For me, Democratic Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy stands for all that is wrong with the American Political System: The career politician. Most of our founding fathers did not intend our country's citizens turning political service into a lifetime occupation.
For almost 50 years, since 1969, Edward Kennedy has been representing Massachusetts in the Senate. This is far too long. The Liberal Democrat holds a lot of power in the Senate as chairmans of the Pensions, Education, and Health committees. He also serves on the Judiciary and Armed Forces committees, where he leads both the subcommittees of Seapower and Immigration. Power that significant can only come with over eight terms in the Senate. Only Robert Bird of West Virgina has served longer in the governing body.
Senator Kennedy has built up tremendous political clout in our Government. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a bill where he played a major role in its creation. Behind the scenes he pulls strings and twists arms. Kennedy may be the the number one saint of liberalism, considering his longevity.
To liberals, the Massachusetts Senator is treated as royalty. As I believe most of our countries problems are a result of rampant liberalism, Kennedy is a symbol of the elite of big government, the monster bureaucracy and how government is grossly flawed. He is also a good reason why we need term limits.
Term limits will make a better republic. Constitutionally, we already limit the President to two terms, we should do the same for Senators and Congressmen. Eight years would be wonderful for everyone who serves office at any level. As Washington, Jefferson and Franklin may have envisioned, government service is a privilege, not a career.
Thomas Jefferson worried about the dangers of a declining democracy in serving too long. Benjamin Franklin advocated a rotation system to keep offices free of a single influence. George Washington set the precedent of stepping down as chief executive at the end of his second term. What noble men!
Would the United States be better off if Senator Kennedy was forced to retire in 1977? Absolutely! Just think of how much better we would be if a Business Leader, a Teacher, an Engineer, a doctor, a nurse or any member of a thousand different professions would take eight years away from their careers to serve for the people. What a wide variety of ideas we would have for solving problems and making government better. Political corruption would still exist, but on a much less scale.
I fear that all of what I am wishing for are just pipe dreams. It may never happen. The career politician has deep roots. They begin as lawyers, are elected to a local office and climb the ladder to Governor, Congressman, Senator and sometimes President. They sometimes come from elite political families, and there is no family that represents elitism and political power more than the Kennedy family.
Unfortunately, Senator Edward Kennedy recently suffered a stroke. I wish his family the best. He should resign because of health reasons. Edward Kennedy is the poster boy of term limits. His political service is the reason why the nation needs those limits. That will be his legacy when he finally leaves office.