No to Term Limits

06.22.10 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[3]

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I don’t blame people for getting mad and upset at politics and politicians. People are sick and tired of business as usual — which might be called monkey business — in the dens of political iniquity known as Albany, Harrisburg, and Washington.

That said, people sometimes get so upset and frustrated with the political high jinks and the shenanigans that they come up with well meaning but short-sighted solutions to their political frustrations.

For example, one short-sighted solution is the call for term limits. This sounds good but would often result in the election of inexperienced leaders who know little of nothing about governing. It would also lead to the continuous turnover of elected officials which would — more often than not — result in a lack of political stability and continuity.

Even worse, experienced political figures who have done a good job would have to leave office. This makes no sense. It would be like having term limits for baseball players who hit homeruns and football players who score touchdowns.

Recently, New York State Senator George Winner decided not to run for re-election after 32 years of public service (first for 26 years in the State Assembly and then 6 years in the State Senate). Senator Winner’s career as an elected public official has been characterized by leadership, constituent service, and bringing home the bacon. In fact, George Winner has distinguished himself not only as a politician but also as a statesman. If term limits had been in effect, the political talent of George Winner — and others of his caliber — would have gone to waste.

So I say no to term limits…how about you?

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 06.23.10 Melvin Foster commented

Dr. Coleman,
Your comment about Senator George Winner "bringing home the bacon" is exactly the reason some people want term limits: to curb the pork barrel based on seniority and cozy friendship with lobby groups. I agree with your basic argument against term limits, however, because I'm not convinced things will be any better in the capital with unseasoned politicians contending with seasoned lobbyists.
Melvin Foster, Candor, NY

on 06.23.10 Bob commented

Dr. Coleman,

When politicians begin to view public service as a calling and not a career - then I will say no to term limits. Sadly, too many of our elected leaders have made public service about protecting their careers instead of serving the public so that is why I support term limits. That said, thank you for your thoughtful political analysis and the respectful way in which you articulate your worldview.


on 06.25.10 Dave S. commented

I think the idea that politicians need to be experience is way over-rated. The people who sit on Grand Juries for a month at a time don't have any experience either and make crucial decisions that can affect many peoples lives during their term. I feel that instead of voting for these so call political leaders with lots of money and connections (many times to special interests), we would be better off selecting our leaders from the general populous in the same way people are selected for Grand Jury or Jury Duty. I'll bet they would do a better job without the corruption. 1 term and out. Not sure how long that term should be though. I'd like to put this idea to a poll! Dave S. Rochester, NY