Wakefield Area News
By Mary V. Lauro
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 11- It's an old story. The innocent always suffer for the guilty. But if we don't say it, who will? No! We are not going to conclude that all longtime political figures are crooks, but we are going to suggest that most political crooks are longtime political figures. It seems that sleaze, bribery, political malfeasance and sex are more commonly associated with having been elected too often.
But the fault is not only that of the political entrepreneur. It is part of a laziness which envelops us all. Yes! Yes! We make all sorts of noises regarding our veneration of freedom and liberty but the truth is we'd rather be left alone.
Most residents in Wakefield, and we dare say in other communities as well, have not the foggiest notion of whom their elected officials are. Part of that reason is because the district lines are changed every 10 years after the Census. They are not changed to benefit us. They are changed to benefit politicians.
It is a sad fact that in our diverse society, just as they cluster in neighborhoods, citizens tend to vote their own backgrounds. Thus Italians tend to vote for Italians, Jews for Jews, Hispanics for Hispanics and African Americans for African Americans. When district lines are redrawn the political entrepreneurs tend to draw their own lines. Keep in mind that in New York political entrepreneurs swore to Mayor Koch that they would not do so in 2010.
Of course, even with district lines drawn in their favor, a strong favored incumbent can win over a strong opponent, but that is rarely the case. But that is rarely the case. The incumbent is re-elected even though he may be suspected of malfeasance. This is not to say that all elected officials having been elected three or four times are unworthy of their positions. Many are honest capable, caring and effective.
Does that mean that no one else can do their job or that no one else is capable of doing their job? That great and far-sighted American, George Washington, our first president thought two four year terms were enough for a president. Except for Franklin D. Roosevelt, every other president followed that precept. In it is now ingrained in our Constitution.
The political sleaze that was uncovered last week raises once again the price of leaving the number of terms unlimited for an incumbent. Term limits will not got rid of sleaze. It will control it.
That great and far-sighted American our first President, George Washington, thought two, four-year terms were enough for one man. Other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no other President has served as long. If two, four-year terms are good enough for our Presidents, why are they not good enough for lesser political entrepreneurs?