By Anthony D. Mc Ivor
A term limits ordinance for La Mesa is on our ballots. This tired, discredited political experiment only survives because deep-pocket activists cleverly disguise its real cost: the recurring damage to a citizen’s freedom of choice at the ballot box.
The Founding Fathers argued the merits vigorously and then set term limits aside in favor of the voters.
President Reagan called term limits “a mistake.”
Six states have reconsidered their initial enthusiasm and repealed or tossed out term limits in their highest courts. “They don’t work,” said Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter last year. Carter, a Republican, echoed findings from Michigan to Florida.
Term limits are simply bad public policy – a slash and burn solution out of place here. There is not a single good reason La Mesa voters should surrender their freedom to them. Consider:
Do we have a sprawling or densely populated district? No.
Are we plagued by political corruption? No.
Are La Mesa politics distorted by outside money? No.
Do special interests use large media buys to influence our elections? No. The Lincoln Club’s attempt to bully in this way just backfired.
Does our Council routinely snub fresh, new ideas? No.
Are La Mesa officials remote career politicians who “all” need to be changed like so many “soiled diapers” as limits activists insultingly suggest? No.
These are ills we do not suffer.
Yet term limits activists ask La Mesa voters to pretend these things are true. These imaginary flaws must be remedied, they then argue, by limiting our freedom at the ballot box.
Term limits assume that the electorate is not ready for full democracy; our ballot must be restricted, lest we make an error in judgment. Term limits are designed to subvert voting majorities, who are assumed to be wrong. That’s not right.
The proposed ordinance brazenly asks us to reverse the Founders and impose limits on La Mesa voters. A perfectly rotten idea.
There is a better way. Keep your ballot free from heavy-handed regulation. Use it to support candidates of your own choosing. La Mesa has elected leaders for 100 years – without a city ordinance to tell us for whom we can vote and when.
Let’s keep our freedom intact. Vote No on K! And send the proposed term limits ordinance back to the waste bin.
The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, firstname.lastname@example.org.