The Case For A One-Term Presidency
- Eliminating the evils of reelection - ã
"Our political system is subverted today by what has become a re-election syndrome - i.e., one producing careerist, conflicted, and money-dependent politicians more indebted to those who fund their campaigns and media exposure than the majorities responsible for their election. The dismal effects of this re-election circus are most pervasive, and significant in their impacts upon the people, within the race for the highest office in the land - the presidency of the United States."
The Case For A One-Term Presidency, 1988
"I will do what I have to do to be re-elected"
Pres. George Bush 41
"Politicians are always realistically maneuvering for the next election. They are obsolete as fundamentalproblem-solvers."
R. Buckminster Fuller
Nearly twenty-five years ago, while writing The Case for a One Term Presidency, I never expected to see such a perfect scenario to illustrate the need for this reform as the last election - in which the leader of the Republican party, Mitch McConnell, made it clear that the complete and total object of their endeavours is to deny President Obama a second term. So, forget the people and the issues. Meanwhile, the party in office will do everything it can to secure a second term.
In effect, every first term is an abomination, a cartel of corruption and disruption by both our corporate money-fed parties, all due to the fact a second presidential term is available. A constitutional amendment to secure a one-term presidency would be a very meaningful reform - one releasing both office holders and opposition parties from worry about the future. They will have their chance again in an election without an incumbent advantage. As a result of a guaranteed one-term, both parties can focus on the moment and the needs of the people. A second presidential term, however, prevents exactly that more productive political condition and fosters ever more corruption and delay.
I also never imagined any politician would so bluntly state the terrible truth as uttered by President Bush #41. Given that he was once the most powerful man in the world, an ex-head of the C.I.A., (not to mention his son's presidency becoming an absolute disaster) the implications of his candid statement are revealing, frightening, and a lesson in perverted democracy.
In one simple sentence Bush 41 and Mitch McConnell have validated my thesis that all re-elections, particularly for the presidency, are a terrible mistake. Reelection, particularly of the president, can now be seen as our worst national disaster with a second-term psychosis clearly serving as the nexus-point of corruption. All manner of corruption, legislative trickery, obstructionism, and economic mischief are driven by the view toward the second term by winners and losers alike.
Its a well-known strategy that, early in the first term, the economy is purposely driven down so recessions occur early in order to set up the economy for an upswing at re-election time. So, we elect a new president and the first thing they do is slow down and stagger economic progress - all because of the ability to run for a second term. The ugly stuff, and all the ruling elite fascist imperatives, are then saved for the second term.
In short, in "our" political system, its all about ego, the ego of one person and their legacy and wanting desperately to avoid being a one-term president Why should we, the people, endure this screwed up ego-maniacal process when it is nothing less than a blatant call for anything that serves the interests of the president and administration in power. The people's needs clearly come second as the real priority given the two-term setup is re-election.