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We need term limits

Published August 9, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Having attended a public forum for our area to discuss Utah's water-management issues, I left with an unexpected insight. The forum was organized so concerned residents could voice their opinions. Regrettably, local politicians could not pass up another chance to boost their visibility by scrambling to the lineup of speakers. In their arrogance, they totally disregarded who the meeting was actually for.

I have long pondered the need of term limits for public office. Observing the behavior of these local politicos helped me formulate a theory: Most elected officials who stay in office more than two terms fall prey to a menacing little virus. Let's call it egostatitis just for fun. This virus feeds on the subjects' inflated sense of self-worth. It helps them develop the logic necessary to convince their constituents that they know what is best for them — better than the voters themselves. Possibly the most destructive symptom is how it infects the citizens themselves who are convinced that elected officials are smarter and have better information than they do.

Our government has long since become a government for the government, big business and lobbyists with deep pockets. The best way to stave off this evil virus is to impose mandatory term limits.

Gary Allred

Santa Clara