To Term Limit or Not

Most people welcome term limits as a positive move against entrenched politicians, but I beg to differ. The Founders dealt with that problem right out the gate with elections every two, four, and six years. Those scheduled elections are term limits.

The main reason that we have political lifers is because the people who are active voters keep them there. Likewise, due to the large amount of inactive voters the entrenched politicians are guaranteed to return term limit after term limit.

My observation is that the overall voting population has become lazy and indifferent regarding voter participation and political involvement. Between 1832 and 1896 the voter participation rate for presidential elections ranged between 60.1% and 71.4%. During the period between 1900 and 2012, the range was between 32.9% and 55.6%.

My main point is that we are trending towards being lazy and uninvolved. The crutch of term limits would fuel that downward trend, therefore making us more dependent upon legislation to do what we are responsible to do. The Founders gave us a republic and it’s our responsibility to keep it rather than relying on legislative tools that keep us on the couch.

This plays into the hands of liberal politics. They traditionally have been more organized with long term vision and planning while conservatives are less concerned until it’s time to react to something that annoys them.

Along that vein, if Nancy Pelosi terms out it wouldn’t make a difference because they have ten more Nancys in the hopper ready to take her place. It’s no secret that the liberal voters have a lower threshold when it comes to traditional values thereby giving them an advantage in validating qualifiers for election. Conservative voters on the other hand are less likely to support a candidate that doesn’t meet their moral criteria, thus giving them less opportunity in many elections. They also have less long term planning and structure than their opponents.

I hold to the notion that we already have term limits with the current election cycles of two, four, and six years. Furthermore, we don’t need more excuses to be less involved, more indifferent and lazier than we already are.

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"Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature ... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation...it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." - James A. Garfield, U.S. President and Minister
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