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The president has a term limit of four years and can only be elected to two consecutive terms at a time. So why doesn’t that apply to Congress. It’s quite simple, the US Constitution doesn’t allow it. At this time the Constitution is under consideration to be amended, and largely because congressional term limits seem to be needed. The idea that Congress shall exist without anything close to a term limit seems ludicrous to many people regardless of the ‘skills’ that certain Congress members seem to possess. Instead, congress members seem to be settling into their positions much like a tick will settle into the skin of a deer, happily feeding off the host while remaining nearly impossible to remove until a way is devised to simply pluck them out.

That might seem harsh and even less than complimentary to those that are supposed to serve our nation, but therein lies the issue. Serving the nation is the responsibility of the US government and all those that exist within it. Unfortunately it would seem that many of those within Congress have forgotten just who serves who as they’ve been living a rather charmed life while growing rich off of the same people they are bound to serve. But enough of the personal rant, as there are some serious pros and cons of term limits that need to be explored before go any further.

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Pros

  • It’s a wonder that anyone would dare state that there is no corruption in Congress. Unfortunately the absence of term limits tends to open the door to the service of self-interest as the people are all but forgotten. By setting term limits it becomes possible to remind members of congress that their position is to help others, not line their own pockets.
  • The idea of becoming a member of Congress is not meant to be a career, but instead a desire to help people and to make this country something greater. It is not meant to be a perpetual job that is kept due to the high pay.
  • Bringing in new members can shake things up from time to time, as is needed in any system such as government. New ideas can prevent stagnation of government and thereby move the nation forward rather than keeping it where it remains.
  • The money is a big part of the problem. Congress members tend to think more of their pocket and how full it can become rather than the needs of the people, or at least it seems this way. Term limits might not stop the money flow, but it could shift the thinking of Congress members to the people as is needed.

Cons

  • It’s not the democratic way. Despite the desired good it would do term limits might cause those that have done some good to step down long before their best plans could come to fruition.
  • The more experience a Congress member has the better equipped they are to make the hard decisions and to effect change. At this point they have gained the trust of the people. While it might eliminate those that are corrupt and morally bankrupt it would also hinder those that are truly attempting to change things for the better.
  • It’s hard to trust those that are still new to the job and have yet to be proven. Relationships such as those between the people and their elected representatives take time to build, and term limits might make this impossible.

While it’s hard to deny that the cons do tend to at least come close to balancing out the pros, the truth is that while Congress has become more like a snake pit than a truly democratic and mindful government entity, simply throwing everyone out is a scary proposition. That America has become dependent upon those that have dug their hooks into the fabric of the country is unfortunate, but term limits would at the very least eliminate the opportunity for those out for their own fortunes to cling to their positions for longer than is necessary. But once again, the future is a bit frightening in lieu of their possible removal.

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