Term Limits Are Not A Silver Bullet

Over the past few days, I’ve seen a sudden uptick of activity on the Dade County GOP Facebook page with a couple of people expressing their ire over their county’s commissioners proposing another T-SPLOST question to be placed on the May general primary ballot after the last one was defeated in November of 2017.

The timing, it can be argued, is a bit quick since the measure was rejected by 57% of voters who cast ballots this past November.  My advice to those who don’t want it if your elected officials don’t listen to you: vote against the additional tax proposal and then vote them out.  Now, that option isn’t going to be an easy one.

The first part will require organization to urge voters to turn out and vote against the measure.  The second part will involve motivated people qualifying for office, raising money, organizing a campaign, and earning votes.  My recommendation is hard work..especially if you’re planning on running against an incumbent, so what are Facebook activists proposing as a solution? Term limits!

I used to be in favor of term limits.  It sounds good, right?  You limit the number of terms a person can serve in local/state/federal office, so you automatically get new blood.  Well, yes, but we already have term limits…it’s just that they aren’t automatic.  Again, it takes the work of organized people working the phones and pounding the pavement to say why their preferred candidate will do a better job than the incumbent.

If they are successful, a majority will elect the challenger.  If voters are happy with their current election official, then they’ll re-elect the incumbent.  Term limits are a lazy way of “fixing” a problem that can be fixed already with good organization, a good candidate, and a willingness to do the hard work.  It may take one or two elections, but beating an incumbent does happen.

“Most” county offices aren’t on the ballot this year, but, depending on the county, some may be.  Of course, all legislative seats and statewide offices are up for election as well as all of the US House seats.  If you’re not happy with your local, state, or federal representatives, then perhaps it’s your time to step up and offer yourself up as an option to voters.  You won’t know unless you try, but that’s just my opinion.


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