I believe in term limits. Term limits increase electoral competition and curb entrenched political power.
To some people, though, this means I must also be opposed to the political process itself. It’s like saying that if you oppose the disease that’s infecting a human body, you must also oppose the human body. That’s just silly.
I’m against political corruption, but I’m not against politics. I’m against political monopolies, but I am not against politicians. I’m against sacrificing the general good to the demands of special interests, but I’m not against special interests. I’m not even against lobbyists.
Let me be clear. These days, lobbying too often means trying to grab more and ever more from the public kitty at the expense of one’s fellow citizens. That’s wrong. But that’s not the only form lobbying takes. Not by a long shot.
There are lobbyists on all sides of every political issue. We have environmentalists versus foresters, neighborhoods versus zoning boards, those who would increase our taxes and those who would cut them. Usually one side has a better argument than the other. But all sides lobby to make their case. And as a matter of fact, we’re all lobbyists, just as soon as we write to the paper or to our congressman giving our side of an issue.
Lobbying means trying to influence the political process through persuasion. Trying to persuade your representative is the most basic form. But even talking to a neighbor about the upcoming election counts as lobbying. You can’t have a vibrant democracy without an awful lot of lobbying.
We’re all lobbyists. Or we should be.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.