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Political Term Limits, The Downfall of The Career Politican, Part III

May 19, 2011
Franklin Roosevelt

I don't like term limits


Welcome to part III of The Career Politician.  I hope that you have been following along with my posts, if not; I suggest that you read my past two posts first.  In this part I plan on covering term limits and the problems they cause.  I’ll try to stay on the beaten path this time; I have a tendency to stray just a little.  As always, I invite you to leave a comment at the end of my blog letting me know your thoughts on the subject.  You can also subscribe by email and you’ll receive a notice each time that I post a blog, the button to subscribe is on the right in the sidebar.  Be sure to share my website on Facebook and Yahoo.  I really appreciate all of you that have taken the time to read my posts.  Now on to the meat and taters of my post:

            Term limits are already imposed on some public offices, the President, Vice-President, and State Governors and for the same principles it is equally imperative for all our legislators, even high judicial seats should have term limits.  The power these people have over laws that govern and affect the lives of every American is substantial and should be limited to allow for new and fresh ideas.  Instead we elect the same politicians, year in and year out, just because we are familiar with their name or they haven’t been caught doing us any grave injustice.  With this, we end up with the same tired old platforms and rhetoric.  We expect things to change within our government without changing the legislators that lead us.  We like to blame politicians because policies in our government aren’t changing, but actually the fault lies with us for not electing a different person to that office.  Term limits would force these changes to happen, and we all know these changes are past due.

            An eight year term limit seems to work well for presidents and governors, why not have the same limits for senators and representatives.  Senate terms could be limited to two 4 year terms and representatives could have four 2 year terms.  If you can’t make a change in eight years, it’s not likely that you ever will.  Of course to be fair, these limits would only be imposed to those particular offices, they would still be free to run for other offices, such as governor or president.  We could even allow for a representative to later run for senate and then on to governor or president.  This could allow for the politician to remain in some public office for as much as twenty-four years.  That is plenty of time for the career politician to live off the toil and sweat of the American people.

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

Thomas Jefferson

These same limits should also be applied to high judicial seats such as Supreme Court Justices.  These people are appointed by presidents, approved by congress, and then rule over the laws of the land for the rest of their lives.  These people don’t guard the letter of the constitution as it was written, they try to interpret it, allowing their opinions and biases form their rulings.  Their beliefs rarely change and they are not accountable to the American public because they are not elected.  This is exactly the reason why term limits should be imposed on high judicial seats.

You may think that term limits are not really a problem, no politician remains in office that long.  Well, let’s just take a look at that.  Within this past century there have been over 50 senators and representatives that have served over 35 years each in office.  I’ll give you the top five senators:

  • Robert Byrd                                     51 years          176 days
  • Daniel Inouye                                 48 years         136 days
  • Strom Thurmond                           47 years         159 days
  • Ted Kennedy                                   46 years         292 days
  • Carl Hayden                                     41 years          305 days

But even these don’t hold a light to John Dingell, Jr., representative from Michigan.  He has been in office continually for 55 years, 157 days.  And to top it off, he took over the office when it was vacated by the death of his father, John Dingell, Sr., who held the seat for twenty-two years.  So in Michigan, there has been a Dingell in office since 1933.  This is not a career, it’s a family dynasty.

No man should be in public office who can’t make more money in private life.

Thomas E. Dewey

One of the problems with Americans is that we expect everyone else to change without having to make any changes ourselves.  How can we expect our government to change if we are not willing to make a change?  We are all about comfort, it’s easier to listen to the lies of politicians and re-elect an incumbent (because we are comfortable with them) than it is to investigate who is actually the best person for the job.  This just creates a burden and expense on the American taxpayer.

In part IV, I’ll reveal the cost of career politicians on the American public.  A new post will be available Sunday, May 22.  If these posts don’t sway you into believing that it’s past due for a change in our government then nothing will.  Once again, thank you for your time and feel free to click that “Leave a Comment” button; I would appreciate your insight.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. RUTH POE DUNCAN permalink
    May 21, 2011 5:02 AM

    Dear Dennis, Thanks so much for your time and effort to put together these blogs. I have read each one carefully and I have to agree with you not b/c ur my brother but b/c you are 100% correct. I am not as politically correct as you are and not as smart on alot of political issues, but I do knnow that you are as smart as a tack. Keep up the good work and look forward to the next blog. GO LITTLE EN” GO!!!!!!!!

  2. May 22, 2011 6:52 PM

    I appreciate your comment but I am probably the least politically correct person in American, more in line with Archie Bunker than with Bill Maher. Being politically correct means not saying whar’s on your mind because you might offend someone. You should know that I’m not to concerned with people’s feelings if I think something should be said. Thanks for reading my blogs, I really appreciate it.

  3. Jim Kapellusch permalink
    January 9, 2013 6:45 PM

    Dennis, Thank you so very much for speaking out on this issue so near and dear to my heart. You have hit many nails right on the head….this is about PUBLIC SERVICE NOT PUBLIC LIFETIME ON THE DOLE !! It makes me sick to my stomach when I hear about these Senators and Congress-persons making careers out of what was to be a TEMPORARY career of service. It is time we stand up as Americans and tell the Kennedy’s, Inouye’s , Thurmonds, Pelosi’s Feinsteins, Byrds, and EVEN OUR VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden (30 years + of “service”) to get off the public teat and get back to work……the law is a proud profession of truly hard-working people HOWEVER politics is NOT A LIFETIME PROFESSION…..20 years and then YOU ARE DONE – now get back to work and get out of my tax-paid for seat…..hear that Joe Biden? Harry Reid? McConnell? etc ? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!

    What’s our next move Dennis?…I’m on board. A anti-political action committee? Let’s stop this ASAP…..our government was not meant to be a wallet for those privileged enough to get elected by the machines OVER their usefullness to our society…

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