Term Limits: What Should We Do About Them? [231*7]
To Limit Terms or Not Limit Terms; That Is The Question.
IN THE BRADFORD COUNTY TELEGRAPH, TIMES & MONITOR, my local weekly in Keystone Heights, FL,is a letter to the editor titled "Time to elect someone other than career politicians". The actual point of the letter is to garner support for the election of a 2016 non-politician Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, retired Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. But, along the way, he makes several salient arguments, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't.
The points the letter writer made are as follows:
- "Much of the blame for the cliff this country is hurtling toward must be credited to career politicians ..."
- "... we the voters ... play a major role in this fiasco ..."
- "I am especially disenchanted with "lifetime" members ... from both Parties because of their refusal to step down ..."
- "... [which has led to what many call the Fourth Branch of Government. That would be special interest groups."
His conclusion, therefore, is
"Until term limits and/or curbs on financial donations are the law of the land, the wise thing for us to do would be to stop electing politicians and begin to elect teachers, merchants, engineers, doctors, etc ..."
Then he goes into his pitch for Dr. Carson.
LONGEST SERVING U.S. REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATOR
My Letter To The Editor Back
I HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY WRITTEN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR before; it should be fun. But, what follows is the copy I will send it.
I read Mr. Young's letter with great interest and found myself agree with much of it, although I suspect we find ourselves on opposite sides of the political aisle. The parts that I do agree with are 1) American is hurtling toward a cliff; a day of reckoning is coming it would seem, 2) there is way too much money in politics and something must be done about it, 3) "lifetime" members aren't a good thing, and 4) it is the voters fault.
It doesn't sound like I disagree with anything, does it, but I do. I disagree with the presumption that it is the "career" politician that is the problem. I do not see it that way, and here is why. Would you want a dentist teaching your kids math in high school? Or, how about, a very experienced teacher operating on your daughter? They could certainly try, but how successful would they be at it?
In fact, based on a comment I received from a blog I wrote about this letter by a woman who watched this first-hand in her State's legislature, it can be counter-productive. From her front row seat, she watched, after those legislators with experience were "term limited" out, legal chaos ensued resulting from the inexperience of those who replaced them. The court system clogged up with cases resulting from their poorly written laws that more than ever catered to special interests. She says incidents of political corruption began to rise as well, including the Lt. Governor who just had to resign.
Further, I had the great privilege watch Congress in action from my perch across the Potomac when I was an analyst for the Air Force and OSD in and around the Pentagon. I found that Politics, at the national level is an extremely complex, arcane, esoteric and delicate operation where the technical, social, personal, legal, and political all have to be blended together to make law and policy with which to allow this Nation to function. All of this falls on Congress; not the President, who is designated to execute the will of Congress, or the Judiciary, who rules as to Constitutionality or to clarify. Consequently, it seems to me you do want a professional in this job who knows the ropes and how it is all supposed to work. For this job, you do not want, in my opinion, an untested teacher, physician, engineer, no matter how smart, willing, or capable.
I offer this is true at the State level as well, but less so. It is the job of local governments to groom would-be legislators and executives in the world of politics and bureaucracy (the vehicle for getting things done). It is the job of the voter to put the right people in all of these jobs and kick the ones out who aren't performing, something Mr. Young notes we are currently terrible at doing.
Also, we should be beating down the door and voting out of office any State legislator that supports gerrymandering and any national Congress person who won’t invoke the Constitutional authority to prohibit the same. The reason is having very diverse electoral districts almost guarantees high turnover in State and National legislatures. Finally, there needs to be a grassroots push to get the Congress to start a Constitutional Amendment process to once and for all make corporate, union, and PAC donations to political campaigns illegal.
Keystone Heights, FL
So, What Did You Think?
SHOULD I PUBLISH IT OR NOT? Did I get my point across, I sure hope so.
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© 2014 My Esoteric
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