Monday, April 15, 2013

An Argument for Term Limits in Congress

Congress (Noun) - An institution run by money, channeled through public figure heads known as Congressmen or Senators.  These are professional poker players, developed to play a game of No Limit Texas Hold'em at the expense of an entire country.

Corruption is synonymous with Congress, and unfortunately is not improving as we move forward in history.  People running for government positions are now bribed and tempted with more money than we can ever dream of, from corporations and private investors alike.  Politics is an explicitly a dirty business, one that is done by swift under the table maneuvering, and dirty foul bashing in the public forum.

What I humbly present to you now is not my idea, but one I have grown quite fond of the more I have postulated about it's ramifications.  Think about the idea of limiting the terms of Senators and Congressmen.  Seriously, think about it.  I'll get back to it in a second

One of the issues plaguing the American political system are iron triangles.  Now iron triangles are personal relationships between Interest Groups, Members of Congress, and governmental agencies.  How these relationships function is quite complex, and is simply a give and take relationship.  Interest groups give money and social backing to Congressmen, who in turn make friendly legislation to back the interest group's stance on issues.  Congressmen work with governmental agencies, who lobby for the legislation the Congressmen is currently working on.  Essentially, everyone is sleeping with the enemy with no regard to the ramifications it has on America as a whole.  The interest groups are dominant here, as they control the funds and thus the fate of members of the government.  Once you bite at the hook, you're never getting off.

Any way, my argument for term limits is rather simple.  I think that if you have lower term limits, you reduce the probability (or at least the practicality) of interest groups lobbying as effectively in the past.  Instead of developing these close friendships, lobbyists are now forced to
1)  Develop relationships quickly with new Congressmen
2)  Decide which ones to get in bed with, because that Congressmen needs to have a strong voice

Simply put, having term limits disrupts the flow of the iron triangle, and I also believe alleviates much of the gridlock in the American political system.  The cost and risk of investing in any candidate is extraordinarily high, and is something that is much more of a risk than it is now.  Long gone are the days of the career politician, the staunch liberal/conservative who retains his seat year after year, bringing little to no consensus or fresh ideas to the table.  Why would anyone oppose this candidate?  He's a sure fire victor, and his years at the table have amassed him enormous power and wealth.  Having new faces every 6 years would be an incredible breath of fresh air to Congress, while also ensuring that more people are running for the position who want to serve, and are not simply playing for a power move.

One of the arguments against term limits is that it would cause a lack of leadership in the federal government.  My retort is, "Can it get any worse?"  Like seriously, can it get any worse?  We have a Congress who, in my opinion, is starving for new ideas and rationality.

I remember reading an article in 11th grade that said "Smart men do not run for office."  Why?  It isn't a place for the smart man.  Congress right now is a place for the mischievous, for the shifty and shadowy figures playing a game.  A game that tip toes the line of legality, and a game that is destroying our government piece by piece.  All I know is, some action needs to be done.  Because eventually it is going to be too late, and we will have sat on our hands a little too long.

Congressmen:  Maximum service time of 8 years
Senators:  Service time of 12 years

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Just a Moment in Time

As I am sitting here on my computer in my dorm room, I can honestly say I did not plan on writing this post.  Call it inspiration, or deep reflection, I felt I needed to vocalize this message.

In 30 years, this will be the golden age of my life.  I will look back on these years with longing, as they are the most fun and eventful times one can have.  Yet, I look back on my college experience right now and feel...inadequacy.  Don't get me wrong, I have loved every moment I have spent on this campus, but I just think I have missed out on so much.  I should have gone to that baseball game, I should have waited to do that paper on a different night, I should have made more time for fun.  Being a great student is one thing, but honestly, I am not going to remember shit about that night I studied for microbiology or the night I wrote a paper on architecture.  What I am going to remember are the nights I spent with friends, the laughs I shared, and all of the good times.  I'm going to remember the stories, the adventures, the self-discovery associated with every day in college.

Every day is just a moment in time.  Once that moment is gone, you can never get it back.  The few seconds at 2:13 AM that I took to type these words could have been used for something else, and I know I will never get them back.  They are gone, only to be remembered by the words appearing on this screen.  So my question is, if you are not doing something you love, and something you are passionate about, then why are you wasting your time?

I believe time is the most underappreciated asset.  Think about it.  Every day you wake up with the opportunity and the ability to do whatever you want.  Every day is an opportunity to touch the life of someone else, or to grow as a person.  I feel like so often, I get caught up in trying to just get through the day.  To get through the day to get to Friday.  Or to get through class to get to the weekend.  Or to get through the school year to get to summer.  I have wasted so much precious time and opportunity by living this way, and have missed so many opportunities to do something important.

I once heard someone say that the way we live on forever, is through our interactions with others.  If you take one moment to compliment someone, to say hello, to lend a hand, to engage in conversation, or even just smile, you may have affected someones life.  And that is something that lives on forever.  By doing this, you can change a person, and this change will be carried with them for the rest of their lives allowing a part of you to live on.  I want to help more people, and I think an initiative needs to be taken that with each passing day, you take a moment to meaningfully engage another person in a positive manner.  It is something as easy as a smile.  A hello.

I want to leave a lasting legacy.  I want people to remember me for not only how I treat them, but how I make them feel.  I want to live on forever.  I want to make a difference in the wold, one positive moment at a time.  From this point onward, I pledge to never live to get through the day.  I pledge to live with passion, exuberance, and happiness.