A recent guest editorial in this column said what we need are more leaders who will put doing the right thing over getting re-elected.
It’s funny how long that philosophy has been around but yet it never seems to run rampant.
Of course there is a concept that would make this philosophy easier to embrace. It’s called term limits.
Occasionally a candidate (a non-incumbent, of course) will tout such political ideology. But once elected, that part of his platform just goes away.
As well, it gets mentioned in every barbershop and breakfast club in the country but yet there is never a groundswell of voices demanding such a change.
Quite often, those who do get elected, and those who want to keep them there, will argue that such a concept runs counter to “continuity.” Others wills say that once they got there, they realized the problems that needed solving were much greater than could be addressed with limited terms.
Translation: I really like this job. It pays real well, has unbelievable benefits, and I want to stay as long as possible. Oh yes .... and that continuity thing.
Some pose that the polls offer the voters term limits. And yes, some lawmakers do get turned out each election. But in the meantime they operate as if they will be re-elected ... in other words, protecting their nest. If they knew going in that there was a set departure date, there’s a greater chance they would be taking care of business as opposed to attending to their war chests.
The chances of term limits are slim and none. One reason is that Americans are really not that passionate about their democracy, contrary to what our penchant for wars would suggest.
And there’s a thing called political inertia. A body at rest (dysfunctional) tends to stay at rest ....