I read an article just a moment ago that suggested it was time to repeal the 22nd Amendment and remove the two-term limit to the office of the President of the United States. The comments indicated that the vast majority of people not only opposed repealing the amendment but wanted to institute term limits on Congress and the Federal Judiciary.
Besides the 22nd Amendment, which was ratified in 1951, there have never been restrictions in the Constitution of the United States that limit the amount of time a politician or judge can serve.
States have a variety of term limit laws with 36 states having gubernatorial limits while fifteen states limit the amount of time state representatives can serve. Additionally the 22nd Amendment was ratified by 41 states with 2 states rejecting the amendment and a further 5 states not considering it. As a bonus trivia question for my well-educated and thoughtful viewers, why does the total of states not reach 50?
Those who argue for term limits generally suggest that politicians become corrupted upon being repeatedly elected and garner a dangerous amount of power. That they do as they desire without regard to the electorate as would a tyrant.
Those who oppose term limits largely argue that voters are the ultimate factor in how long a president serves and often quote George Washington who said, “I can see no propriety in precluding ourselves from the service of any man who, in some great emergency, shall be deemed universally most capable of serving the public.”
They also argue that artificial term limits change the way a president governs. That last term office holders have a difficult time building coalitions and accomplishing anything. That last term office holders can effectively do whatever they want without worry of repercussions. That term limited and popular politicians will simply end up with a rotation system where allies are continually elected as proxies. This particular idea reached its highest level of absurdity when Lurleen Wallace was elected governor of Alabama in 1966.
Personally I am for repeal of the 22nd Amendment and the removal of term limits in general. In my opinion term limits are largely designed to correct the problem of elected officials accumulating too much power. That these limits are merely a substitution to our responsibilities as voters in a Representative Republic. That such artificial solutions solve nothing and, in many ways, make the situation worse by giving the illusion of security.
The duty of every voter is to cast their ballot for the most qualified candidate. The candidate that will best serve our nation, our state, and our community. If a politician fails to do so, we have recourse. If we fail to avail ourselves of said recourse then no law can save us.
What do you think?
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