Time in Service Feeds Susceptibility to Corruption

22 09 2007
Let’s get the entrenched rascals out!
By: William Robert Barber

It was in President Washington’s second term that political parties and partisan alignment along differing political ideology gained enough contentiousness to set in opposition the interest of party over the interest of nation and its people. One could forecast such inevitability; after all, has not history proven that such an occurrence is part of the DNA of original thesis. Was it not Hegel who suggested thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and then back to thesis as the natural pattern of human behavior? Has not every mainstream religion eventually found or evolved into a cause, a reason, for contentious realignment and the continuance of such realignment into perpetuity? It seems normal therefore that political ideology should follow the same pattern.

Or should a citizen demand a change of pattern; a contrary of the old school of political parties gaining votes for the simple sake of gaining power. Is it possible that those politicians and their patrons, staff, public relation minions, office seekers, lobbyist, and the extended family of obligors could be persuaded to change their behavior? Is it possible for a citizen to demand that the nation and its people retain the primary place of concern and interest and the parties regress into the background of facilitating and administrating?

More than likely not…

The reality is that human behavior has a constant; that constant is conflict. The elected representatives are not immune from this contentious behavior; factually, they maybe more susceptible, since contention is an intrinsic necessity of the election process. The candidate seeking office subjects oneself to a strenuous schedule of appearances, speeches, offerings of every form, opinions and assaults from pundits that are personal, as well as, professional, hurtful slander, ridicule, and of course begging for campaign perseverance money. The salary is not much; but the power, the prestige, the thrust and lift of the office requires no other motivation. This nation state has all the trappings of excess, of opulence, of fame; such, for the elected is an addiction; an elixir that stimulates narcissistic inclinations which in turn invigorates within the being of the nation’s elected representatives an elitist belief of a self deserving right to the power. I think that all human beings are at risk for such inclinations of such erroneous behavior.

As a consequence, it is reasonable to limit, for a lifetime, all elected representatives to two terms of service in one office and no more. Time in service feeds susceptibility to corruption; decades of service breeds confederations of mutual interest within the operational scope of the office holder; term limits rejuvenates the process of legislation and forces the automatic termination of the multitude of the non-elected but empowered. The appointed beneficiaries will also be disengaged allowing a new gene pool to stimulate transparency and broaden the base of experienced leaders from the marketplace to serve their term and return to the marketplace; such action also weakens the bonding strength of political parties and incumbents; it forces professional politicians to go out into the marketplace, deal with the results of legislation and secure an income.

Government and governing has become so complex, enigmatic, abstract, Byzantine, and so full of contextual legalese no one person can understand the very laws debated much less passed; this nation is managed by committee and the committees are managed by shadowy appointed staff with very little transparency. Term limitations is one of the answers to the complex question of how to manage the unmanageable governing of America while at the same time empowering the people not the elected and their political parties




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