Congressional term limits have been a topic of conversation for decades in political circles. Should members of Congress only be allowed to serve a certain number of terms? Are career politicians a bad thing or is consistency good? Well, the subject was once again thrust into the limelight when Presidential Candidate Donald Trump announced on Tuesday at a campaign rally in Colorado his plans to push for a Constitutional amendment imposing Congressional term limits. Just as he would do in his ever so popular television series The Apprentice, Trump would like to look across the boardroom table at Congress, stick out his hand in that ever so recognizable gesture, and say, “You’re fired!”
Maybe that is not such a bad idea, because after all, what has Congress really accomplished in recent history? Lately, Congress has been nothing more than a place with lots of hot air and big egos, with neither Democrats or Republicans making attempts to try to work together to get things accomplished. Why should we let people stay there a whole career when they don’t actually get anything done? According to a CNN article, the average member of Congress has served between 9 and 10 years (as of 2013). There are several members of Congress that have served between 25 and 50 years!
In fact, Congress has had a terrible approval rating for quite some time now. According to Gallup, Congress has not had an approval rating above 20% since October of 2012, and 20% is certainly nothing to write home about. The last time a majority of Americans felt like Congress was doing a good job was back in 2003, thirteen years ago. Anybody else would have been fired from their job a long time ago if they had similar approval ratings from their boss – which is where Trump will strike a chord with most Americans on this issue.
From a strategic standpoint, it is a brilliant move for the Presidential hopeful. He is running on the premise of an outsider coming in ready to make changes to the status quo, making Washington useful again. It only makes sense that a radical shake-up of Congress is therefore necessary and fits right in with the campaign’s rhetoric. Also, what better time to make this announcement than one day before the next debate. He is helping to set the agenda for the debate, and will also now make Hillary Clinton decide how she feels about the issue (a former Senator). The messaging is clear, a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for a new and different Washington, an outside perspective and approach. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for the status quo, for more career politicians and for anything but the radical change our country needs.
Will this have an impact on the outcome of the election? Maybe not, but it certainly forces Clinton to make a decision on the issue and brings more conversation nationally about a very important subject. So will you vote for Hillary Clinton and the Washington DC elite? Or vote for Donald Trump and make a push for a different Washington – “drain the swamp”, as he has so eloquently coined? You have three weeks left to decide – so listen, think, and make your voice heard.