On Term Limits

David Pfau at American Thinker speaks out against term limits:

The idea of term limits has a lot in common with many other snake-oil cures for our governmental problems. The support of term limits is illogical. A fixed tenure simply restricts the exercise of political power to a certain period of time, be it short or long.

How does a fixed tenure affect the mind of the politician? Will a vampire at dusk refrain from seeking a victim because he must retire before the sun rises? Will a Good Samaritan decide to rob a weary traveler because he will never see him again? Does anyone really believe that term limits will turn serpents into saints? Or that term limits will prevent a saint from turning into a serpent?

When a serpent is discovered in the garden, the voters must simply chop his head off with a sharp ballot. If voters could find people whose reason for seeking office was to uphold the Constitution we would not hear any calls for term limits or fair taxes or flat taxes or con-cons etc.

No, term limits will not prevent a corrked politician from being crooked. And it may keep a good politician from staying in office longer. But it will prevent career politicians. It will prevent men whose only role in life is to legislate others, men who have no other marketable skills or real-world experience, from staying in office for decades influencing government policy. It will prevent incumbents from winning re-electing year after year through name recognition and sheer momentum, and it will help to mitigate the long term attraction of corruption or complacency that can settle in when holding an office for that long. And it will force the people to analyze and consider just who they should select to represent them on a regular basis, instead of voting for an incumbent “just because we always have.”


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