Friday, August 14, 2009

As long as I’m breaking my own rules . . .

Jack K got me going on this topic. It’s HIS fault. Blame him.

One of my blog rules is that I won’t post about certain topics. Like religion. Oh, I have strong ideas about the subject, and very strong personal beliefs.

But who cares, right? Am I going to convince anyone by preaching what I believe? Probably not.

Some will agree, and some won’t. The ones who disagree will be the ones most likely to comment. Why? Because they’ll want to argue their own, differing beliefs. They are JUST as convinced they’re right as I’m convinced I am.

Will either one of us persuade the other to change? HA! Do pigs fly? (No, let’s not argue that one either.)

Another hot topic I try to leave alone is politics. Same reason as religion (see above).

Last post, I quoted President Reagan’s, “Never say never.” And then I said never. Broke my own rule.

So in this post I’m going to break another rule and venture into one aspect of politics I believe in; and I’m sure I won’t convince ANYONE to change his or her own mind on the subject.

What got me going on this? Like I said, Jack K did. In a comment on my last post he said at the end, “Wouldn't be interesting in the next election if every, and I mean EVERY incumbent were voted out? Hmmmm.”

My response is that it would not only be interesting, it would happen EVERY election if we just had . . . are you ready for it? . . . TERM LIMITS!

Most people think term limits are a short-sighted attempt to get rid of the “bad” politicians. They quickly retort, “Oh, but then we’d lose the good ones as well as the bad. That wouldn’t help.”

However, a longer look at the concept will show you that term limits for all elected officials would have a huge, profound effect on much of what ails our representative system. It would remove the seniority system for committee appointments and committee chair assignments. The relationships developed over multiple terms between elected officials and lobbyists, and special interest groups, and well-heeled constituents, just wouldn’t develop. Or they’d have to develop very quickly and they wouldn’t last very long.

Our politicians could, for once, be honest with us! Why? Term limits would remove the one key factor that motivates most officials to play both sides of the street, to spin everything to try to please everyone. That key motivating factor is the desire to get re-elected! They wouldn’t do ANYTHING just to get more votes. They might vote a certain way to get a payoff, although that could land them in jail, but they might . . . just MIGHT . . . vote a certain way because they believe in it, or because they are convinced it’s best for the people they represent, or for the country.

Wouldn’t THAT be refreshing!

Where in our constitution are the guidelines for the power structure that has developed within the legislature? How do one or two senators or representatives gain the power to control blocks of votes? Is that what our founding fathers envisioned?

Ooooo. I sound like I’m getting passionate here, don’t I?

Not a very “romantic” rambling, eh?

That’s the trouble with breaking rules—once you start, it’s hard to stop.


Christina said...


jan said...

The Founding Fathers never envisioned a situation where being a Washington lawmaker was a lifelong career or they would have set term limits.

The problem now is that everyone wants term limits "except for my guy, my guy is great."

kenju said...

Careful, John. Now that you've let the cat out of the bag, you'll soon be blogging about all the taboo subjects! LOL

Duke_of_Earle said...

Frankly all, I agree most with Christina!

Nankin said...

I don't discuss politics or religion either for the same reasons you state. I do think term limitaions is an excellent idea, but I'm just waiting for a new law that allows the president to stay in office indefinetly. There's a reason presidential terms are limited.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Right you are, Nan! It's the same reason that all elected officials ought to have VERY limited terms. Most people who run for office are either already lusting for power and prestige, or they seem to quickly catch the bug. Then their incumbency is spent grasping for more power and prestige, losing sight (if they ever had it) of the people who put them there in the first place. Sure, there are some "good ones." But I'd submit that there are a lot more good ones out there who would campaign on PRINCIPLES, and then stand by them for their limit of one or (at most) two terms. But then I'm naive and idealistic. What do I know?