It is time to Modify our 22nd Amendment

22nd Amendment
22nd Amendment

Modify the 22nd Amendment

It seems to me that this country has come to a cross roads regarding our 22nd amendment. I am not going to pick on Obama, (I will save that for another hub) because he is just another POTUS. Another one that is in the position to where running the country has been consumed by having to spend a great deal of time, to run for a second term.

For the most part the first two years of any POTUS are spent trying to implement policies and plans. The second two years are spent on being re-elected. If they are successful in their attempt, they become for the most part, essentially, lame ducks for the last term. As it is, two years out of eight are only remotely resourceful.

George Washington set a great example of how it SHOULD be. He was reluctant to run a second term, and refused a third one. FDR, went the other way. Where, in my opinion, nearly ruined a good thing and nearly brought forth a dictatorship. He was actually in there for life, after succumbing to his death shortly after his fourth term. That was when the 22nd amendment was introduced to prevent such of an event from ever occurring again. I was introduced by the leadership of Harry Truman.

The Solution?

I say it is time to modify this amendment, I suggest that a POTUS should only be eligible to serve 1-term, but lets extend the term to 6 years.

This would allow the President to serve during three sessions of congress to fulfill all of his/her intended policies. I believe this would make it a more productive term, taking away the lame ducks and the “politics” of campaigning for a re-election. The POTUS could then be eligible to serve a second term, after two terms has passed. Bill Clinton for example would have been eligible in 2012 and George W. Bush if this plan was implemented, in 2018. Not that I would endorse either of these possibilities, but the potential opportunities would be permissible.

While we are at it, I say it is time to put term limits on our congress to three (3) two-year terms and senate to two (2) six-year terms. I would also suggest we do away with or at the minimum, reduce the pension plan for all of those serving elected terms. This alone would save the Nation billions of taxpayer dollars, and only those who decided to take on the task to serve would have more honorable intentions of serving this Country.

This is yet another “rant” of mine of how I perceive the way things ‘Ought to be’. What do you guys think?

Comments 39 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

I love your proposed solution, now how do we go about getting that to happen?

rkhyclak profile image

rkhyclak 5 years ago from Ohio

I like it. Although can we wait till Obama is gone? Another four years under 1 term without even the hope of ousting makes me kinda sick to my stomach. I'm ALL for reworking Congress terms. Those guys stick around for way too long.

ElderYoungMan profile image

ElderYoungMan 5 years ago from Worldwide

Good to see you Merritt. If we bring it back to what it actually is, a service rendered to the people, not a career or an opportunity to get rich in leadership, the term limit not only makes sense, but is desired. As a society, we've become numb to corruption. The fact that they try to stay in office until they die is not based on a want or need to serve. All politicians should have term limits, regardless of how low the office. When we restore the truth of what they are doing, serving, the term limit part will take care of itself I think. @OPM, the eternal question. How? I'm still working on that from the last time you asked me directly, months ago! Great hub Merritt.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author


Great question.............hmmmm. Hey, I'm just the idea guy.....getting the idea done is a whole new battle... lol

Thanks for your comments


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

rkhyclak, boy do I agree with you...another four years of the current leadership makes me a tad nautious too.

Thanks for commenting...

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Hi Elder, good to see you too!! I appreciate you coming by and leaving your comment.

They have really ruined an honorable thing....NOT what our forefathers had in mind, I am sure.

Thanks for the compliment.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I think I prefer the present term limits...periodic elections. After all, suppose a candidate is an oustanding statesman? Why should we deny the people the right to re-elect such a person with an artificial limit?

And can you imagine Obama for six years?

Very thoughtful Hub CMerrit!

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago

Those ideas certainly have merit. Limiting the powers of politicians that have been at the wheel too long is a worthy goal.

My main problem is that term limiting our political actors was something seriously considered by the framers of the Constitution, but rejected. Among the framers, the popular idea for POTUS' term was for a congressionally-elected executive for seven years with no chance of reelection. They valued this approach because they felt the length of time was right and because they wanted an executive independent of the Congress.

The problem is that it would encourage him to be a tyrant. We can envision POTUS saying "I can do what I want since I don't have to face the ballot box again." This would only encourage presidents to use their more dictatorial powers (like executive orders, declaring national emergencies, war powers) and would discourage them from working with the Congress to pass productive measures for the benefit of the people.

