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Yes, without it someone could be re-elected as president until they die. It would be like having a king!

Prior to the 22nd amendment presidents could be elected to multiple 4-year terms, although only one, FDR, ever was, however a president can be removed easily by not re-electing him/her. Presidents were never elected for life. Also, the system of checks and balances prevents a president from becoming a "king" regardless of how many terms he/she serves.

No one ever probably would of been elected their entire life but the point was it could of happened! The fear that one person could become to powerful by being re-elected so many times is the reason it was one of the original 12 amendments voted on for the original Bill of Rights ( only 10 were passed but this amendment (obviously) and the other one were eventually added). It is true the system of checks and balances would stop the person from truly becoming a king but he would have to much power over time so it is not a good that could of happened.

The amendment limiting a president to two terms was not one of the originally proposed 12 amendments. It was not proposed until Congress did so in 1947. Also, continually being re-elected would still be the will of the people; if that is what they want then it would be okay. If the people did not want the president any more, they would elect a new one. The implication that remaining in power at the will of the people would still result in a president with too much power is ludicrous. Again, the system of checks and balances would prevent this.

Honestly, the idea behind the 22nd Amendment is a good one, for the reasons outlined above. However, the actual wording of the amendment itself is quite poor - in fact, many constitutional scholars consider this one of the worst-written amendments there is. The reason behind this is that while it addresses the problems of electability of a President, that is only one part of the whole equation. There are multiple ways a person can become President (with being elected only the most common one), and thus, the amendment creates a number of loopholes around the term limitations. It especially fails to address the problem of succession to the Office of the President (upon death, resignation, etc.).

Now, in practice, it hasn't proved to be that bad, but there is a very real potential for problems. All of this could have been avoided by a clearer wording of the amendment - to whit, a wording like this would have avoided all the current issues:

"No person, having served as Acting President and/or occupied the Office of the President for a cumulative sum of more than 6 years, may be elected or succeed to the Office of the President, nor may they serve as Acting President."

To address the assertion above that the people could always fail to re-elect a President as a form of "term limits", this is certainly true. However, the longer a person holds anyelected office, the more power, influence, and (especially) money they accumulate to bolster their retention of the office. From a practical standpoint, since we currently fail to prohibit electioneering by office-holders, they gain a huge advantage in any re-election campaign. That is, while we don't allow them to use funds or facilities of the office they hold for political purposes, there are myriad of ways to sidestep these restrictions and still have a considerable benefit in any re-election campaign simply by being the incumbent.

Long-term data on our elections (not just Presidential, but across most elected offices in the entire U.S. political system), show that incumbents retain their office at a staggering rate - well over 85% of the time on average, which is attributable in large part to the advantages in access and funding that the incumbent holds over any challenger. While the Presidency does not have this kind of imbalance (generally speaking, a President only has about a 65% change of being re-elected), the extreme power wielded by a President should make us more leery of allowing them access to that for very long periods of time.

The strongest argument I see for NOT having term limits is the "lame duck" argument - a sitting President who cannot run for re-election has signficantly less incentive to be concerned with popular opinion. Even this has good and bad sides.

Overall, it's a judgement call. My call is that the Presidency is too important for an individual to hold sway over for long periods of time - two terms seems a reasonable period to both get some things accomplished, and not keep a stranglehold on power.

The previous response makes several valid points, especially concerning incumbency and the "lame duck" effect, however I cannot agree with the statement about "the extreme power wielded by a President". This is an overstatement considering that the president accounts for 1/3 of the federal government's power and the system of checks and balances maintains the separation of powers. If the president wielded extreme power, then he/she would get whatever he/she wanted. Even when the president's party holds a majority in Congress he/she does not get anything he/she wants. Besides, the fact remains that we are a Republic and the ultimate authority to rule rests with the people. That authority is diminished when we are forced to remove a president we may still feel should hold the office.

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Q: Was the 22nd Amendment a good amendment?
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Related questions

What does the 22nd amendment have to do with Kennedy?

Kennedy was on of the 11 northern Senators who voted for the 22nd Amendment.

What did 22nd amendment do?

The 22nd Amendment restricts presidents of the USA to be elected no more than two times.

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Which amendment decided that a person could be president for only two terms?

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