- The Washington Times - Monday, October 25, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

We’re in another election cycle and it’s time to have a look at those we have elected to represent us in the past. Most have made a career of political service and enriched themselves at our expense. A good many have remained too long in office. Here’s the thing - the Founding Fathers intended those elected to spend only one term in office. They were to bring the business of the people who elected them to Philadelphia, New York or Washington - wherever the capital was at the time - and leave after one term.

These 18th-century representatives would travel on horseback or stagecoach three or four times during their term, do their duty and return to their constituents. They would then leave office and return to their farms or towns and go on with their lives. This is what was intended by the framers of the Constitution.

James Madison favored “rotation in offices.” Aristotle wrote approvingly of the rotation in offices “where citizens were retired from public office to live under the laws they had made and replaced by a new group of citizens.”

Today’s officeholders are making public service a profession. Tenure in office leads to abuse of power. Long terms in office are not public service but the public serving the officeholder. Americans should go to the polls on Nov. 2 and send those who have spent too much time in office into retirement. We know who they are.

TIMOTHY D. O’REILLY

Chicago

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