I strongly support term limits for members of Congress. In 1994, after years of frustration of watching my own Congressman grow increasingly out of touch with his district, I made the difficult decision to run for Congress and pledged to serve no more than three two year terms. I kept that promise in 2000 and returned full time to my medical practice in Muskogee.
When I made the decision to run for the Senate in 2004, I made a solemn promise to my family and Oklahoma voters that I would serve no more than two terms in the Senate and that I would continue to work as a doctor (now on a volunteer basis) as the Senate schedule allowed. I am keeping that commitment, and if reelected this year, this will be my second and final term.
My experiences in Congress have only strengthened my resolve to see term limits enacted. I see daily what most Americans suspect about their elected officials and the games they play to secure political success. Professional politicians with little real life experience have come to dominate elections in our country. Too often, the long-term best interests of our nation are ignored as career politicians seek short term political gain.
Today, we face record budget deficits, the rapid growth of unconstitutional programs, and a decline in personal liberty because we have entrusted our future to an elite political class of insiders who must choose between their own political careers and the interests of the nation.
Unfortunately, some still try to measure power and influence by time held in office; My experience has taught me that real power and influence--the kind that will restore our nation and uphold the principles that have made us a strong, vibrant, and free people--comes when men and women are willing to sacrifice the next election for the next generation.
The time has come for a renewal of the Founders' vision. We need citizens willing to temporarily serve and soon return to live under the laws they helped to write.