Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“One of the great myths in official Washington,” writes pollster and pundit Scott Rasmussen at, “is that voters hate Congress but love their own representative.”

Working for term limits, boy have I heard this assertion a lot.

Oh, voters do hate Congress; this we know. Less than one in eight Americans approve of the job being done (or not) by Congress, according to a brand new The Economist/YouGov poll. 

The remaining question, however, is whether we really like our own congressperson. The correct answer appears to be: Not so much.

A recent national survey, conducted Feb. 1-2, 2019, found that less than one in four voters, only 23 percent, “actually think their own representative is the best person for the job.” A far larger percentage, 38 percent, believe “others in the District are more qualified.” 

It is certainly possible, of course, that folks could think there is someone better than their sitting congressperson and, nonetheless, still love their Rep.

Though, doesn’t “love” seem like way too strong a word?

The notion that we are consumed with amorous urges toward our own federal representative is evidenced only by the high re-election rate for incumbent congressmen. But those rates are more likely the result of the powerful advantages of incumbency.

Not gleeful adoration of “our” career politicians.

There is one way to test our level of devotion: Let us vote on term limits and see what happens.

It would lead to a new question: Where did our love go?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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term limits, democracy, representative, congressman, Senate, House of Representatives

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By: Redactor


  1. Werner says:

    Isn’t “Let us vote on term limits and see what happens“ a lot like “we have to pass it to see what’s in it”? If voters weren’t at least grudgingly and marginally OK with their legislator they wouldn’t be re-elected. I still maintain most TL advocates are mostly interested in getting the OTHER guy’s rep out of office. (There are purist believers like Mr. Jacob.)  For San Diego the city and state legislators are TL’d. Both entities are financial wrecks. County supervisors were not and had a $1.6B rainy day surplus. Now that they’re TL’d too they’re falling all over themselves to see how fast they can spend it. 

    • Paul Jacob says:

      Forgive my tardy reply, but we have seen the results of term limits in 15 states with limits on their legislature, 36 governors, city councils, the president. The public likes the idea and likes the reality of the results.

  2. Pat says:

    Please don’t split hairs.   “Love’ is merely a shorthand term for being satisfied with the job they’re doing or feeling, they’re better than the alternative.   My congressman is horrendous, but he’s been in the job since his first win in 1986.   He loathes Trump and speaks in a derogatory fashion about Republicans.  The people in his town halls cheer.  NJ is a lost cause.   Term limits are a band-aid.   How about ‘family’ seats in Congress?  A retiring Congressman is succeeded by a family member?   Term limits do nothing to prevent that.     You’re not getting ‘fresh faces’ or ‘new voices’.   You get the same power structure.  I called term limits a band-aid, but I think they’re really a placebo.   Unless and until we vote out incumbents, nothing will change.  

    • Werner says:

      Pat, I agree with you. TLs are just a simplistic way to “mechanize” turnover. It must be up to the voters to vote out the “bad” incumbents. The hard work is getting informed voters; TLs are a mindless cure-all that sweeps away the competent with the crooks. 

  3. David P Falzone says:

    I hate Congress and all of my representatives. Guess how lucky I am. I have Schumer, Gillibrand, Brian Higgins, sand a Stomach Ache.

  4. Werner says:

    I feel your pain. I have ChiFi Feinstein, Horizontal Harris and Scott Peters. And my weenie of state assemblyman just flipped to dem. Funny about that last one. He’s  about to term out and is certainly looking to land on a cush commission; couldn’t do it as an R. Mr. Jacob, paying attention?

  5. Walter says:

    I cannot recall ever being satisfied with any member of the state legislature, or member of Congress in whose districts I have lived

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