Framers, like Hamilton, believed that reelection was one of the best incentives for good behavior. I can't imagine that a single-term president is going to be more receptive to the wishes of the American people than a two-term one.

Any proposal is going to have its drawbacks. I guess we have to ask ourselves whether or not we have arrived at the time where we need to accept the negative consequences of term limits because the alternatives are worse.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

The thought of having Obama in office for 4 more years is terrifying!

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Feasible? Probably. Probable? Not likely. We're dealing with power hungry politicians unfortunately. I am an advocate of term limits on Congressional members but it will take people with more guts than those sitting up there warming those seats for decades on end to make that happen.

FDR was the prime example of wanting to establish a dynasty. The Founding Father's were subjected to such a thing and it was tyranny in action. The government was envisioned and instituted and created for the common man by the common man.

We've strayed from that concept and now have a bunch of squabbling, career pickpockets sitting on The Hill. That definitely needs to end.

Great Hub C.

The Frog

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Will, I think Harry Truman has the best answer for what an outstanding "Statesman" really is..."A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years."

and YES, I do shutter at the thought of a 6-year Obama..

Thanks for your comments...

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author


I agree with you that any proposal is going to have its drawbacks...but, I really think it is time to seriously re-evaluate our current status.

I appreciate you stopping by and commenting...

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author have said a mouthful!!

thanks for stopping by....are you still heading for the inn?

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Frog, I love your point that "The government was envisioned and instituted and created for the common man by the common man"....WOW, that has truly become lost.

Great insight, and I appreciate your comments.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

I love your ideas on "Term Limits" I bet Harry Truman would have too. In a Perfect Country this could be...I can't wait till 2012...I want to see a NEW President who works for this Country!

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Amen b. Malin....Amen!!


Stu From VT 5 years ago

I'm beginning to come around to your way of thinking. I always felt the lifetmie full pension and medical for serving a single term was outragious, but term limits scared me a bit (and still do) from the standpoint that without experienced Congressmen, who are the freshmen going to have for advice, mentoring, etc. It's sort of like trying to run a company with no experienced employees.

Unfortunately, we can't have it both ways. If we reduce ffringes to private sector equivalents, and impose term limits, it could take some of the politics out of politics. Congressmen would be less afraid of making bold, unpopular decisions because they won't be viewing Congress as career. They would also be more willing to refuse bribes for earmarks and loopholes. At the end of the day, term limits may be just what we need.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Hi Stu!....I really do think THIS would be a step in the right direction. I don't think we need experienced "politicians" to pass on the baton to rookie congressmen.....we need honest Americans who want to abide by the constitution and run this country.

I appreciate you dropping yb and Thank you for commenting...


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi C,

Thanks for your comments. I really need to think this out in my mind. I love the idea of Americans like Herman Cain just coming in for a term or two, doing the right thing, and then going back to the private sector, just like Washington did. But knowledge and experience are not unimportant. It's sort of a balance. How you draw the line is complex and there are no perfect answers.

I have no problem with career politicians or wana-bees, as long as they are non-establishment, people like Bachmann, Rubio, Angle, etc. The thing that bothers me is that there are so few people that want to BOTH develop real political experience over time AND not become part of the "status quo." I know there are about 10 people in Congress that meet this test, but that really sucks when you consider that Congress has 535 incumbents. We just have to do better.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

I guess I too, would have no problem with career politicians IF, their heart was in the right place. Like you said, that would leave maybe a dozen in DC that come close to fitting that mold.

Stu, it really is a shame that THIS is even an issue and a problem. Just think how much better this Nation would be if things was done the way our forefathers intended it to be.

Stu From VT 5 years ago


Unfortunately, a lot of pol's in Congress are in it for the money. It really amazes me how many come out of Congress rich, even though they entered of modest means, and Congressional pay, while good, is hardly lavish. I think you can see the picture.


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 5 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

Like your if only your rantings could become realities!!!! Great writing!!!


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Maggie.....and boy, I sure do with there was a good way to make some good things become a reality...we sure have a way of keeping thing complicated.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Hi,CMerritt, I can't really say that this is a bad idea on its face. Four years as president is not enough time to really get a handle on things. It may well be appropriate for Senators and Reps, keeps everybody humble and reminded as to who they work for, by discouraging empire building.....

