TJR readers might be surprised that, as a Conservative Republican, I oppose term limits.
"But why?", you might ask, as many people view term limits as a surefire way to get career politicians out of office.
Here are my reasons.
1) Term limits are an unconstitutional limit on the candidates freedom.
I personally think that anyone should be able to run for any office, anywhere.
Let the voters decide!!
We live in what is considered to be the worlds best democracy. To not let the voters have a wide variety of choices on the ballot is unfair and runs contrary to our cherished beliefs.
If a candidate is doing a good job, and his voters like him, why should he be forced out? This type of interference with any other job position would be actionable in court. Why do it in politics?
We already have term limits. It's called an election.
Even people I despise, like Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank certainly have the right to run for office if they choose. Their voters are dumb for re-electing them, but that is their choice to make.
Term limits were created by people who have the wrong ideas. They think that getting people out of an elected position on term limits actually helps. Not really...
2) Term limits cause more harm than good.
Voters have instituted a policy that causes negative behaviors from political figures. If you remember the characters from the above photos, Richard "Fredo" Alarcon and Paul "Lord Voldemort" Krekorian, you would understand the damage of term limits. Career politicians are constantly eyeing each others jobs in a non-stop merry go round of job hopping that makes no sense and ends up costing taxpayers millions of dollars as they cause special election after special election.
Krekorian and Alarcon both gave the voters of their districts the middle finger salute, as they abandoned new jobs in the State Legislature to run for seats on the Los Angeles City Council. Krekorian and Alarcon had just barely started their terms when they jumped at the chance for a different job. The LA City Council jobs allow a three term performance, guaranteeing the elected official the shot at a 12 year run there. Unfortunately, both of these evil career politicians was able to win their seat, despite their hateful, disloyal behavior towards their voters.
3) Term limits cause a lack of accountability and enormous financial damage.
Politicians who are being termed out have no reason to behave in a rational, accountable manner. They often start voting for nonsensical personal legislation, or start doling out public money and positions to theirs buddies, families, and supporters. I watched Richard Alarcon put his daughter on the Taxicab Commission, even though she admitted that she was still attending Law School in Washington DC at the time!
Alarcon acted without fear...because he cannot be re-elected to his City Council seat.
Other politicians have acted just as destructively as Alarcon, if not more so.
"If I can't come back", they figure, "why not burn the place to the ground on the way out?".
It is an unforeseen consequence of what voters originally thought was good idea.
If the current City Council Members win their re-elections in March, most of them will not have to face voters again. They will go on a destructive spending rampage that will make our current financial problems look like a picnic.