I’m officially disgusted. How about term limits?

> Like most of the rest of America, I am really tired of politics. CNN had a story this morning about the milk cliff. Really? Is this what we have come to? Will we face the gun safety cliff when the new Congress convenes? Is there anything on which the two parties can agree? >
> I was listening to an interview with former President Clinton this morning talking about life after the presidency. Why, he was asked, does it seem like former presidents have managed to collaborate to accomplish things despite their political differences? Clinton, as we know, has a special relationship with the Bush 41 and a working relationship with W. His answer was pretty simple. Not one of them is running for office again and they can therefore ask themselves a more important question than “will this get me re-elected.” For Clinton, his question is this: Will it leave people better off or not? He knows that even though former presidents from different parties disagree on most everything when it comes to the big political questions, when it comes to doing what’s right, the differences tend to go away. There’s a lesson there for the gun safety debate. >
> I also think there’s a lesson there for our broken political system. How do we take away the incentive for our politicians in Washington to act only to get re-elected? How do we take away the influence of the lobbyists who line up to fill up the campaign pockets of those politicians? How about term limits? The two term limit for presidents dates back only to 1947 and we managed to get that amendment passed. How about extending that same limit to Congress? If every senator and congressperson knew he or she was two and done, I believe the disaster that is Washington would change. Given the single-digit approval rating of Congress, I even think we could get it passed. Maybe I am wrong, but can anyone tell me that the status quo is better? I am willing to listen.

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One Response to I’m officially disgusted. How about term limits?

  1. Bill says:

    How about SINGLE term limits?! Now there’s a thought that might put a dent in the amassing of money and favors from lobbyists.
    The original idea about political office in this country was for citizens to step up and do their duty to serve as a representative for a term, and then go home and let someone else take their turn at their citizen duty. This was especially true of the original republicans (small R), who became essentially an American ‘Whig’ party, like Jefferson, Madison, etc. (Jefferson himself detested political parties, rightly pointing out that people become beholden to their party instead of their country as a whole–sound familiar?). There was however another faction, a ‘Tory’ faction, who Jefferson and others called Federalists (e.g. Adams, Hamilton, etc.) who believed in strong central (hence ‘Federalists’) government, some even believing in political dynasties and aristocracy (e.g. Adams). But the original general concept was a representational government of citizen one-termers. How did we go so horribly wrong?

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