The argument for term limits is simple. The United States today has some of the most corrupt politicians in the history of Western-style democracy.
We have a U.S. senator whose family has netted hundreds of millions of dollars from business deals in China as she made repeated official trips to that country as part of her alleged duties on behalf of the American people.
The senator in question, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has been in office since 1992. She will be 91 years old and will have occupied a Senate seat for 32 years when her latest six-year term expires in 2024.
On the other side of the aisle, Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch was finally dragged kicking and screaming from his Senate perch after a staggering 42-year run. The man is 84 years old and has spent exactly half his long life there. Hatch dearly wanted to run again but was talked out of it to make way for establishment entity Mitt Romney (R-UT).
America did not need 42 years of Orrin Hatch.
Putrid Status Quo
Philosophical opponents of term limits might have a point if our current electoral system wasn’t so thoroughly rotted to the core by big money and influence. The plague of the career politician is every bit as much a tribute to the ungodly power corporate and other super-wealthy moneyed players currently have in selecting our elected officials as it is to the sad class of bought puppets ostensibly representing us today.
Even strident opponents of President Trump agreed with his astute campaign criticism of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates for Big Dollar purchasing of our electoral seats.
“When you give, [politicians] do whatever the hell you want them to do,” then-candidate Trump said of our broken system.
“I would think 18 years is plenty of time to serve your country in Congress.”
We desperately need to change this system down to the root. Campaign finance reform is surely one way. But term limits can be another effective solution to end the cushy existence of the career politician.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) have introduced a bill for a constitutional amendment to restrict senators to two six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms. Rooney sums up the logic behind this move with one unassailable sentence: “I would think 18 years is plenty of time to serve your country in Congress.”
That cuts to the chase. Our Founding Fathers never had an Orrin Hatch in mind when they came up with our model of government.
“Well, the Founders never envisioned a professional political class,” Rooney explained to Fox News about his proposal. “They envisioned, like Thomas Jefferson, people come off of their farm or leave their business, do public service, and go home and have some new people come in with fresh ideas.
“This is a better way than having these entrenched politicians who are too aligned with special interests over a period of years.”
Power to Die For
We have politicians literally dying in office like popes these days. Are they doing this because they just can’t stop themselves from serving their country or, far more likely, because they represent established pyramids of money and power they must cling to like horseflies on a cow pie?
Tenure issues with Supreme Court justices may be slightly different, but can anyone honestly say Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is doing a service for her country by holding tenaciously to her seat despite severe health problems that have diminished her mental and physical durability?
When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) ran for re-election in 2016 at the age of 80, after having served on Capitol Hill for 34 years, primary challenger Kelli Ward, a licensed physician, stated there was a strong possibility he would die before his term was over. She was criticized heavily for this in certain circles.
McCain was re-elected and died in office two years later.
What exactly did the people of Arizona and the United States gain from those two extra years of establishment goliath McCain? How much will it cost to hold the special election to replace him?
We are losing our country to an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration as cozy career politicians enjoy the spoils of power that come with a playing field heavily tilted to incumbency in the era of Big Money.
We all know and seemingly shrug off the fact that our politicians are carrying water for cartel crony interests who are doing severe harm to the sovereignty of this nation. True acts of treason are performed routinely at the expense of the American people. Feinstein is hardly unique.
If we are not at the point where we can bring our thoroughly corrupted politicians to some form of justice for their crimes, at least we can mitigate the damage they cause. Term limits are one practical way to do this.