Term limits only way to make pols put the common good first
After 40-plus years of observing elected official’s actions at all levels of government, I am more concerned than ever that the United States is in terrible trouble. Despite the basic good values and fair-play beliefs of the vast majority of Americans, the leaders of our great country will destroy it without a drastic change in their service.
I am convinced the only way to accomplish improvement in elected official service is to limit all elected positions to a single term of office. What I unfortunately observe in almost every politician is an ego that greatly exceeds their public service accomplishments.
The people’s expectations of work and actions for the benefit of the government represented (local, state or national) is one of the last considerations of too many elected officials. Doing a good job, which must always include cooperation and fair compromise, is not the objective. The primary objective, today more than ever, is winning re-election, which represents their self-pride and, thus, their ego.
However, most of us, over time, would be no different, since as human beings it must be admitted that each of us is in fact the center of our world. With each successful re-election, it becomes more difficult, if not impossible, not to place oneself first in every consideration. It is simply a matter of human nature, and limitations in individual character make some of us more susceptible than others.
If we recognize this human limitation, we can change the current concept of elected public servants to be what the creators of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill or Rights envisioned of all elected officials. These were to be short-term services, not career employments, with expectations of working to improve all government actions.
With single terms of office, some elected position term lengths would require change. Two years is too short, but six years is long enough. Currently, almost all elected officials spend the last half of their term, regardless of the length, engulfed in the re-election process. It is not too difficult to understand what their priority work is, even for the most sincere among them.
Along with some changes in term lengths, the structure of elected officials’ staff would be changed from all appointed positions to perhaps half being general civil service-type positions, trained in government operations, existing laws and legislative processes. With this, they would be far less vulnerable to lobbyists’ interpretations and desires.
The structure and design of most governments in our country are very similar and very good, with working checks and balances when elected officials are not striving to sustain their ego. This would allow them to do a good job in what would be their one chance to serve as an elected official in the United States.
How much does Cuomo really know about hunting?
Regarding your Feb. 21 article [“Fee cut sought for sportsmen licenses”] in “News Briefs.” While I think it’s a great idea to roll back the cost New Yorkers pay for hunting and fishing licenses, I think Gov. Cuomo should get his facts straight.
Both hunting and fishing licenses are valid for a full year now. They just run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Also, there is no set season for hunting or fishing — that depends on the species targeted.
As to getting his facts straight, when ranting on TV, the governor, who says he hunts and fishes, should know that in New York state you are only allowed six shells in your firearms when deer hunting — not 10.
Furthermore, while I’m on the subject of guns, Gov. Cuomo’s legislation, which he calls the SAFE Act, must mean that only New Yorkers are unsafe, because his answer on how to dispose of the “now banned firearms or magazines (clips)” is to sell them to someone in another state — where the people are deemed to be much safer.
Stephen F. Mihal
Forget Kool-Aid cracks, focus on country’s future
Re Feb. 20 letter by Doug Faulisi Sr. Those of us agreeing with the person re-elected to lead our country are not drinking Kool-Aid. Obviously your ideas, and the person you voted for, was not the direction the majority of the country wanted to go. What is it about “President Obama was re-elected” that you do not get?
Why weren’t you up in arms as former President Bush drove you and me over the cliff toward a depression or charged two wars on a credit card? Or charged a Medicare Part D prescription program? This mess took years to get into and, unfortunately, it’s going to take more than four years to get out of it.
President Obama was re-elected because more Americans believe in how he wants to take the country forward. We do not need Kool-Aid, we need people like you and Vito Spinelli to move out of the way or jump in and help, as there is so much more we all need to do.
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