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The one exception to my opposition to term limits

By Scott Tibbs, January 16, 2014

Thomas E. Cronin had a very good editorial on January 3 about term limits. While I generally oppose term limits on the grounds that they take away choice from voters, the President is the one place where I make an exception to this principle and favor the two-term limit in the Constitution of these United States..


The power of the President is immense. That power was immense when the amendment was adopted in 1951, and has grown steadily ever since. The President is commander-in-chief of the most powerful military the world has ever known and commands a massive federal bureaucracy. Through executive orders, the President even has limited legislative powers that he can exercise by himself - though Presidents of both parties have arguably abused this power. I doubt the men who wrote the Constitution ever intended on the President having this kind of power.

Because of the incredible power that the President has, because executive power is likely to grow, and because the unique position the President has to create a cult of personality for himself using the bully pulpit, term limits for the President are a prudent check on government power, even if they do place a limit on voters' right to choose their leaders. Furthermore, Presidents do not need more than two terms to implement their agenda, and a president of the same party can always pick up where the last President left off.

There is no other office in these United States that has that kind of authority. Even without the threat of being thrown out of office in the next election, no President wants to see his party's nominee be defeated. That would be seen as a rejection of both the incumbent and his policies. Term limits for Presidents are not ideal, but as long as we have sinful men running our government, we will need some checks and balances to protect our liberty. Term limits for Presidents are a necessary check, and we should resist calls to change it.