By Perry O. Hooper, Jr.
Montgomery – Term limits: President Donald Trump has made it a priority. Polling since 1993 has shown it as the one issue that generations of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents overwhelmingly agree upon. The only groups that consistently oppose term limits are lobbyists, bureaucrats, public sector union members, and the establishment elite incumbent politicians of both parties and their willing allies in the mainstream media. So why are term limits not in place at all levels of government?
Incumbents enjoy an overwhelming advantage in elections and they make the rules. They get re-elected at a 90 percent rate. Members of Congress enjoy large staffs, both in Washington and at home. They are supported in ways challengers can only dream about. They’re paid a good salary, so they don’t have to worry about supporting their families while they campaign. They get to spend their terms campaigning year-round, not just at election time, and they are able to saturate their State or district with mass mailings paid for at taxpayer expense. Their work allows them to build ties to various interest groups and their lobbyist who quite naturally seek out the incumbents and ignore challengers. Absent the staff and the ability to send mail at taxpayer expense, incumbents at the State level enjoy the same advantages.
Roger Sherman wrote at the time of our nation’s founding, “Representatives ought to return home and mix with the people.” By remaining at the seat of government, they would acquire the “habits of the place” which would differ from those of their constituents. In the era of year-round legislative sessions, the only way to achieve that objective is through term limits.
The simple fact is that America is best governed at all level by individuals who are there out of a sense of civic duty who would rather live the majority of their lives in the real world, not in bubbles in Washington and State Capitals. Such individuals would be more willing to serve if the legislative agenda is not being set by others, who’ve gained their authority merely through seniority.
The American voter sent one clear message in November. They are tired of their government acting as master instead of servant. It’s time for real and lasting change.
To restore constitutional balance, we must bring the career politicians home and replace them with patriots ready to make the hard choices and not support the status quo.
Please join me in this effort and let’s Drain the Swamp!