Most of the time, amendments to the Constitution have a striking purpose. They are put into place with only massive support, because they fulfill a need for an important, course-altering change. And though I’m not the biggest fan of the 26th amendment–changing the voting age from 21 to 18–I understand that it has wide support and a purpose. That being said, there are always those who would like to repeal amendments. They have their reasons, most of them being peculiar, and sometimes dangerous. The following story is the latter.
Jose Serrano, Democratic Congressman from New York, introduced a bill that would eliminate Presidential term limits in the United States. According to Mediaite, this is not the first time Serrano has pushed this bill, having proposed it several times before, going all the way back to 1997.
When I first read this, I thought Serrano was a loner, but I was incorrect. Others have proposed similar bills in the past 20 years, including Steny Hoyer–another Democrat–and Mitch McConnell. I expect Democrats to pull stunts like this, but McConnell is a Republican. Although, given McConnell’s recent involvement in the wonderful fiscal cliff “deal,” I’m not so sure he is a Conservative.
All that being said, here are the reasons a proposition such as Serrano’s is wildly dangerous and inappropriate:
1. The 22nd amendment was put in place for many reasons. First of all to protect the American people from electing a tyrant. Of course, terrible Presidents have been elected before, but term limits put a clock on their reign, timing out at a maximum of 8 years; limiting the damage they can wreak.
2. The American electorate isn’t always the brightest. As I just mentioned, some awful choices have been made in regard to Presidential elections in the past, and as recently as November. Term limits allow for an auto-correct, of sorts. Stupid decisions can be reversed, or at least altered slightly with a new candidate.
3. For more information on the damaging effects of an unlimited Presidency, look to the reign of King FDR.
Obviously, term limits are very important, and luckily, none of the bills introduced to abolish them have made it to a vote. But why would anyone even think it was a good idea to eliminate the 22nd amendment? One of two reasons: they want their party to rule indefinitely, or they have a misplaced faith in our foolish electorate. Either way, it’s a dangerous proposition. Can you imagine a third Barack Obama Presidency? I shudder at the thought.