Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | October 20, 2010

Cleaning Up Washington

I read an article a few weeks ago discussing how there has become a ruling class in this country.  This ruling class is more than just Democrats, it includes many Republicans.  If you’ve spent any time over the last few weeks listening to Rush Limbaugh, Tea Partiers or Glenn Beck you’ve probably heard them talk about the “ruling class” or “establishment politicians.”  The politicians that fall into this class are people like Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Barney Frank or Robert Byrd, politicians that have served in Congress for decades many of them for the majority of their lives.  To them politics is not just about public service, it’s a career (and a lucrative one at that).  While many talk about reducing corruption or implementing tighter ethics regulations I think there may be a solution that would help alleviate the problem without relying on Congress to police itself.  My solution is to implement term limits.

Think about it.  We implemented term limits for the President after FDR ruled for over 10 years!  The country realized the dangers of allowing a politicians to stay in office for too long.  There’s just too much power to gain.  Allowing a politician to remain in the same post for so long creates problems and establishes a ruling class–exactly what the Founders wanted to avoid.  Unfortunately, they did not include term limits in the Constitution.  Part of the reason they did not was their views on public service.  To them elected office was a civic duty and a reward in itself.  Washington even advocated not taking a salary if one could afford to live without it.  They never considered we’d have Senators and Representatives “serving” for 40+ years and lining their pockets considerably well…

After FDR we came to our senses and formalized the precedent Washington set; however, the 22nd Amendment does not place these same restrictions on members of Congress.  I think term limits should be placed on Congress.  I would give Representatives 3 terms or 6 years, while Senators would get 2 terms.  This would allow them ample time to learn the position and be effective, yet not long enough to gain so much power and influence.  If Congress did not have to perpetually worry about re-election they could govern according to their conscience.  As it is now, their livelihood depends on re-election so they do whatever they can to survive politically.  This creates a ruling class disconnected from the country.  This political elite needs to be thrown out and term limits would help do that.

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Responses

  1. Well said. There is another way to limit them as well and I heard the state of Virginia does this but haven’t confirmed it. Let them serve a term, force them to take a term off, and then when it comes time to elect someone again, allow them to run. Make them earn that seat back. If they really did what the people wanted, they’ll win it back. If not, well, I guess they didn’t do what the people wanted. This does create a lot of turnover though, which some may see as a problem. I don’t though. The less experience they have, the less they can do, and the freer we remain.

  2. This is a great solution. If only our politians could have the moral compass our Forefathers had we wouldn’t have to worry about it!


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