Throughout all this incredible and unprecedented legal and political wrangling over who will be the president, there was all along one thing we could count on that provided a true measure of stability: President William Jefferson Clinton would not, could not be the President of the United States for a third term. It may have taken us a while to figure out who is the president, but we had great certainty about who could not be.
The 22nd Amendment to our Constitution stipulates that no person can hold this highest office for more than two full terms. And once held for those two terms, he or she cannot ever hold the office again. The reason is simple: we shouldn’t allow any one person to hold power for long because power corrupts. Washington made the point when he stepped down as president after two terms.
Thomas Jefferson continued Washington’s limit of two terms and the tradition lasted until FDR. Then Congress passed the 22nd Amendment limiting the President to two terms though alas absentmindedly forgetting to term-limit themselves.
And now, having seen a presidential election that could have turned into a real crisis, it’s good to know that life went on normally in our land because we are, at our best, governed by the rule of law, not the arbitrary edicts of men. The 22nd Amendment, term limits for the president, is an important part of that foundation of law.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.