Thanks for the invitation to join your team

Regards Cred2

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Cred2, I look forward to more exchanges and comments.

I apprectiate your thoughts....I really think it is time for some serious changes in DC.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I agree with you 100 percent. One six year term with no possibility of reelection would be perfect, in my opinion, for the reasons you noted so well. Excellent Hub!

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks James!! I appreciate you coming by to read my little rant... lol

daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

The idea sounds good to me. Congress has more power than the President. Limiting them would be great. And I like that the President can run again after a term is up.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks das,

NOW, we just got to figure out a way to make this happen....

Jim? (Manwithnopants!) about it?

rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Awesome Hub CMerritt

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Rach!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California


It is time to update this hub.

Although I do like the idea of a single 6 year term.

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

There is no way these politicians in office today will change the status quo. Though there may be some good ones who are in it for the right reasons they are too few and far between to effect this kind of change. If you want changes you have to work within the boundaries the old guard want to keep, so a 6 year term is out .

Now we have seen a movement in this country toward recalls so why not a compromise. Change the President's term from 4 to 8 years but allow him to be subject to a recall every 3 years - If successfully recalled in 3 years he serves out the next year to when we can have the election in that 4th year. This way candidates can't spend more than a year raising money and campaigning and the President has to be on his toes - three years is a short time.

The recall will be a referendum on his performance, like his trampling the constitution or lying daily to the public or "phoney" scandals. One misstep and WE can take him out! If he is good or this threat keeps him honest there won't be any recalls, he'll serve 8 years with our approval and we won't have to suffer an election every 4 years. Parameters for a recall can be set in such a way as to discourage any kind of frivolous attempts at it. This could be sold to the public because it gives the citizens the power.

My point being without real accountability for their actions (besides elections that can be manipulated by media, parties and money) Presidents will continue to run roughshod over the electorate and send the country down the wrong path as Obama has demonstrated can easily be done.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Well said tsadjatko - How about we add to your comment a scoreboard and time limit on campaign promises? Failure to fulfill those wild campaign promises made prior to any election would be cause for removal from office?

What's that? They would have nothing to say in their campaign speeches if they had to keep their promises? That sure would cut down on the TV ads we are forced to watch prior to every election.

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Well at least that would make them reluctant to promise too much or make promises he knows won't be kept. But like this shutdown - to make this shutdown as painful as possible the park service shut down monuments at the direction of the white house - these things weren't closed during other shutdowns - when a president purposely directs that sort of activity to punish innocent citizens he should be subject to an immediate recall. I'm sick of hearing all the politicians and talking heads talk about this stuff, obvious lying, policies that are plain lies and nobody can do anything about it when it is happening.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

The worst part is than nobody ever steps forward and admits it was their decision.

Even the media is guilty of saying things like, "The White house has decided to close all parks until this budget issue is resolved."

Excuse me, but isn't the White house a building? When do buildings get to dictate what is open and what is closed?

Wouldn't if be refreshing if someone had the courage to step up and say, "I, Dudly Doowrong, the Director of Pain and Suffering, have made a decision to close all of our National Parks."

It is nearly impossible to get the name of the official who makes all of these goofy decisions. I have my suspicions, but think I just hear a drone fly over my house.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

Might I point out the financcial condition of California given that it voters have been allowed to elect either Jerry Brown or his dad over and over again as governor. The big fly in the oinment here is that such a proposal would make it potentially possible for Obama to return to office...I cannot abide with any plan which contains such a provision. If our Congress were doing its job at the present, he would be under consideration for impeachment merely on his threats of this past week regarding the debt. The way I see it, we can tolerate a sorry President for one term but we have now tolerated an ineffective, spineless Congress for decades and the problem is only getting worse. How would you like to have attended some of the celebrations they all held last night to wrap up National Drama Month in Washington D.C.? ~WB

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 3 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

I totally understand your point, 0n the same note, if a POTUS has done a real service to our country, after sitting out a term, would it not be nice to have real leadership available to us once again?

It is a shame, that when one OBVIOUSLY has failed, that the people cannot realize this and no longer demand his/her service.

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