Creating term limits within the House of Representatives and Senate in the United States would leave our country in chaos. Certain demographics can attest to these facts and are aware of the state that term limits would provide us with. We believe that our country was designed by our Founding Fathers to run slowly and smoothly. If it was meant to change rapidly, we would be at a constant risk of confusion and disorder. Looking forward, we want to understand the demographics of those who are in support of our cause, and those who need convincing.
A demographic that we found which is quite obviously against the idea of term limits and therefore the easiest to motivate would be those in current political positions. Politicians have the most understanding for how the government works and has historically been run. They understand the complexities of our government’s rules and regulations. New legislatures that are elected are inexperienced and unaware of direly important information, which is known by those in current positions due to their years and years of experience. In an article by Stanley Caress, a political science professor, he states, “The legislators elected after term limits were imposed often lack knowledge of the details of many complex policies and turn to lobbyists for information” (Caress, U.S. News). The legislative body knows how difficult it is to maintain a healthy government and is allowed the right to create their own rules in order to promote good for the country (U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 8).
Another crucial demographic that is in support of consistent legislative terms are the politician’s donors, and generally white males. Legislatures in the House and Senate need money in order to get votes. People who have invested their time and money into the current politicians, typically people in economic power, have high expectations that their stake will be preserved by current members in the House and Senate. “Money is a major factor in who will win an election. Incumbents have the benefit of the profits they made while in power — plus the backing of their party, contributing organizations and special interests — to get re-elected” (Weeks, Arguments Against Term Limits). Money realistically is a factor that makes the world go round, and any benefits of legislatures are going to note that.
A demographic that we have encountered as difficult to motivate is the younger generation of educated voters. Most typically, we see Republicans as more likely to oppose term limits than Democrats, discussed in our last post. We realize that many voters want new and fresh minds in the House and Congress, however, they neglect to see that term limits lead to more volatility and instability. It is within our human nature to challenge the status quo. If we don’t like something, we should fix it. However, we believe it is crucial that we push Americans with that mind set in the opposite direction for this case. In a 2015 Gallup poll, it was concluded that younger generations of Americans (under 30) and older Americans (over 65) both gave 74% approval of term limits (Fund, National Review). It is critical that these demographics see the issue at hand, which is the lack of knowledge that newcomers in the legislature hold. The federal government is more complicated than any of us truly know. In order to promote interest and understanding for the young demographic, we will need to show hard evidence that current House and Senate representatives are doing the job they are meant to do.
Caress, Stanley M. Term Limits Don’t Work.
Fund, John. The Return of Term Limits.
Ryan, Josiah. Senate Rejects Term Limits in 24-75 Vote.
“The Constitution of the United States,” Article 1, Section 8.
Weeks, Bob. Arguments Against Term Limits.