15 December 2014
When President Washington essentially stepped down as President of the United States in 1797, he cemented the legacy of the Presidency as one of incredible power, for a limited amount of time. This would not be country ruled as a monarchy or through dynasties. This same line of logic and reasoning is one of the building blocks to where my conclusion lies: Term limits should be adopted for Congress.
Nearly 90% of incumbents of Congressmen win their next election. (Gerston, Christensen, 29) And almost ironically enough, Congress has nearly a 10% approval rate. This makes it all the more difficult for fresh blood and new, innovative people and ideas to be infused into Congress. It could also potentially make election cycles more enthralling and important to the average American. Americans are widely known for their lackluster support during elections and even more so, during the midterm election cycles. According to a report from FairVote.org, presidential elections feature around a 55 percent turnout, while midterm elections tend to hover around a dismal 40 percent. The lowest previous turnout in midterms was 39 percent. One common attribution for the disappointing low voter turnout is the public’s loss of faith in the political system and the candidates. Conceded, there are more factors in play but the requirement to have new, fresh faces each election cycle could very plausibly ensure a more invigorated, passionate voter base.
The type of election impacts the percent of Americans that cast their ballots, where presidential elections attract far more voters than midterm elections. For example, in the U.S. presidential election of 2008, voter turnout was 61 percent, according to The New York Times.
Then-Senator Obama burst onto the scene, providing a much-necessitated change of pace, promising new ideas and truly inspiring the country, both for and against him. Widespread excitement for term limits is shared amongst a majority of men, women, blacks, whites, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, by 60 percent or better (New York Times, April 2010.)
Many people believe that if representative is not doing a good job of representing the people, than he or she can be simply voted out. (Aldrich, 104) However, it is not that simple. When it comes to campaigns, money plays a massive factor in determining the victor. Campaign ads and events play a massive role during the election period and the more campaign ads being circulated and the more events completed, the higher the chance of winning an election. Although the person with the most money doesn’t always win, a person who is well funded stands a stronger chance of winning. Many candidates cannot afford to run a full-scale campaign as the costs are simply too demanding. What most candidates do for money is simply ask for donations and do fundraising events. However, the average American citizen do not tend donate significant monetary funds, if at all. All of the large donations usually come from affluent corporations or interest groups, which is where the problem lies. If a congressman or congresswoman does well in representing the interest of large businesses and interest groups, then it will be exponentially tougher for another candidate to win. Most new candidates simply can’t keep up with the funding that most incumbents have. Congressmen and congresswomen receive a plentitude of campaign funds from donations and donations are not free. If a candidate does not represent the interest of a large business or interest group, than the large business or interest group will simply fund the opposing candidate or create an attack campaign. It forces congress representatives to face a very difficult decision: either accept the money that will greatly increase their chances of re-election, or decline the money and anger the deep-pocket donors who will funnel money against them which will heavily reduce their chances of…