America is a place where if you work hard enough anything you can dream can happen. Well, thanks in part to term limits.
Take the story of Phillip Brutus. Many years ago this Haitian immigrant was a part-time janitor at a law firm. While emptying the trash one day, he overheard the senior partner quizzing junior lawyers on Latin legal terms. When the junior lawyers were stumped, Brutus spoke up with the correct answer. In that room full of raised eyebrows and jaws dropped wide open, he decided to become a lawyer.
After years of poverty and sacrifice, Brutus earned his law degree and opened up a practice. Then he dreamed of serving his community in the state legislature. In Florida, incumbency effectively blocked new people. Most incumbent legislators didn’t face any competition at all.
Phillip’s challenge of a powerful incumbent went the way of virtually all such challenges: he lost. Then Florida’s term limits law took effect and all that changed. Suddenly there were more candidates running then you could shake a stick at. Brutus sought an open seat where there was no entrenched incumbent and he won becoming the first Haitian-American elected to Florida’s Legislature.
When incumbents can no longer monopolize our politics, voters get real choices and anything can happen. Our economy has long been open to those who work hardest and best serve their customers. Shouldn’t our political process work this way, too? With term limits it does.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.