Term limits not the answer

A recent letter, “Let’s vote on term limits,” explained why it’s bad governmental policy to have career politicians and that term limits would improve Congress. The letter writer is correct in terms of the negative aspects of entrenched politicians, who often seem more interested in doing what’s best for themselves rather than for the people.

Given the way Congress is set up, there are only a few groups of citizens for whom the “occupation” of House representative or U.S. senator is possible. Those groups include lawyers, business owners, the very wealthy and retirees. Average working people with full-time jobs would not be able to take a 10- or 12-year break then go back and effortlessly pick up where they left off. Consequently, there isn’t a good cross-section of society sitting in Congress. Mainly it is those with money.

Unfortunately there is no way of creating and operating a representative branch of the government that is made up of citizens from all classes of our population and is free from the influence of money. Term limits isn’t a solution.

Robert Smith

Hammonton

Bidens worth probing

Which is more important? The fact that the president thinks that the Biden family should be investigated. Or that there is a very real possibility that the Biden family may have taken millions in bribes from foreign countries. There is, in the very least, as much evidence of this as there is evidence of Russian collusion and the Democrats would like to have it covered up by obstruction.

Frank Priolo

Hammonton

Beachfront vs. learning

A university shouldn’t use the word “beachfront” to describe its location. The word is a staple of real estate and travel promotions used to attract tourists, retirees, second home buyers. It connotes relaxation, ease, leisure, fun, vacations. Work is nowhere in sight. “Beachfront” is a real word that sends the wrong message when teamed with “learning.”

Those words appear twice, stacked in oversize letters, in the windowed wings of Stockton’s residence hall on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The sign heralds the arrival of oceanfront education, which the school’s new city campus proudly offers.

Beachfront is given not only at the top, but also much larger size than the bread-and-butter word “learning.” This seems to promote beach over books, an unseemly consequence since learning is the top priority.

To be fair, learning is put in boldface to boost its weak attention value. Too late, though — the harm’s been done. Beachfront still pops and dazzles in the way that main attractions do.

I think the sign should read “learning and living by the sea.” This puts first things first, positions all three thoughts, yet does not mention beach, beachfront or oceanfront — all hot buttons of commerce best avoided by those dedicated to the improvement of minds. Sea is a quiet word more congenial to the aims of education. The suggested rewrite better befits a quality university. Parents wary of beachfront will be put at ease.

This is not nitpicking. Words matter. Their power is enormous. A beachfront college to me suggests a playboy environment foreign to serious thinking about anything but girls, guys, suntans and surf. It does not promise an atmosphere conducive to learning.

I hope my misgivings are but the flailing of a threatened purist. May Stockton’s bold bet on oceanfront learning pay off richly. Perhaps it is an idea whose moment has come, in the shifting sands of time.

Thomas D. Esrey

Atlantic City

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