A lot of otherwise intelligent people have been heard calling for two things in recent years, electing non-politicals and term limits. It seems we have little faith in the “politicians” we elect. Either we want the politicians we choose to come from a non-political background, or we want to shorten their stay in Washington to reduce the amount of damage they can do when they get there. Neither solution has any chance of fixing our problems.
What we need are true Public Servants; and if we had that, it wouldn’t matter how long they stay in office.
First, let’s take the flawed longing to have non-politicals running the country. We often lament that the country should be run more like a business. As a consequence, we get someone like ex-president Trump for four years. Ex-president Trump did some good and some not so good during his term. Future history will put him in his rightful place in the pantheon of U.S. Presidents. His record will not be judged here but ask yourselves one question. Did he, as a man, fit the absolutely essential requirement? Was he a dedicated Public Servant? Any honest assessment must find that he was much too self-serving to fully meet our needs. The fact that he was born rich was not the problem so much as his wheeling and dealing in the world of big business and high finance. He was never the man of the people for which many people mistook him. For Donald Trump the ends always justified the means. He campaigned on the promise to Drain the Swamp. That never happened!
What about the other flawed solution, Term Limits?
Recommended: the book Drain the Swamp by former Republican Congressman Ken Buck, especially chapter two in which Mr. Buck reveals how Congressional men and women are corrupted by one or the other of the two political machines as soon as they arrive in Washington. They are treated to an eight day “orientation” of lavish parties and banquets, hobnobbing with all the political elites. The effect is to convince them that they are no longer just an ordinary citizen. Instead, they become convinced that they have made it to a higher level, a realm of privilege far removed from the typical concerns of the average citizen. Either they play along, or they find themselves relegated to unimportant committee assignments with no power to effect any real change. No Term Limit will fix that problem unless the Term Limit is reduced to eight days. Term Limits won’t work, because a shorter term limits the good as well as the corrupt, and the corrupt just have less time to make the elites happy and to secure their own future position as lobbyists.
All of us, if elected, would be susceptible to the same Catch-22.
Proposed: Let’s eliminate influence peddling. Let’s make it easier for Congressional men and women to once again vote according to their consciences. Keep them in their home-states and ban them from trading their votes for future jobs in the elitist private sector.