We have all, at one point or another, entertained the idea of term limits for our elected officials. Why not? it seems to work well for the presidency by limiting that office to 2 terms. A strong argument can and has been made against “career politicians”, the likes of people such as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and even the venal Joe Biden. They garner too much power and are in many cases unmovable.
This seemed to be the case in American history when it comes to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). He was elected to 4 terms as US President, dying in office before the completion of his 4th term thus making Harry Truman the next President.
FDR was the closest we have ever come to having a King run our country. This was decided to be not in the best interest of our nation and congress instituted a “term limit” to the presidency of only 2 terms.
Two problems with the idea of term limits for our elected official are first, they are elected officials. If the elected official wants to run and do the job, and if the people in his constituency see fit to elect that person, going against the will of the people seems to not be within keeping of free elections. Also, there is a thing called experience and institutional knowledge that people who have been in office for a while acquire that may be valuable to a better performance of their duties to the constituents.
The second and in my opinion widely overlooked problem is that of the “establishment”. The inner mechanism of government or the term we now use to describe these people, “the deep state”. As we have seen over the past decade, and especially during the Trump administration with the likes of FBI director James Comey, and deputy director Andrew McCabe, CIA director John Brennan, Lois Lerner of the IRS, FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Special investigator Robert Muller, the FISA court that ok’d the surveillance on Trump and the list goes on and on.
Even in my own experience at the state level here in New Hampshire, there are lobbyists who have been there years prior to my being elected, and who will continue to be their years after my term expired. It is no secret that they are working for special interests, but they are also regarded as experts in their fields and are usually given great weight in their testimony. A new legislator, no matter how smart or quick of a study they may be, are effectually at the mercy of those around them.
All the aforementioned people are not elected by anybody, and are not accountable to the people of our state or nation. If term limits are imposed we would literally be giving those who already wield the power even more, while shutting out elected officials of whom the people cast their votes for.
I offer this observation in the hope that a deeper inspection of what the purpose is to be served by term limits vs. the outcomes, if they come to pass. As we’ve seen over the past few years, many times the “cure” is worse than the “disease”. I am not advocating for or against term limits, just saying there is more than meets the eye and if not thought out fully we just might pour gasoline on the fire thinking it’s water.
the less the government does, the better. When the government acts, the people lose. Always. ALWAYS.
So, I’d rather they all be new, every year, and have to start from scratch, every year. So they have to waste all that time getting acclimated to power over others, and less time to actually sit around screwing us.
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I agree with your sentiment but unless the “deep state” has “term limits” new people will have no effect. Also we can limit anyone by way of the ballot box. So my question is: is it the politicians, the bureaucrats, or the people who keep electing them?