Imposing Term Limits undermine voter power

Imposing Term Limits undermine voter power

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Imposing Term Limits undermine voter power

The push to impose term limits isn’t being done by the voters or the public. It’s being led by political candidates who just can’t seem to take control of government because they lack the support of the majority of voters. Term limits are wrong because it takes away the right of voters to make that decision

By Ray Hanania

Whenever someone outside of public office wants to give themselves some free publicity, they always turn to the issue of “term limits.”

“Term limits” are a concept that would limit an elected official to serve usually only two terms in their office. After that, they would be pushed out of would have to run for another office.

But Illinois voters already have a “term limit” option, one that they control, not the candidates who can’t seem to win office against popular incumbents or has-beens who have been pushed out because of poor performance.

It’s called “The Voters.”

The Voters ARE the Term Limits. They decide who gets elected and who doesn’t. It’s not the fault of a successful candidate for office that his or her opponent has lost. It is the fault of the losing candidate that they failed to convince enough voters to elect them to office.

But losers want a fast-track to get into office and they think that if they can’t beat a popular incumbent, one loved enough by the voters to win more than 50 percent of their votes, then they hope they can use “Term Limits” as a cheap way to push them out, so they can get back in.

Voting sticker issued by Cook County for election voting in November 8, 2016 election contest. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Governor Bruce Rauner, who has found himself in a difficult political fight with Illinois’ Democrats, has turned to “Term Limits” as a means of eliminating his arch enemies from office. His main target is House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

Madigan has been in office for a long time, but is politics and a successful elected official any different than a successful businessman or woman who has created a product that the public loves? I don’t think so. I think a politician who continues to get elected and re-elected over the years has done their job, winning the support of the majority of voters who go to the polls and cast their votes.

Why would we give that power to some loser who can’t win office as a cheap way for them to get in?

The idea of “Term Limits” sounds great to some, usually the voters who cast their votes for the candidates who lose. But losing means that candidates who lose need to work harder to win more votes. And not every losing candidate wants to do that.

We certainly have financial problems in Illinois, problems that go back decades and despite the political rhetoric fall on the shoulders not only of the Democrats who currently are in power, but on the shoulders of the Republicans, too.

But “Term Limits” wouldn’t eliminate our problems. They would make them worse. Instead of having experienced leaders who win the majority support from voters to stay in office, we would have losers whose only strategy to getting elected is to remove their more popular and successful rivals.

I don’t want to be led by losers who can’t seem to win office.

I may not always agree with or support the people who win elected office in this country. But there is something to be said about empowering each and every individual who is qualified to vote, to actually go out and vote.

Losing isn’t about the candidate personally. It is about what the candidate does or does not do. A winning candidate has to convince the majority of voters – and they are all good Americans – to support their candidacy.

That’s more than enough. If someone loses, it’s because they just couldn’t get the votes.

Let’s not undermine the ability of voters to decide who should and who should not represent them in local, county or statewide offices.

I may not like a candidate. But I won’t surrender my right to help decide an election by creating a fast track for failed candidates to give themselves an advantage they can’t create for themselves through hard work, creative ideas and leadership.

(Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Contact him at his personal website at or by emailing him at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
Ray Hanania

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