I’ve heard good arguments on both sides of the term limits debate. The opposing side contends that voters should be able to elect the candidate they prefer, even if that person has already served a few terms. Arbitrary limits could make politicians less responsive to voters if they know they won’t be up for reelection. And term limits haven’t transformed politics into the honest and impartial process some hoped they would.
People in favor of term limits counter that politics works to the advantage of incumbents. Term limits give other people a chance to be elected. Term limits also reduce the returns to bribery and corruption, because any politician whose vote is bought will be out of office in a few years. And term limits can keep politicians from getting too comfortable and insulated from the real world.
Those arguments all have some merit — unlike the arguments against term limits put forth in this article. Here’s why the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives opposes term limits:
Over time, Richard said, lawmakers develop the institutional knowledge and personal fortitude to become powerful enough to stand up to the executive branch and the hordes of lobbyists who try to influence legislation.
The longer you wield political power, the more personal fortitude you develop? Tell that to Lord Acton!