Do we need term limits or do we just need more public servants like Betty Boukus?

Just a few words about those term limits. They are not a panacea.

We have just gone through an election cycle where we accepted too many false assertions without demanding proof: China is taking our jobs. (They’re not.) The voting system is rigged. (It’s not.) Islam is inherently evil. (It isn’t.) Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman. (He isn’t) America’s greatness needs resurrecting. (It doesn’t)

Lost in the recent contrived hysteria over flag burning and recounts, don’t forget that the minority president-elect also called for term limits. Of course in the tiny Twitter bubble in which Trump roams, he has never (I can say with some certainty) heard of Plainville, Connecticut; further I can say with utter certitude he never heard of Betty Boukus. Too bad—he is in desperate need of a role model.

Betty died yesterday. She had been ill for some time, but those close to her said that, despite her having lost the recent election, she continued to labor at items important to her constituency. In that respect her death was unexpected. She was 73.

Betty Boukus served ten consecutive terms as a State Representative in the 22nd House District—this last term scheduled to end in just over a month. Her passing comes at a time when the bar set for politicians has reached a low ebb (until the next low ebb, of course), but it would be wrong to view her through that prism. For every candidate who renounced his own ethical standards to beat a path to Trump Tower, there have been those like Betty Boukus, working tirelessly in the background, always remembering why she ran, why she was elected, and whom she serves.

Today the accolades are accumulating from colleagues and opponents alike—all more eloquent than anything I might say other than Betty was always a friend of education and that, because I was a teacher in Plainville, that meant everything. The citizens of Plainville and New Britain were fortunate to have her representing them for as long as they did: we may never see her equal again.

So before you blindly listen to the next rabble demand for term limits, I would ask exactly whose term they want to limit. If it’s someone like Betty Boukus, maybe we can all think it through a little harder.

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