Senate itself has more value than the vote of an individual vote from a senator or congressman.

Then there is the issue of fundraising and maintaining majorities in state houses and within Washington D.C. That same media present at the Renacci press conference is the same media that wants to turn politics into a sporting event where there are this many Republicans and this many Democrats, and every election is like a football game as to which side has the most points on the board at any given time which indicates who is winning and who is losing. Such a system inevitably attracts the dollars of special interest who then has a lot at stake in making sure their team wins—which is why political campaigns are now so expensive, which then beholden the candidates to the money people and not their constituency. It becomes a vicious cycle of dysfunction built on the false notion that institutional value has actual merit. Which it doesn’t.

What Jim Renacci was offering at this press conference was more than a publicity stunt to distinguish himself from a political opponent in the long-time senator Sherrod Brown. It was a challenge to take all the money out of politics, and all the falsehood of institutional value and to set the entire system correct with a nice healthy rotation of elected representatives. People like Jim Renacci and Donald Trump will be successes in life before and after any kind of political office, so when they are in office, we can expect good work from such people. But Sherrod Brown could have no such similar success. He can only be successful in life so long as people like the media shown in the video above believe that he has some secret power like “institutional value” to use on behalf of an American democracy—which is not what the United States is. Rule by the mob which is a “democracy” is not the same as representative rule, and under such a premise the falsehood of institutional value erodes away into mist, because it never had value to begin with. It never did from its roots in Europe, and it certainly doesn’t in modern-day America. People like Sherrod Brown are easy to find and once they are elected into office and people don’t really understand how things really work even though the media covers these types of stories every day, politicians are placed on a pedestal and kept there to satisfy the general ignorance of political parties. But when someone like Jim Renacci comes along and offers the real thing, it is then that a crises mounts—in a positive way. It is then that the falsehood of institutional value evaporates, and the truth of the matter is revealed, and that was the challenge that emerged from that very interesting press conference.

Rich Hoffman

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overmanwarrior

I write, and write, and write. And when I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. I have too many hobbies. I read too many books and I don't sleep. There's just too much life to be lived to waste it for even a second.

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