VIC Column: Term Limits

When we talk about term limits, The Incumbents always say, “My term limit is every 4 years.” Or 2, or 6, depending on the office. Now, we have just passed a referendum on presidential incumbency, and those standing for election have some lessons to learn.

They have to learn how to be more relevant to their districts. 

They have to learn it’s not always about simply “bringing home the bacon,” but also doing what is right and beneficial by the greatest number of people. Even while representing those on the fringe.

They have to learn, if they were challengers, how to break through the power of incumbency, to generate fresh, new ideas. They have to learn where the new voters are, and how to reach them. They have to learn that an awful lot of people still read the newspaper, and are turned off by the partisanship of television networks, and the viciousness of Twitter and Parler. They have to learn that the 24 hour news cycle is mostly just talk, talk, talk, blah, blah, blah, and may not always get to the root cause of people’s troubles.

They have to learn that a lot of young voters couldn’t give 2-cents for a party, but they do value honesty, compassion, and strength.

They have to learn that we have got to beat this virus - not a year from now, NOW.

If they are in Congress, they must learn to reach across the aisle.

And, more than anything, the outcome of Election 2020 should be seen as a repudiation of politics by fear. This is a pre-election article from the Associated Press:


WASHINGTON — The suburbs wouldn't be the suburbs anymore, the economy would sink into its worst depression ever and police departments would cease to exist. Even America's older adults would be left to figure out how to get by without heat, air conditioning or electricity.

This is the apocalyptic version of American life that President Donald Trump argues would be the dire consequence of turning over the White House to Democrat Joe Biden.

"He’ll bury you in regulations, dismantle your police departments, dissolve our borders, confiscate your guns, terminate religious liberty, destroy your suburbs,” Trump said in one of many over-the-top pronouncements about Biden in the campaign’s final weeks. Trump typically makes his warning about the fate of suburbia as he showcases his own decision to end federal regulations that govern the placement of low-incoming housing in the suburbs. Campaign rhetoric can often become heated and hyperbolic as candidates scrap for every last advantage before the votes are counted.

Experts say instilling fear in one's opponent is usually the primary motivating factor behind such talk as candidates seek to give voters a reason to put a checkmark next to their name on the ballot. “It's pure fear and fear based on a particular kind of ignorance that only works if your hearers have that particular kind of ignorance,” Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, said of Trump's claims about Biden.

Trump made fear — particularly the fear of immigrants — a major theme of his 2016 campaign. Now, he is giving voters a laundry list of mostly implausible reasons to fear a Biden presidency.

“This election is a choice between a TRUMP RECOVERY or a BIDEN DEPRESSION," the president tweeted, echoing what he tells supporters at rallies. "It’s a choice between a TRUMP BOOM or a BIDEN LOCKDOWN. It’s a choice between our plan to Kill the virus – or Biden’s plan to kill the American Dream!”


We reject that rhetoric. That despicable Boogeyman rhetoric, designed to keep us afraid.

That is because, as Americans, we know the only thing we have to fear is, fear itself.

No Fear Here; together, our nation will continue its path toward prosperity. Our term limits are at the ballot box.


(Vic MacDonald is editor of The Clinton Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. MacDonald can be reached at 833-1900 or

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