As I write the last installment to this series, I would like to extend my thanks to the Seguin Gazette for running these political opinion pieces every week. I realize allowing all opinions to be heard is rather rare in the media world today, so I appreciate the Gazette allowing mine to be heard. Now, as promised, I would like to offer my solution to the problem of long-serving politicians.
Penn Jillette once said, “I don’t believe the majority knows what’s best for everyone.” This is why voting is a double-edged sword to begin with. Laws are written by the few for the masses. Every time Congress convenes, your rights, your freedom and your money are at risk. Every time a politician gets reelected, the disconnect between that politician and his constituents grows. I realize this sounds awfully pessimistic, but greed in politics prevails. Lobbyists exist because politicians can be swayed. And with politicians typically being concerned about reelection, money talks.
As discussed a couple of weeks ago, Congressional elections are a rigged game. Incumbents win most of the time because of things like gerrymandering and being in the pockets of corporate interests. The ideal of “by the people, for the people” is now merely a soundbite from the past.
We often hear about how a particular politician is “experienced”, as if that is somehow a good thing. In my opinion, that should be a red flag. A politician who is experienced is no martyr. They are not staying in the game for your sake. They have learned to play the game well enough to convince voters they are being represented, while lining their pockets with the influence they peddle. There can be no other explanation for why millions are spent to win a job the pays shy of $200K.
In the first installment, I mentioned that many of these issues are not the fault of the voters. However, I think there is one big way that all voters can put a quick end to this scam. You can still vote along your party lines if you wish. Or, as seems to be common today, you can still vote against the “other guys”. You don’t even need to be informed on all the issues during an election. All every voter really needs to do to stop career politicians is to stop voting for incumbents. Nothing more.
I can already hear the groan of objection to this idea. But imagine how this one simple concept would revolutionize the game of politics. First, no politician would even worry about reelection funding. Lobbyists would quickly lose their influence. The fairy tale of grassroots politics could actually become a reality.
The people that do get elected will be much more motivated to get their objectives accomplished quickly. A single term forces focus on what is important. A fresh group of representatives working together every other session makes the “backroom deal” all but obsolete. Partisanship could be replaced with ethical voting. The will of the people could become a priority. If this rule was extended to primary voting, we wouldn’t even need to vote against an incumbent on the ballot in the general election.
Who needs term limits? I have the power of my vote. You have the power of your vote. Together we can end the quagmire that is politics, once and for all. Will you join me?