Reduced spectacle

Now and then, someone brings up the notion of amending the Constitution — and, by extension, the 22nd Amendment — to allow the President only a single six-year term. Usually the argument goes something like this:

In The Federalist No. 51, James Madison famously noted that “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Because presidents are not angels, if knowing they can serve only one six-year term frees them to make decisions that are right for the nation but wrong for their reelection, presidents still will make decisions that subordinate the interests of the nation to the electoral aspirations of the political party of which a particular president is the titular head. But there will be fewer of them. And opposition solons like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner (and Nancy Pelosi during the Bush presidency) will have a more difficult time publicly justifying their obstructionism.

I have my doubts that this would actually work. On the other hand, there is one indisputable benefit from the single six-year term: a third fewer Presidential elections, which means a third less of this sort of thing:

I hate how our nation seemingly goes kind of crazy for a year every four years. It’s like Pon Farr or something. (I know, PMS is probably a more apt and simple metaphor, but … I don’t like the comparison. Also there seems to be no chocolate involved in politics.)

Then again, Pon Farr is every seven years, and seven Vulcan years at that. (How long is a Vulcan year, anyway? Gene Roddenberry once suggested 456 Earth days, so every eight years, nine months, maybe.)

Still undetermined: whether ’tis better to have PMS every four weeks, or every six weeks.

Disclosure: If I lost any friends during this campaign season, I have not been so advised.







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