The millenium: it’s not this New Year’s Day, as the media’s been telling us, but next year January 1, 2001. So rather than grapple with a thousand years of history, why not consider this decade. It’s the term limits decade.
So far in the 90’s, term limits have been placed on 18 state legislatures from zero state legislators to over 40 percent term-limited. Local term limits have swept the country capping over 3,000 officials including those in 8 of the 10 largest cities in the nation. Seventy-six percent of governors are now under term limits along with many other statewide offices.
Term limits have been around since the Ancient Greeks and Romans an idea as old as democracy itself. But the modern term limits movement is a babe in the woods, not even a decade old yet. It began in 1990 when citizens won initiatives in three states California, Colorado and Oklahoma. Since then term limits have become what one newspaper calls “a mild form of permanent revolution.” The impact of term limits at the state and local level is being felt. Over 400 legislative seats will fall under term limits for the first time next year. More seats will follow in 2002 and 2004.
The fabulous 50’s are remembered for cars with fins and sock hops, the turbulent 60’s for protest and social change, the 70’s for inflation and disco music, the 80’s saw the Cold War end. But the 90’s this is the term limits decade.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.