As an avid supporter of term limits, I have addressed this subject in this column many times over the years and have received some valid and sensible opposition to my opinion.
The basic counter argument is that the bi-yearly or quad-yearly elections serve as term limits, as the voters have a chance to replace any candidate, but if they are doing a good job for their state, congressional district or whatever, why should they be removed from office just because they have served a prescribed amount of terms?
Well, one rebuttal is fairly obvious and the other more obscure. We will explore both.
The obvious one is, at least in my view, the system was not designed for career politicians who become so entrenched, so jaded and so out of touch with their constituency, so influenced by lobbyists and special interest groups, that they develop a serious case of self-serving tunnel vision. Many times they are in lock step with their party to the detriment of those they're elected by, who would be so much better served to remove that person and replace them with somebody fresh out of society who is actually in touch with what is happening at the street level now, not twenty years ago.
The only time most of these old mossbacks go back home is at election time or to participate in some media heavy event, or attend the funeral of a prominent person.
The only thing they know about what is happening in their districts is what they read in the newspaper, and that's something they don't have to worry about because being part of the in crowd assures them plenty of campaign funds and enough cosmetic federal projects in their state to insure their reelection.
Secondly, the longer a person stays in power, the more tentacles the establishment wraps around them and the more times they sell off little pieces of their soul in support of something they know is not good for the country.
And that's just the tip or the iceberg, or maybe we should say the scab on the abscess.
As they become more and more of a rubber stamp for the power players, they become part of the club of elitists who keep tabs on where the bodies are buried and what vulnerabilities can be taken advantage of.
They become adept at helping to intimidate any new members who are brash enough to think outside the party lines, and the machine rolls on.
This is a nonpartisan situation. Both parties have made an art form out of it. They’re extremely competent and devilishly devious at proliferating the power structure that passes from generation to generation of elected officials on state and federal levels.
And don't get the idea that graft always comes in the form of cash.
Lobbyists are always good for tickets with favorable seating at sporting events, concerts or other happenings, not to mention picking up the tab for wining and dining at exclusive restaurants.
And of course there are the occupational rewards, a seat on a coveted committee or appropriations to fund some vote-getter project or useless study back in the home state for those who play ball by the establishment rules.
And for those who don’t, those who go to the seats of power with stars in their eyes, sick of what they see happening and wanting to effect change, there is nothing but the cold shoulder. There is no plumb committee seats, no reelection money, no campaigning by party big shots when election rolls around.
Currently, there seems to be a groundswell against establishment politics, not just in America, but around the world.
I truly don’t know if it’s reached the point of the electorate in this country, realizing that to effect any real change the whole deck has to be reshuffled, that the entrenched political bosses and power players need to come home and go to work for a living.
I guess we'll find out in this next election cycle whether we'll get a fresh bunch of horses or stick with the same old ponies and their jaded fraternity who treat our tax money like their own personal piggy bank and drag us a little further down the slope of no return.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.