Amending the American Constitution

Amendingthe American Constitution

InstitutionAffiliation

Amendingthe American Constitution

Onefeature which if given a chance I would change in the Americaconstitution is the presidential two-term limits. The U.S.constitution’s twenty-second amendment set the two-termpresidential limit. The main part of this amendment states: “Noperson shall be elected to the office of the President more thantwice and no person who has been in office of the president or actedas president, for more than two years of a term to which some otherperson was elected president shall be elected to the office of thePresident more than once.” This clause when constitutionallyinterpreted means so many things:

  • One cannot be elected to more than two presidential terms, in spite of whether they are consecutive or not.

  • If one took over the presidency upon the death, removal, or resignation of the president and have served more than two years of the president’s term, one cannot be elected president more than once.

  • If one took over the presidency upon demise, elimination or resignation of the president and have worked two years or less of that president’s term, one cannot be elected president a maximum of two times.

  • If one have been filling in for an indisposed president only as acting president, one can be voted president for a maximum of two terms, unless one has been Acting President for more than two years, in which case can’t be elected president more than once.

Theabove-elaborated part of the America constitution has variouslimitations, which hinder American Presidents from going an extramile to make America the most successful nation in the world.According to Dejevsky (2013), many American President long for athird term since by the time their second time is ending, they stillhave various projects and plans that have not been accomplished tosteer the nations towards greater heights. A common argument, whichis made in favor of the term limits, is based on the argument ofending career politicians to end corruption and other evils and atthe same time bring in new people in an effort to bring innovativeideas, which will be beneficial to the government and the U.S. as anation. However, it is important to point out that better governancecannot be achieved through limiting presidential terms but throughlimiting the powers allocated to presidency. According to Michael(2011), limiting the powers of the American president will see to itthat evils such as corruption, inappropriate budget allocation amongothers are minimized.

Michaelargues that better governance is best achieved through application ofmeritocracy and not through limitations of the time that a personserves as a president (2011). A bad leader does not become bad at acertain age or after a certain pre-determined time in office.Imposition of term limits is not a guaranteed strategy to prevent anineffectual or unsuitable leader from being elected to office in thefirst place. In fact, term limits can and do restrain a person fromserving beyond the specified term limit in spite of how competent andappropriate the person might be or even how much the people beinggoverned might support his or her service in the role.

Anotherreason why presidential term limits should be eliminated from theAmerican constitution is the potential change in behaviors in theoffice especially towards the expiry of the second term. According toDejevsky (2013), if a president in office wishes to be re-elected,they might involve in actions and projects, which they think, willmake them get favored by the US citizens. Therefore, according toDejevsky (2013), if presidents are allowed to run for more than twoterms, they might get into a process terms as ‘self-correcting’in order to win the majority of their constituents. Theself-correcting process is advantageous not only to the president butto America as a nation since many evils and neglected areas will belooked into and corrected.

Sincea president can serve for no more than 8 years in office, nopresident has nay drive and enthusiasm to undertake issues andprojects that have positive impacts well beyond their 8 years inoffice (Michael, 2011). Whilst not having term limits for the USpresident is not a guarantee against short-termism and pandering tothe citizens for re-election, having a term limit takes away anydrive for even the strongest of leaders to take daring steps insolving big, long-term issues facing the United States today.According to Dejevsky (2013), this is one of the main reasons why nopresident has shown any serious interest in getting an effectivesolution to the serious issues related to Medicare and SocialSecurity. President Obama tried a little during his first term inoffice. However, as his second term in almost ending, he is focusingon small issues such as Education, Energy and environment with fewerchallenges and which will require fewer resources to solve. Seriousproblems related to Medicare have been well known for quite some time

Researchshows that no president has had any motivation to tackle these issuesbecause almost any appropriate solution of these enormous problems islikely to arouse a lot of reactions from the citizens during most oftheir 8-year presidency. Any potential future ‘gain’ worthy ofacknowledgement and praise will likely be noticeable and appreciatedonly much after the presidency is long over. That is why it importantfor the American constitution on term limits should be changed toallow the president to remain in office as long he or she isdemocratically elected back by the US citizens. This will not onlymotivate them to tackle the huge problems such as Medicare but alsoto remain faithful and hardworking to the US citizens to ensure theyreturn to office when their term is over.

Accordingto Michael, allowing officeholders other than the executive to askfor reelection is normally seen as a good and suitable feature inwell-functioning democracies (2011). It enhances responsiveness andplaces the correct motivations on officeholders to be responsible totheir citizens. Without the possibility of being elected back,presidents lack the enthusiasm to serve to their bets, the people whovoted them in. The hope of a re-election implies that representativescan be removed from office by US citizens, who they feel have made noefforts in achieving the objectives and promises they sold to themwhile seeking for election.

Initially, term limits were introduced in an effort to promoteresponsiveness and prevent career politicians from running the USpresidency. However, from experience, it has turned out that termlimits have not been an effective strategy to end political careers.Officeholders who are term-restricted simply change to other electedpositions to continue with their political careers. The term limitsdo not bring about a revitalization of the political elite, sincemany local political superiors choose their relatives to take overtheir place or have stand-ins elected to take their spaces until theyare permitted to run again. There are better mechanisms to enhanceaccountability and responsiveness (Dejevsky, 2013). Rather thanpreventing people from re-running, reformers should promoteinstitutional changes that allow rivalry, lower entry thresholds fornew challenges and level the playing field in campaign spending.According to Michael (2011), true individual politicians are not theonly actors interested in serving citizens well. Political partiesalso have the motivations to remain favored by constituents in orderto always emerge victorious in elections. In a healthy democracy withstrong and responsible parties, if individual officeholders are notallowed to run for re-election, he political parties they representhave every reason to make sure their representatives do a good job.Otherwise, their parties will not gather enough votes from the polls.This implies that removal of term limits will not only make theofficeholders responsible but also their political parties.

Fromthe essay, it is quite clear that whilst the term limits appear to behighly beneficial to the US government, the disadvantages associatedwith the restriction might override the benefits. There is enoughevidence that the term-limited presidents already exercise too muchpower. Therefore, rather replacing one extremely powerful presidentwith another equally powerful one, it would make more sense to limitthe powers and features of the presidency regardless of who occupiesthe office. Let the presidents run as often as they desire, but theUS constitution should be amended in such a manner to make the racesmore competitive, level the playing field and limit the powers andattributions allocated to the president.

References

DejevskyM (2013). Why Today’s American President need a third term.Retrieved at 29 April 2015 at:http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-todays-american-presidents-need-a-third-term-8456347.html

MichaelJ. B. (2011). A skeptical view of a Skeptical view of PresidentialTerm Limits. BostonUniversity School of Law Working Paper No. 11-04.Retrieved at 29 April 2015 athttp://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/scholarship/worakingpapers/2011.htm