Enough is Enough It’s Time to Let Someone Else Serve

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Legislative service, playing politics, being a professional congressman, when did political office become a full time job? Up until the early 20th century, representatives have in large only served two terms in office. Serving in the legislative body for representatives has become a profession that has excluded itself from the community that has elected them. Does anything in the Constitution preclude term limitations? Our Founding Fathers did not include term limits when writing the Constitution. This could have been an oversight, and maybe it was deliberate. According to Jay Newton-Small, “When American democracy was being formed, many of its founders, including Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, supported congressional term limits, ‘to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress,’ as Jefferson wrote”(Newton-Small 1). Setting term limits for public offices encourages popular participation, prevents politicians from acting solely to maintain rather than advance their offices, and helps prevent political corruption. Term limits would make Congress more responsive to the people as a whole and their constituents who elected them. At one time politicians dreaded the thought of long service in office. According to Issit, “Term limits were originally conceived as a way to ensure that citizen representatives, rather than professional politicians, led the government. They were also designed to protect against the development of authoritarian regimes” (Issitt 1). If term limits for all federal offices are to be established, constitutional amendments will be necessary and will therefore require the support o... ... middle of paper ... ...protecting their corporate contributions and self preservation than the public health, safety and service. Sundquist, James L. "Constitutional Reform." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. Ed. Leonard W. Levy and Kenneth L. Karst 2nd Ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: MacMillan Reference USA, 2000. 650-651, Gale Virtual Reference Library Separation of powers and checks and balances reflect the fact that the Constitution probably has the most difficult amending process of any constitution in the world. In the normal process, an amendment must be approved by two-thirds of each house of Congress and then be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. This makes the process of having term limits voted on by a majority almost impossible. And structural amendments redistribute power and hence create winners and losers among the political blocs.

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