Home > Uncategorized > Term Limits Can’t Eliminate Bad Politicians

Term Limits Can’t Eliminate Bad Politicians

In today’s Washington Post and in his blog from yesterday, Ezra Klein comments on the problem with term limits. Klein makes a keen insight about the learning curve in citizen political leadership and the disasters of term limits as demonstrated in California.

While I would be more than happy to see most of Congress gone, term limits are not the answer; voters are. I do not want my legislators removed because the law tells them they must go; I want politicians gone because the VOTERS say enough with bad leadership! It takes time to figure out how policymaking really works. Former Congressman Joe McDade (R-PA) said at his retirement after nearly 40 years in the House, “it’s time for me to go, and I just started figuring out how this place works.”

Laws establishing term limits for legislators is lazy democracy and a usurpation of the rights of citizens. It takes the authority, responsibility, and rights away from citizens to determine whether or not they want their legislators to remain. Such laws tell voters, “Don’t worry: if you don’t like them, you don’t have to worry about voting them out of office; they’ll be thrown out in x number of years anyway!” The average American is too politically lazy as it is! Term limits legislation only makes things worse! Further, it gives the lousy legislators a get out of jail free card.

Term limits laws also take away citizens rights by denying them the right to keep lawmakers they believe are doing a good job.

As Klein points out in his posting, “Term limits are one of those ideas that sound good in theory but are madness in practice. You wouldn’t want to go to a hospital filled with medical residents or stock a sports team with an ever-changing cast of rookies. Legislating is hard. We need to give people time to learn how to do it.”

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Chris B
    December 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Joe,
    I would say the problem is our system has been so convoluted with bureaucracy that you are correct. It takes years to learn how to work the system. That is the exact reason we need term limits. You shouldn’t have to work the system it should work for us. If you were to play for a top sports team and it took you more than a year to learn the ropes you would be gone. It should not take years to learn the system. If you believe what Congressman Joe McDade (R-PA) said was more than him being a humble man at retirement. Than that does nothing but reinforce the argument for term limits. If it takes 40 years to learn your job than you probably should not be doing it. Term Limits is “lazy democracy and a usurpation of the rights of citizens” I say it forces our leaders to do their jobs. And it would require the citizens to get more involved. We don’t need the same old guys making the same old decisions. Maybe we could eliminate the feeling of helplessness when we all go to the voting booth. Maybe we could get more people to the voting booth because it’s not the same old guys that have been there for 40 years. No sir we need to eliminate career politicians and get back to what our founding fathers intended a “Country run by the People for the People. The man known as our founding father “George Washington” knew this to be true. That is why he retired from politics after two terms and returned to life on his plantation, even though the citizens wanted him to stay for a third term.
    Thank You for your time.
    With respect,
    Chris Bridgeford

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