Today, at the urging of his peers in the Democratic Party, Senator Al Franken is expected to resign his seat in the Senate. This following the resignation of his compatriot John Conyers for similar allegations of sexual misconduct.
But what sets Franken apart is the fact that he recently claimed that he can’t remember the actions that have brought him to this point even though he apologized to the first of his accusers, admitting that he may have acted inappropriately.
Clearly, narcissistic behavior by people in positions of power is not a surprise and has been happening for many years, millennia in fact. Any person who has an elevated position, especially for an extended period presents a risk for this kind of corruption and abuse. Not to say that all would be corrupted but with absolute, long term power for an extended period of time, many have proved that they were corrupted over the long term.
Franken is not the first and certainly won’t be the last but it’s clear in the case of John Conyers, the length of his tenure may well have had a great deal to do with his behavior.
There is no doubt that there should be term limits for senators just as there is for the President and term limits would certainly check the possibility of one becoming corrupted and developing narcissistic behavior if only allowed two four year terms.
In the case of Franken, if he truly can’t remember his actions after a short period of time, how can he be expected to represent his constituents in Minnesota? Can his memory be trusted when he presents and argument on the floor of the Senate? And finally, if he can’t remember his abhorrent behavior toward these victims, can he be trusted to remain in his position without the fear of recidivism? Not likely.
If Franken and those like him remain, the Democratic National Convention will suffer irreparably. Perhaps its time for a change and maybe the people should demand term limits now to check the possibility of long term power corrupting our democratic process.