In Simple Terms
By BOBBIE McAULIFFE
“When you assemble a group of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with them all of their prejudices, their passions, their errors of judgment, their local interests and their selfish views.”
Those were the words of Benjamin Franklin on Sept. 17, 1787 during the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. when the Constitution of the United States was crafted and adopted.
A lot of people believe the founders thought legislators would serve a short term and then return to private life and live by the laws they had enacted, but term limits were not put into the Constitution.
In fact the United States Congresspeople and Senators are term limited. Congress people stand for re election every two years and U.S. Senators every six years but most keep getting re elected until they retire.
Two Republican candidates seeking the Oklahoma Congressional District 2 seat being vacated by Dan Boren have pledged to term limit themselves and not serve more than six years. George Faught offers legislative experience and is a small business owner. He actually works when the legislature is not in session. Markwayne Mullin has built and operates a very successful plumbing contracting business.
When asked about self imposed term limits, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins told an Associated Press reporter that he is opposed because it prevents a congressman from achieving enough seniority and influence to benefit their home state.
My thoughts are that “seniority and influence” equals power and we are all familiar with the phrase “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
That brings to mind the words of our 20th President. Two years before he was elected James Garfield wrote:
“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.”
Those words easily apply today too.
As elections are fast approaching, I said all of that to say this: Do your homework before you go to the polls and VOTE ISSUES, NOT PERSONALITIES when you get there.