I have been against term limits. I figured that voters could choose whomever they wanted and that term limits were an encroachment on freedom.
But now I think that I was dead wrong. The problem has become that we have developed into a gerontocracy. It has become increasingly difficult for newcomers to even challenge the “old dogs.”
In other words, the electoral playing field is simply not level, and this is shown in high relief by all the old and decrepit people in Congress. They are NOT citizens who are willing to leave their normal lives and serve a term or two, but people whose career aim is to be richly nourished off the public teat. For fame and (especially) fortune,
The result is the kind of people this attracts. Not people looking to “serve the country for a spell,” but people whose aim it is to be a rich, long-term petty celebrity. For their whole lives.
I think there are two ways to change this (and maybe only two ways).
The first way is term limits. You can serve maybe four terms in the House and two in the Senate. But that’s it. That is, combined, 30 years. And that is enough. AND, there is a mandatory retirement, let’s say, at the first election after you turn 75, regardless of how long you’ve been an elected official.
Already, some state governors get term-limited out! So this is by no means a strange new thing to impose.
The second way is to de-centralize the lawmakers. You won? Congrats. Now here is your VPN, money for an office and security, a secure cell phone, and a phone number for 24-hour tech support. Thank you for your service.
We’ll fund a trip three times a year for you and your staff to fly into DC and meet with your colleagues. But you LIVE in the district that elected you.
Suddenly, a completely different breed of people want to (and are willing to) serve. And lobbyist power is GREATLY diminished. The country is hugely hardened against a decapitation strike. And governance gets much closer to the people.
An additional measure is to move many government agencies out of DC and environs. They simply don’t need to be there, and it is a big security risk to have them there.
So you work for the Agriculture Department? Well, welcome to Iowa, my friend!