Actually, rather than repeal it, I think we should extend it to all elected politicians- two terms and you’re out. It would prevent a lot of damage caused by entrenched ‘career politicians’ at the local, state, and federal level.
Specific instances aside, I agree with the premise. Being able to win an election after the population has had to deal with the consequences of your leadership for 8 or 12 or whatever years already strikes me as a stronger indicator of your suitability than we have for the new guys.
I’m against term limits in all cases. They’re an arbitrary restriction on who I choose to vote for. They punish job experience for the job most related to the one you’re applying for. And I suspect in the case of legislators having more inexperienced juniors around just leads to laws written by more experienced lobbyists.
I consider this a problematic attitude. We should expect politicians to be “career politicians”. A government representing hundreds of millions of people, all with different world views and expectations from government is a messy, complicated business. Our representatives need to be able to compromise, horse trade, wheel and deal, etc. with great skill in order to move the dial in the direction desired by their constituents. The “throw the experienced bums out” attitude is at best going to give you ineffectual politicians. Worse, it gives you people who can’t compromise, and think that burning everything to the ground is better than compromise. And even worse, you’d be outsourcing the decision making to the special interests who have the experience needed to run rings around the flailing legislators.
If I as a voter live in a prosperous state and think my representative is doing a great job, you’re essentially telling me that I’m not allowed to vote for them anymore. And you are doing it based on a reason why they might be good at their job.
Why not apply this logic to other professions? “So doc, how many times have you done this laser eye surgery?” “Oh, thousands of times.” “Argh, a ‘career doctor’. No thanks, I’ll go to the guy that tries to stick the laser in my ear.”
I don’t like this idea of “de facto” dictators even if they are elected. It cuts both ways, suppose there are no term limits and Obama and Clinton were to die and someone like Trump or whatever was elected, and only the dumbest mothers on the planet show up to vote every year, what if Trump just kept squeaking through and getting elected for like 4 or 5, four year terms in a row?
As someone who lives somewhere without term limits, I think you are better off with them. People are inherently conservative and don’t like change. They get used to things even as they get slowly worse. They apply a “devil you know” rule even where inappropriate. Brand recognition is huge and the longer a leader is around, the higher profile brand they get. Power corrupts; leaders run out of steam in terms of energy and ideas, but can often maintain sufficient of a front to appear worthy of re-election, even when they are not. Look at how his time in office has aged Obama.
There’s too much entrenchment without term limits.
You’re forgetting that changing one thing often changes something else.
Yes, Clinton would have won a third term. But then Bush would have had his first election in 2004. That in turn means that he would have had two advantages in 2008 that McCain did not have–(1) less time for people to get tired of Republicans in the White House, and (2) the power of incumbency. Thus he would have won re-election.
By 2012, who knows what would have happened on the Democratic side? John Kerry may have been a serious contender that cycle. Obama very well may not have been the “flavor of the month” any longer. Even if he was, the memory of Bill Clinton having a third successful term almost certainly would have tipped the scales over to Hilary.
You’re forgetting that it changes more things. If Clinton had won a third term in 2000, Bush might very well not have been the Republican candidate in 2004. (He very likely would not have been, had he been the losing candidate in 2000.) Even if he were the candidate, he might very well not have been elected. Assuming 9/11 had happened, the 2004 election would have been all about how Clinton had handled 9/11. In fact, Clinton might well have pulled an FDR and gone for a fourth term, especially if there was in this alternative history a sense that the US was “at war” in 2004. (Would Clinton have invaded Iraq in 2003?)
So, really, if Clinton had run and won in 2000, we do not know who the candidates would have been in 2004, still less who would have won.
I get the arguments against term limits, but the idea of a President serving no more than two terms was unwritten law from the beginning, and only became written law because a President violated it, albeit with good reason.
There is one overriding concept that trumps voting rights: the right of the people to individual liberty. That is placed in serious jeopardy if someone can be elected President again and again. Many of the same people who complain about the influence of money in politics and how uneven it makes the playing field seem pretty unconcerned with the power of incumbency.