Gideon Tucker once noted that "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." In Part I of "Why Not Term limits" you might have been exposed sufficiently as to the importance of enacting a limitation of terms on legislators at every level.
The continual bombardment to repealing term limits in many states is ample evidence as to how it has jammed and disrupted the ongoing comfort level of those who are now gestated as "the anointed."
This is not an indictment of all people who work in government service since there are many who devote an altruistic existence on behalf of their constituents and their country.Good people can be found in every discipline, but there is something about the political arena which is a little different when it comes to determining the good from the bad ó the talented and the truly able from the opportunists. It is called the power of the purse.
There are many reasons as to why term limits are essential as a built in benefit to the general public other than the fact that the American citizen will be in a far greater position for sound, effective and intelligent enactment of due process.
The following precepts are critical to the awareness of a need for term limits in political office:
1. Being in public office too long breeds arrogance.
2. Salaries and perks today are of such a nature as to inculcate a heavy desire to stay in office.
3. The continual campaigning for election funds while in office has been a deterrent to effective representation to all but the special interest groups.
4. Limited terms minimizes the time spent for devising ways of getting re-elected and furthering their own public careers.
5. By the nature of the position of public office, incumbents can effectively develop a political machine as well as a war chest which is too difficult for new aspirants to equal.
6. A limited tenure encourages the office holder to remember that his or her justification for existence is to uphold the constitution and the rules of order.
7. A limited tenure discourages bribery as well as making the incumbent less vulnerable to bribes.
8. A limited tenure incumbent will not be intimidated as much by the polls or tempted as much by the moneyed lobbyists.
9. It would encourage real and active reform where needed since the coterie of lawyers and lobbyists would have less sway.
10. It would be an automatic and continual blood transfusion into a legislature which too often cradles the ambivalence of one foot in quick sand and the other in a bear trap.
11. Increasing their own wages and perks would cease to dominate their agenda since there would be enough resistance in the ranks from those on their way out.
12. They would be in office only long enough not to have lost touch with reality and the outside world.
13. The tenure is short enough that it doesnít give them the time necessary or the idyllic longevity to learn how to use your money to erect structures with their names on them.
14. People new to the game will have more tendency to regulate the regulators.
15. Term limits would most likely discourage our Congress from its expanding role as a massive extortion machine.
16. Term limits would minimize the risk of paternalism which appears to be a common trait of the career politician.
17. It is reasonable to believe that a whole political party would not have prostituted itself to save a scoundrel if about one third of them were leaving office due to term limits.
18. A limited period of time does not give them a sufficient period of time to bloat their budgets and their staffs.
19. With a limited period in the legislature there is strong reason to believe that in the cases of tough and necessary legislation principal will outweigh political risk.
20. With term limits we will find that there will be more individuals with definitive goals and laudable convictions.
21. Term limits tends to lessen the gap between political courage and legislative corruption.
22. The citizen-legislator would be more in tune with the Constitution and would not regard it, as today, a document only to be tolerated.
23. The citizen-legislator would not be as prone or even consider to pushing us intosubservience to the United Nations.
24. The citizen-legislator would not consider giving himself an automatic pay increase each year without benefit of vote.
25. Term limits would bring to a screeching halt the expansion of what we see now as a professional ruling class.
And yet ironically we dare to refer to them as "the honorable."
The long term legislator invariably develops an acute attack of spendinitis which is followed by a disease called chronic taxation. Today there is no known antidote. Since the advent of recorded history the tax collector has always been the dreaded nemesis of any nation as well as the point man for ensuring the power of the despots.
We are the greatest nation on this earth and yet even this nation, as time unfolds, has fallen prey to the plague of continued and increased taxation of its populace. A disease which is ever prevalent when a particular caste has been allowed the luxury of office longevity. The scourge of heavy taxation bedevils and belittles us and will continue to be inescapable until we unearth the embedded.
Abraham Lincoln once noted "The biggest threat to America will come from the voracious desire for office and power ------ this wiggle to live without toil."
The need for study of a return to part time legislators is becoming more and more credulous and a possibility but well beyond the scope of this article.
Possibly the best eulogy for their abysmal track record was written by Canadian Publisher Margaret Murray when she wrote that, "governments are like underwear, they start smelling pretty bad if you donít change them once in a while."
George M. Haddad has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and a Masters Degree in Social Administration with extensive work experience with the mentally ill. He is a World War II veteran having served in the Infantry; Interpreter of the French language; Interrogator in Technical Intelligence and Sgt.-Major of a Separation Center. Also the former Executive Director - National Institute for Burn Medicine - affiliated with the University of Michigan. He is retired from the National Staff of the YMCA as a troubleshooter in financial management and administration and has worked as a management consultant to non-profit corporations. He has written frequently on medical, social and political issues and has many published articles to his credit. He currently writes from Franklin, Michigan and can be contacted at email@example.com