News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Excessive tenure of elected officials must end

I have been an advocate of term limits for as long as I can remember.

The thought sickens me that members of Congress are allowed to serve so long — like the late Senator Strom Thurman (R) for 48 years, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, (D) 34 years, Senator Mitch McConnell, (R) 36 years, Lindsey Graham (R) 30 years, and we can’t forget Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D), 30 years. The list goes on and on.

There is no need here or little point in taking time to delineate why we need term limits; that is obvious or should be obvious. Forty-eight years at any job is too long.

The lack of term limits is the root cause of our problem with our political discourse, where the consequences have led us to our current divisiveness. The longer a politician stays in office the more he or she believes in the total party line, leaving no room for doubt. Those politicians firmly believe they are 100 percent right, thus leaving the other side as 10 percent wrong.

Common sense tells me nothing, nothing can be 100 percent right, not even the difference between black and white; there is always a shade of grey in every argument.

The resultant effect (unintentionally or maybe intentionally), separates the politician from the issues, thereby making issues a separate matter. The politicians are one entity and the issues are another, consequently making issues a secondary matter to the politician’s all-important reelection.

“The American People” that politicians so care about don’t really get a chance to vote on issues; we get to vote for a politician that claims he/she will get it done. The longer the politician’s tenure the more likely they are to be under the influence of the lobbyists who control Washington.

The two leading parties’ platforms mandate it’s all or nothing. This leaves compromise and common sense totally out of the equation when debating these issues.

Again, the root cause of our demise is excessive tenure of politicians, fueled by partisanship.

The adding of term limits requires a Constitutional amendment. The approach that most have taken, in an attempt to amend the Constitution has always required Congressional cooperation. That’s tantamount to asking a fox to willingly give up his seat guarding the chicken house.

There are literally hundreds of groups and organizations that propose solutions to this older-than-dirt problem; most of these are out of control bureaucracies themselves. Each one of these depends on outside public donations to first, exist, and secondly to fund their cause. The executive boards of these varying organizations all have paid administrators.

These elaborate groups are created with the sole purpose of filling the pockets of these administrators with lucrative salaries from money collected from you the naive public. Hence, these political leaches are no more or no less than lobbyists themselves.

I have never been as pessimistic as I am today about the future of our country. Regardless of who wins in November or which party takes Congress, we are facing the worst political upheaval America has ever seen.

You are a partisan if you truly believe that Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are not equally as dangerous as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. You are a typical American voter when your choice is the lesser of two evils.

These people should have served no more than 20 years maximum, combined they’ve been there 130 years.

To get this done we need the unity of the people, not Congress, within both parties working on one issue together — that issue: excessive tenure of elected officials must end.

We are “The People” within a republic who should resolve this issue. We need a solution to this nightmare. How can we get this done?


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