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Sound Off On Term Limits

The House has again failed to approve a constitutional amendment to impose term limits. Supporters say limiting how long members of Congress may serve would bring fresh ideas and fresh faces into government. But opponents say it makes no sense to reduce the voters' choices and jettison experienced, capable lawmakers just as they've learned how to navigate the Washington power structure.

What do you think? Should there be a limit on how long legislators may serve? Send us e-mail at editor@AllPolitics.com Be sure to include your name and home town. Here's some of the mail we've received so far.

'We Already Have Term Limits'

I would just like to add my voice to the crowd. Just so no one gets confused, we already have term limits. They come under the heading of elections. If voters do not like candidates they can vote for the opponent. Term limits are unneeded and possibly unconstitutional.

-- Aimee Minick, Feb. 14

'The Only Way'

I was discouraged to hear of the failure by the House to pass term limits legislation. I presently support the enactment of term limits on members of Congress. I am not completely at ease with a law that limits the terms of elected officials. However, we have reached a point of political disaster which mandates drastic measures. You can take nearly every scandal, or problem with our political process, and further, society's problems at large, and argue that they would not have occurred if not for the "career politician"!! Term limits are the only way to effectively terminate career politicians, and their life of "legislating for dollars." Term limits are the most important legislative change that can be enacted! Without it, nothing else will ever change. Is that what you want?

-- John Burke, St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 14

'Don't Vote For Them'

Term limits are another example of some elected officials' attempts to show that the American people are idiots and cannot choose the candidates who they think will best represent them. As in any election, if the you don't like the candidate, incumbent or not, don't vote for them. Artificially limiting a person's opportunity to serve is simply wrong. Good public officials are hard to come by and should not be eliminated from serving. Bad elected officials should be voted out.

-- Eric Leventhal, Flushing, Queens, N.Y., Feb. 14

'Neither Effective Nor Democratic'

I have a somewhat unique perspective on term limits and I oppose them. It appears to me that those advocating term limits are not as concerned about who they themselves elect as their own representative as they are concerned about who others elect. If I, for instance, desire to rid myself of my current representative I have the power to vote him out of office. Such is a quite effective term limitation.

What I do not have, nor do I believe I should have, is power to deny another the right to be represented by whom they may choose. What term limits do, in effect, is to deny others the right to elect who they may choose as their own representative. I see that as neither effective nor democratic.

-- Mike Angwin, Houston, Texas, Feb. 14

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