Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

He was the most powerful political leader in our history. He could have been elected again and again as president of the United States. Some historians believe he was so popular that he could have declared himself King.

But George Washington didn’t want himself or anyone else to be king. After his second term, George Washington stepped down making it clear that no one should monopolize a seat of public power. He faithfully gave back to the people the enormous power they entrusted to him.

Thus, Washington established the tradition of a two-term limit on the president that continued for 142 years until broken by Franklin Roosevelt. Once the tradition was broken, Congress moved quickly to make it the law of the land through the 22nd Amendment. The states ratified the amendment within a year. We just celebrated not only Washington’s birthday but also the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, his legacy of presidential term limits.

When the Amendment was passed, Harry Truman was president. True to Truman’s “the buck stops here” philosophy, he stepped down after two terms, even though the amendment exempted him. Truman told us, “In my opinion eight years as president is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity.” And he added, “There is a lure in power. It can get into a man’s blood just as gambling or lust for money have been known to do.”

Washington and Truman understood the corrupting nature of power, and they had the character to hand back that power. Great men lead by example; an example today’s leaders would do well to follow.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

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