January 18, 2009

BAD IDEA

I know it's not the first time it's been proposed, but I absolutely stand firm against any effort to repeal the 22nd Amendment. And I would've stood firm in 1987 as well when it was proposed during the Reagan presidency. Twice is enough for anyone, even my guy.

MORE TO GROK:

Seems I agree wholeheartedly with what William F. Buckley, Jr. (pbuh) said back in 1988:

Two terms is enough for a President. And if we are going to change the Constitution let's have a three-term limit for senators, and a five-term limit for congressmen.

Now there's an amendment idea.

Posted by Sarah at January 18, 2009 04:38 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Of course you would feel this way. No Republican president is competent enough to last longer than two terms. (Or even be elected fair and square - al-Gore won, and don't you forget it!) So your amendment wouldn't affect your guy who will be out of office in eight years or less (o merciful Allah, we pray for Watergate II!). Your amendment only hurts us, and the People who want us to rule them forever. And you claim to support democracy? Hah! You don't want another Roosevelt.

Today, James Hudnall asked:

But, didnít the lefties say he [Bush] was going to have a coup? Didnít they say the Bushies were going to put all dissenters into POW camps? That these camps were built and ready to go?

Why didnít Bush ďsteal the electionĒ to ensure a Republican win. Why didnít they shut down the press?

Why werenít all the lefties rounded up and tortured? Why did a lefty get elected if the evil Bush junta was controlling things?

Because we overestimate the mindless Bushaitanic beasts and assume they would do what we can only dream of ... did I say that? No, I didn't. Nothing to see here. Move on ...

Posted by: kevin at January 18, 2009 05:37 PM

i would LOVE to see term limits for congress, too. and absolutely no repeal of the 22nd, no matter how wonderful the president.

Posted by: Sis B at January 18, 2009 06:39 PM

Yeah. What Sis B said. Which is basically what Sarah said. So, double yeah!!

Posted by: Guard Wife at January 18, 2009 07:11 PM

Triple yeah! And bipartisan agreement too! Neato!

Regardless of ideology, I think we can agree that an elected official's ideas can be carried on by a successor. We can still advocate the policies we want without voting for the same people year after year. If you like what Obama stands for, is it really necessary to have him run in 2016, when another Democrat could perpetuate his legacy?

We live in a country that should be ruled by laws, not men. This is easy to overloook because laws and the ideas that underlie them are abstract, whereas lawmakers are concrete. We feel for - and vote for - people, but we really should be voting for their ideas.

Posted by: Amritas at January 18, 2009 08:06 PM

Thank you Amritas! Unfortunatly, people didn't vote for the ideas in this last election and only voted for a picture of a man.

I would love to see an election go through in which we never see the candidate until after the election. Let's listen to their ideas, look at their records, and decide without even seeing the person. Man? Woman? Race? Age? We don't know because we've never seen them. What we do know is that their voting history has been xyz and their views on this issue is this.

As for letting a man stayin ANY office longer than two terms, I think it's rediculous. These were not meant to be lifelong careers; rather REAL American's making a difference in this country for a short period of time. Let's limit every office!

Posted by: Jenni at January 18, 2009 08:39 PM

Ditto the agreement, Sarah. And yes to term limits for senators and congressmen as well; or for all elected political offices.

Posted by: Leofwende at January 18, 2009 09:13 PM

Jenni,

I've had similar thoughts about anonymous elections. But it just occurred to me that political analysts would easily be able to identify who was who based on voting records. And not mentioning voting records would enable mystery candidates to make up fantasy platforms that may bear no resemblance to what they actually did in office.

Such a policy would lower voter turnout, but that's not necessarily bad. Perhaps only those who would be interested in ideas would vote. Thomas Sowell argued against uninformed voting back in 2004:

Choosing leaders in a time like this as a matter of self-expression may be the biggest, and perhaps last, self-indulgence in a self-indulgent age. We are not choosing politicians for style or rhetoric. We are deciding who has what it takes to confront our enemies and deter nations who would give aid and sanctuary to those enemies.

In this context, the emphasis on a duty to vote is a very misplaced emphasis. When the right choice is so critical, the emphasis needs to be on making an informed decision, not a knee-jerk response to images and talk.

A citizen who cannot be bothered to find out the facts about the issues, not just media spin or party propaganda, is doing a disservice to this country by voting ó especially when electing leaders making life-and-death decisions whose consequences will affect this generation and generations to come.

Those who vote on the basis of what the government can do for them are especially short-sighted during a war against worldwide terror networks. What good would it do to get free prescription drugs forever if your [life] is likely to be cut short by more attacks like those on September 11, 2001?

The act of voting is easier than thinking about which ideas one is voting for. When was the last time you saw a commercial promoting informed voting? (I almost never watch TV, so I'm the wrong person to ask.)

