More On Term Limits
More On Term Limits
Term Limits alone may not eliminate all the conflicts of interest, but they are a necessary first step.
A most obvious example of the corruption caused by a conflict of interest is deficit spending. Our legislators seem so addicted to power that they can not bring themselves to explain to the people the calamity that lies ahead if we continue to spend more than we take in (see Germany in the 1920s and Brazil and Argentina more recently). Talk about a PONZI scheme! And the people don't want to hear it because they are living their lives in just such a scheme--borrowing and spending until the lenders stop lending. Then comes the collapse with tragic losses. While the Ponzi scheme is working, everything seems rosy. Nobody wants to hear about the bad news ahead. They may not "kill the messenger", as people used to do, but they just don't re-elect him/her---which is worse than death for the power-addicted careerist.]
Some have said that, even with term limits, there would still be conflicts of interest, such as catering to big money in order to be hired as their lobbyist after leaving office. But, I wonder will there be any use for lobbyists if terms are limited? The influence lobbyists have is that of money and votes for a re-election. If no re-election, what influence can a lobbyist have?
Some have said that our legislators rightly do what their constituents want them to do. Yes, I understand this, and it scares me. This means that we are being governed by the will of the majority, i.e. the average thinking. And this is democracy's weak spot. Do we really want average thinking to make the decisions which affect our lives? Or do we want above-average, intelligent, informed minds to make such decisions---untainted by any conflicts of interest? Our government was established as a republican (representative) form of government, and we are losing it.
Some have said that under term limits the legislature would consist of a bunch of inexperienced newcomers, and that the power would be in the hands of their staff members who have been there awhile and "know the ropes". While this is true up to a point, any legislator worth his salt should be able to lay out to his/her staff how he/she does business and see to it that he/she gets from them what he/she wants. The game of "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours" is definitely how politics has been played up to now, but it is corrupt and does not have to be this way. Term limits will help correct this, IMO.