#TermLimitsNOW

   There’s zero chance of changing the attitudes that have led to the current climate in political discourse. There’s a feedback loop wherein one party gets power and abuses it to get what they want, just to see the other party do the same when it’s their turn in power, completing the loop to be started once again when the power shifts back. Same as it ever was, right? Well, not really. Although there has always been the fluctuation in power, this is an entirely new era in politics and especially in political discourse, and the covering of the process. Where once there were a limited few who contributed, and mostly agreed on a shared sense of decorum, today anyone, anywhere, can throw out _literally_ any assertion they can come up with. And in an increasing effort to win, politicians have adapted to this same strategy to get elected and stay in that office. So how does that relate? Power. Once in office a politician has to accumulate some degree of power and influence to get things done, and more to the point, things that help _him/her_ in the eyes of their constituents.

   Over time they trade enough influence to be able to direct the legislative agenda, as opposed to being a _part_ of that process. And through it all, not a lot happens to benefit the people whom they are supposed to be serving, because they’re too busy amassing power and influence to stay in office for their own enrichment. But say we institute a two consecutive term limit of four years each, just like the POTUS. There’s a reason for it, and it’s just as valid, if not more so, for all of congress as well.

  By limiting time in office we limit power and influence over the process. _If I have only a finite time frame, I’m more likely to work with you to get what I want than to hold out for a better deal and get nothing done._ Working with shorter terms keeps down the number of “back room” deals from being made, as both/all parties would likely still need to be in power to effect whatever the agreement might be. And there’s likely to be an increase in diversity of thought, commerce and trade, public investment, and rebuilding and modernizing our infrastructure, as well as many other areas useful to the public that is supposed to be the beneficiary of their efforts.

   When one politician gets “entrenched” in power, they tend to have a specific agenda and constituency they pander to, and don’t worry about the rest as long as they keep getting elected. (That feedback loop.) Say that a politician is an ‘energy guy.’ All about the wind, the solar, the geothermal… But there are a thousand more industries and businesses in that state that want an ‘infrastructure guy’ that will fix the dilapidated roads and bridges, but the ‘energy guy’ has the power and the influence, and thus, the money. How do the people now manage to get this guy out? I know the obvious way is to vote, _duhh._ But as a practical exercise that doesn’t happen and those with the most money usually win. But with term limits you have a built-in mechanism by which we ensure that there is an opportunity for other interests in the public sphere to be served. And by only limiting terms “consecutively,” a truly well-serving politician may run again for another two consecutive terms after someone else has served at least one term. This allows those the people _really_ want, an opportunity to return, as well as the opportunity for a shift in focus of the public interest.

   And if we limited the amount of time a politician could be in office, they would in turn limit the amount of money they invest into their campaigns, as well as the money invested by lobbyists and special-interest groups trying to sway and influence them. There’s no profit in dumping in tens of millions of dollars if you’re not going to be in office (should you even win) for long enough to have made it worth your while. There would be a reduction in long-term influence peddling and solicitation that would allow for focus on the issues of governance as opposed to the necessity of the eternal quest for influence and power to stay in office. Term limits would eliminate the buying of political careers and dynasties.

1 thought on “#TermLimitsNOW”

  1. I completely understand and agree with your post. However, you will never get the legislators to pass anything that restricts or hampers they way they are doing business now. So… how does one get term limits passed or even started?

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