Then again, even the uninformed could simply blindly vote for their favorite party based on their previous preferences. Maybe even party labels could be withheld from voters, though the information would probably leak out anyway.

Purely ideocentric voting may be impossible, but I'm still open to other ideas for voting reform.

Posted by: Amritas at January 18, 2009 09:14 PM

I agree with you tenfold, Sarah. This cult of personality with Obama truly concerns me...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at January 18, 2009 10:39 PM

Miss Ladybug,

I too share your concern about Obama, but he's not the only example of personality-driven politics. Sarah Palin also emerged as a major figure from last year's election. Yet how much of her popularity is rooted in her ideas as opposed to her embodiment of frontier America? Are people voting for icons or ideas?

Speaking of icons, they would still matter if the ideocentric voting that Jenni and I proposed became a reality. If candidates kept their identities hidden behind numbers, ad campaigns could still sell those numbers to a public without the slightest pretense of substance. Somebody might vote for Number Six (the late Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner is on my mind) just because he saw an ad with an animated number six (think Sesame Street clips with super-expensive CGI). Logos for numbers would hint at ethnicity and gender. Though people strive to be color-blind, their eyes keep asking, "What's your tribe?"

Most of you have no idea what my tribe is, and I like that. The anonymity of the Internet allows ideas to be judged by their own (de)merits. Hence a blog is a better place to try to grok than the "real world," where you would see me and make assumptions - some right and some wrong - before you heard me speak a word. That goes both ways. I too would prejudge you with less than total accuracy. Take away our computers and we're still a tribal species. Us? Not us? We instinctually ask those questions as we vote.

Our ancestors supported rule-for-life by "our" elders, chiefs, and kings. Do we want the modern equivalent of the dynasties of old?

Posted by: Amritas at January 19, 2009 02:54 AM

You bring up a good point, Amritas - I have to admit that I'm generally trying to figure out what a candidate's/survey's/moderator's *agenda* is, (or perhaps what their underlying actionable assumptions are), when they say something that I agree with on the surface. There are SO many ways that the phrase, "we should help people," could be interpreted, for example, as our desires to help are so frequently co-opted into tools to force injustice on others...

I really REALLY like Jenni's idea of anonymous candidates in some ways, because we'd have to, say, READ to make up our minds (provided we cared, which I don't think so many do anymore)... I think, though, that in my desire to really understand a candidate and what they mean by their words, I need to get to know more about them than what their official positions are on a given set of issues. The direction that those official positions *come from* - and the direction they might *take* in the future - are very important to me, as well. Plus, I know it sounds naÔve, but I want someone I can also *respect* for their character, rather than someone who happens to temporarily agree with me. Words, minus a full context, are (unfortunately?) very limited in the information they can convey.

Posted by: kannie at January 19, 2009 03:45 PM

kannie,

You're right: a candidate is more than "their official positions are on a given set of issues." In the ideocentric voting scenario, those positions would be fine-tuned to attract target demographics. That's already happening, but imagine today's verbal manipulation taken to another level. However, the gap between rhetoric and record could be enormous.

To guess what that gap might be, we need what you call the "full context." We need clues to determine the character of a candidate, to see if our agreement with him is likely to temporary or long-term.

Maybe there's nothing inherently wrong with having all the available facts on a candidate. The trouble may lie in how we weigh those facts - if we weigh them at all.

Term limits may encourage a bit more fact-weighing simply because it cuts down on incumbent inertia. Instead of reflexively voting for the same person in election after election, one will see new faces and one might pause to think about them.

Then again, maybe "faces" is the key word. "He looks hot! I'll vote for him!" Shallow voting will always be with us. The question remains: how do we minimize it?

Posted by: Amritas at January 19, 2009 04:24 PM

I completely agree that the 22nd amendment should stay right where it is. I would support an amendment to set the limit to 1 term for any legislator, with a term of 4 or 6 years for any of them. That way, the corrupt re-election system would be cut off at the ankles.

Posted by: Barb at January 19, 2009 05:11 PM

@Amritas -

"The question remains: how do we minimize [shallow voting]?"

I don't know... for my part, it's: do my best to learn everything I can, educate the one(s) I'm responsible for educating, pipe up in civil discussion, and wait for the faces-and-fasces voters to grow out of their political adolescence... ;-)

In a nutshell, minimize it by minimizing ignorance. The biggest problem, though, is that people are more *comfortable* being ignorant right now.

RE: the 22nd Amendment - yep, keep it where it is. FDR's the reason for it, and he's the one Obama's policies tend to resemble... SUCH a timely discussion, LOL!!!

Posted by: kannie at January 19, 2009 11:53 PM