Elected representatives: public servants, not career politicians

When the Constitution was written, serving as an elected representative in the Executive and the Legislative branches was deemed a public servant’s role.  Today the positions have become careers.  Politics should not be a career field, political science is a career field.

The United States was built on elected officials from within the community culture that elected them.  Sadly, elected officials now see their ‘jobs’ as careers not a public service.

Remember amendment 22 that limited the president’s term (published below).  Look at the year it was ratified–1951.  I find a need to reconsider term limits not just for the elected executives in our federal and state governments, but for the legislative branches.  Our elected public servants seem to ignore the intent of the constitution.

Political science is a career field.  The product is professional analysis.  Political scientists study the culture, the sociology, the numerical data, and the myriad of influences that affect government.  It includes the geography, the leadership, the social standards, and virtually any factor that affects the way a people manage their government–not just United States government.

If our government functioned as a public service rather than politicians who make a career of manipulating decisions along party lines rather than for the good of the COUNTRY, maybe work could actually be accomplished in a timely, positive manner.

Here are a couple of recommendations:

  1.  Term limits for all elected officials:  2 terms for Senators (12 years total); 4-5 terms for Representatives (8-10 years total)  This is for the federal legislative branch, but should be included for the state level.
  2. Salary and benefits need to be re-evaluated:  There is no question that a reasonable salary and benefit package is appropriate for the duration of the legislator’s tenure, but to continue a fully-funded benefit package (esp. health insurance) once the tenure is completed is not appropriate.  (Join the rest of the citizens in managing benefits when forced to change jobs.)

Once a legislator’s tenure is completed, that individual returns to the public sector.  Much like those who are in the military reserves or the National Guard, they could be re-assimilated into their last jobs.  There should be no penalty for stepping up to serve as an elected official.  Additionally, there should be no penalty should the ex-legislator benefit from the experience by writing books, serving as lecturers, or otherwise capitalize on the PUBLIC SERVICE they have provided.

Naturally this promotes a paradigm shift for the country, but in light of the current mood of the general public for the work of the government, it is time.  If we complain, we must find an better way.  These are two of my recommendations.

Amendment 22

(Ratified February 27, 1951)

Presidents Limited to Two Terms

  1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
  2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three- fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

[Accessed on February 10. 2018 at http://nccs.net/online-resources/us-constitution/amendments-to-the-us-constitution/amendments-11-27/amendment-22-presidents-limited-to-two-terms]

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