by: Alannah NicPhaidin
The U.S. government takes many shapes and forms, from small-town mayors all the way up to the White House. There are a few things that they all have in common: ballots need to be cast, oaths have to be taken and seats have to be filled.
Another area these positions have in common is term limits. Not all political positions are term-limited but a lot of elected offices do have term limits. Most positions that have term limits have them because the people directly or indirectly requested term limits on their elected officials. It has never been the other way around, with politicians voluntarily asking for less power.
But, even though poll after poll shows that Americans all over the country — of every political, economic and ethnic background — want term limits, U.S. senators and representatives are still allowed to serve for a lifelong career.
Term limits are not unusual in America. One could even argue they are the norm rather than the exception. Here are some examples of just how prevalent term limits are in the US.
The President of the United States of America has term limits
There are 36 state governors that have some form of term limits.
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
There are 15 state legislatures that have term limits.
- South Dakota
Nine of the United States’ ten largest cities mayors have term limits:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Jose
And 51 percent of large cities’ (population > 250,000) governments have term limits.
The only one of America’s ten largest cities that does not have term limits is Chicago, which was named the corruption capital of America by the University of Illinois.
Term limits are present at almost all levels of government in the U.S. The people have always been the driving force behind this movement. Now it must be asked: why is Congress still immune?