Term limits & the Founding Fathers, Jefferson has still more to say!

6 f) Term limits & the Founding Fathers, Jefferson continues

Jefferson never specifically mentioned rotation of office in the House of Representatives, though that, too, may be assumed to be included in the following more general statement with regard to the proposed Federal Constitution:

“I dislike, and greatly dislike, the abandonment in every instance of the necessity of rotation in office and most particularly in the case of the President.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Madison, 1787.

Source for below paragraph: http://eyler.freeservers.com/JeffPers/jefpco33.htm                 “Given the evolution of our country, the greater power appended to every office and the tendency for even the office of Representative to become perpetual, one suspects that he would include that also along with other elected offices as requiring rotation. Moreover, one would think that those who agree with Jefferson today and believe that there should be term limits, would have the integrity that he displayed and begin the practice themselves, perhaps even making it a point of honor for other Senators and Representatives to follow suit. That argument is countered with the opinion that such a voluntary act would be to the detriment of the representative’s political party, and therefore that is sufficient reason for dispensing with such a proposal. But is our government organized for the benefit of the people, or for the benefit of the legislators and their political parties? As Jefferson would say, “there never will be a time when real difficulties will not exist and furnish a plausible pretext for dispensation.”

Cross References

To other essays in The Jeffersonian Perspective

Government Serves the People

To Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government