“Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.”
–George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788
How sad it is to declare that quotation untrue today. Most of our elected representatives at the federal level never return “to the general mass of the people to participate in the burdens” of their former constituents. The cling desperately to their offices and linger there, often for decades, amassing great wealth and influence so that, when they do leave office, they take with them their generous pensions and their riches. Later they find wonderful opportunities as lobbyists and influence peddlers having never more anything to do with the gullible folks who voted them into office time after time.
I have always opposed term limits, finding such limitations opposed to the will of the people. But, I have reconsidered and feel that now is the time to limit all elected representatives at the federal level to two terms. The present downward spiral of the republic towards bankruptcy and chaos makes the 2010 elections so crucial. We must elect everyday people and stop the influx of lawyers in congress. These folks write legislation that only they can understand assuming that they actually read what has been written. Our framers assumed that our representatives would come from the mass of ordinary people; farmers, workers, teachers, clergy, physicians etc.; that these folks would come to Washington, do the people’s business and go home to “share the burdens” of the populace in their districts and states.