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The positives and negatives of term limits

Updated on January 11, 2014

Term limits is a subject which seems to be constantly in the news and given the culture existent in Congress today this idea may have increased support. There are many individuals now serving us in Congress today who have been repeatedly elected by their constituents. This may or may not be a bad thing. If the individual serving has the best interest of their constituents and the country it would be a bad thing as good individuals would be limited on the years they could serve. Invoking term limits would be a good thing if the individual serving does not have the best interest of those who elected them or the country. Too often political decisions are made by those who have the interest of their political party in the forefront rather than the interest of the country and/or their state.

The concept of term limits should also be considered at the state and local levels and in some cases this concept does exist. Individuals who have been elected to serve us need to make decisions in the best interest of the country based on their position on the issues not the position of their political party. Establishing term limits would lessen the potential impact one individual would have on our economy though we have seen major decisions can be made within one elected term.

The need to have individuals with integrity who will look out for us and the country cannot be denied given the current culture in Congress. Establishing limits as to how long an individual can be elected to Congress or state legislature opens the door for others to enter the political arena. Too often I believe there are those who would serve but having to run against an incumbent for elected office does not create any good possibility of being elected unless issues are involved with an incumbent. We need new blood in Congress with fresh ideas and the determination to address issues facing our country and/or our individual states.

New individuals are elected and have recently been elected to Congress and many of those are fighting the establishment on the approaches being proposed as it disagrees with the principles on which they were elected. Leaders of both parties in Congress need to listen to these individuals and try to understand their perspectives on the issues. The same issues and approaches/actions toward our economic problems always seem to be the same from one legislative session to another. This may change if enough individuals who have fresh approaches to the issues are elected or re-elected to Congress this election year.

The process to enact term limits is not an easy one but term limits can be initiated by those of us who vote by not electing the same individuals to Congress or a state legislature if they are not doing the right thing for us or our country. Actions at the state level can impact our country just as much as actions at the federal level. We as voters must become smarter and evaluate the records of those who have been in office to determine if the decisions they have made during their tenure were the right ones. Granted there may be issues or decisions which were made that given the facts available to our elected official was the right one. We are not going to agree with every decision made by an elected official but we must accept decisions which appear to have the best interest of our country or state.

Let us as voters send a message to those who are up for re-election how we feel about the decisions they have made. Any proposed legislation at the federal and state level need to be open for public comment with ample time to voice our opinion especially on critical issues. There are many legislative actions which take place which are not known to us and have an impact on our daily routine until they are finalized and signed into law. This is wrong. Our elected officials need to communicate with us as voters so we are knowledgeable about their positions on the issues. Communication should be both ways and whether we agree or disagree we should let our elected officials know how we feel. Elected officials who go against our wishes or opinions on the issues when they cast their vote on legislation should be considered for replacement at election time. Having this type of communication helps us to determine if they have outlived their usefulness to us as voters.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago


      Thanks for your comment. I agree with your analysis about the founding fathers and the Framers of the Constitution. Term limits should have been included in the Constitution. We have limits on being President but none on those who serve in Congress.

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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      The Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution did not want there to be career politicians as we have now. They thought such a thing was too much like the European royalty or peerage models of government. Unfortunately, the did not include term limits in the Constitution for the various government branches. I think they held future generations in too high esteem for the willingness to serve their constituents for a limited period, then return to civilian life. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.