Term LimitsAllow me to think outloud/online for a moment. Anyone who pays any attention to politics knows we have a problem. Actually, many problemsbut I'm thinking particularly of the partinson bickering. It seems like our leaders spend so much time campaigning and tearing the opposition down, that they leave very little time for actually doing the work of the people. When was the last time you saw two politicians from oppossing parties civily debating the pros and cons of a new billand I mean really debating, with facts and analysis, not just catch phrases and buzzwords. Or God forbid, actually working together to pass the same bill. More than likely, the last time you saw two pols or candidates at the same table, they were trading juvenile barbs or evading actual facts or trying to please everyone by doing nothing.
How can we change this? The first thing that comes to mind is term limits. You get one term and then you're out. If you can't run for re-election, what's the point of spending all your time and money campaigning? Might as well buckle down and try and get something accomplished. Now we'd have to make sure everyone had a long enough term to learn the system and then get something done. How about six years? If you can't write and pass one good bill in six years time, maybe you're not cut out for politicsgo get a real job like the rest of us.
But do we set the term limits per office or across the board? In other words, if you can just run for the Senate when your House term is up, does that really solve the problem? Probably not completely, but it's probably better than what we have now. Or maybe we say, you get six years in any elected office, then you have to go back and into the job market for another six years. If after that, you still have a passion to serve and your constituents can still stomach you, then by all means, run again. In addition to reducing the campainging and increasing the governing our leaders do, this would have the added benefit of eliminating career politicianspeople with no connection to the real world in which the rest of us live every day. To ensure this, maybe we need to go one step further, and say that after serving your term you cannot work on any government payroll for at least six years. That would prevent outgoing pols from simply becoming an advisor or staff member of another pol until they can run again. Get back into the real world and see how the rest of us livedon't just stop in once in a while for a fundraising dinner, come live a few years in reality.
Now, maybe some of you are thinking you really like your representativesyou want them to run again. Come on, let's be honest. Are there really any politicians out there that are so good, so honest, so full of integrity and acumen that the world would be worse off if they took some time away from their cushy government jobs? I mean we're only talking about a six year break. If they're that great, wouldn't you rather have them doing the work of the people for a solid six years, even if it was only every other six years instead of every sixth year, with five years of campaigning and partison bicking in between?
OK, that's all for now. Talk amongst yourselvesI just gave you a topic. I'll be back with more on this topic. I know there are good arguments against term limits, though they escape me at the momentand my cat's sitting in my lap making it difficult to type.