What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I always say.
On February 27th, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of a noble event in the annals of democracy: the ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment provides that no person shall stand for office for the Presidency of the United States more than twice. It ensures that no matter how much power a given chief executive may gather to his bosom, there is a definite limit on how long he may wield it. Every eight years there will be a fresh face, a fresh perspective a fresh start. But if it’s good for the goose, how about the gander?
During the 1947 debate on the 22nd amendment, a certain Senator O’Daniel suggested that ALL federal officials be term-limited, not just the President. His proposal was rejected 82 to 1. Yet all politicians face the same incentive, the same potential to be corrupted by power, to treat their seat like a monopoly.
Congress should honor the 50th anniversary of presidential term limits by passing a limit on their own terms two terms max in the Senate, three terms in the House. In a 1951 editorial on the new presidential term limit, the Washington Post said that, quote, “power-grasping officials are common enough in history and current world experience to warrant this safeguard.” That’s still true. And what’s good for the goose is still just as good for the gander.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.