Paul Jacob

You?ve probably never heard of Jack Adsit, but he?s one of my heroes. He?s a veteran of ?the big one?--World War II--and traces his lineage all the way back to Adsits, a father and son, who fought in the Revolutionary War. But,  his heroism stems from a different kind of war: the struggle for term limits.

For the last dozen years, this 77-year old ?average Jack? has battled the most powerful politicians and special interests in his home state of Wyoming, first to put term limits on the ballot and win the initiative, and then to defend this vote of the people from an array of legislative and legal assaults.

Citizen Soldier

The bane of our political existence are politicians who have no respect for the voters and, in fact, despise the very idea that simple-minded voters would dare to tell them what to do. Regular readers of my free Common Sense e-letter are well-informed about such politicians.

On the other hand, our hope is found in ordinary Americans--people like Jack Adsit--who believe in citizen control of government and will stand up to defend their rights against threats ?both foreign and domestic.?

Admittedly, Adsit is not an expert. In fact, he never graduated from high school. Nor is he any kind of slick political operator.

But Jack Adsit loves his country and is inspired by the ideas that have made America great. His patriotism led him to continue to study the laws of our land and the issues of the day, including plenty of lessons from the school of political hard knocks.

Even some in the term limits movement had doubts that a guy lacking political connections and media savvy could mount a winning campaign. But not only did Adsit win, he won big.

In 1992, Wyoming voters sent an unequivocal message with 77.2 percent favoring term limits--the highest percentage for a term limits measure of any state in the nation. Perhaps the big victory was due to the pioneer spirit that is still so vibrant in the Cowboy State, but no one who knows politics would dismiss Jack?s diligent campaign.

After such a tremendous political victory, some folks might have been plotting their next political move. Adsit was looking forward to retirement.

Yet, it was not to be.  Less than 60 days after the election, as legislators met in Cheyenne, bills to gut the term limits initiative began to move through the Legislature. Legislators wanted to delay the implementation of the congressional limits (forever, essentially) and double the limit in the House.

Mr. Adsit Goes to Cheyenne


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.