American Presidency: Why is 1-Term a Must?

July 1st, 2011
in Op Ed

presidential-seal Guest Author: Frank Li (See bio at end of article.)

I already identified the root cause of many American ills as the incompetence of the American political system (see Cancer), and proposed a solution with 1-term (e.g. 6 years) for the Presidency being the core. This article will further support my position.

The American political system today is fundamentally flawed for two main reasons:

Follow up:

(1)    Representation: Democracy requires participation. Unfortunately, the majority oftentimes remains silent and the most vocal are heard most. Who are the most vocal? Various special interest groups (e.g. the unions)! Who are totally voiceless? The future generations! Still wondering why & how we have piled up the huge debts on their back? Wonder not - They have no representation in our system! Our politicians care more about the next election than about the next generations! President Obama cares more about his re-election than about anything else!

(2)    Constitution: We live in a world of changes, but our Constitution has hardly changed over the past 200+ years. Is this a virtue or incompetence? To me, one big change is long overdue: set 1-term (e.g. 6 years) for the Presidency.

American politics is said to have checks & balances. What are the ultimate checks & balances against the kind of extreme democracy in America today? Dictatorship! Before we surrender to this destiny, let’s try a better solution: set the American Presidency to be 1-term (e.g. 6 years). Here are two main reasons:

(1)    A President limited by 1-term is the closest to a dictator America needs today! This, together with some term-limits for Congress (preferably 1-term of 6 years too), will give democracy another chance to work before the Chinese system prevails.

(2)    History shows that with the burden of re-election, a President could be reckless, trying to get re-elected at any cost, to such an extreme recently that presidential politics seemed to have played a huge role in the wars (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya).  In that sense alone, a democratically elected President is no better than a dictator!

One legitimate concern, as expressed to me by former House Speaker Hastert , is this: 6 years may be too long to get rid of a bad President. This problem is unique in America, as the statutory requirements for the Presidency are virtually nonexistent. For example, Senator Obama had no executive experience of running anything, not even a candy shop, and his resume was not good enough to run any American company. Yet he won the popularity contest of the American Presidency! Now, has President Obama spent enough of your grandchildren’s money to buy your vote for his re-election?

In addition to 1-term, we must raise the statutory requirements for the Presidency, such as being a full-term governor and age 55+. That way, an American President can be as experienced as many other world leaders, such as China's. It’s a competitive world out there and there is no substitute for experience!

Adapt or die! Human history is a history of evolution. Why should the American political system be so different? How long are we to continue to sleep on the 200-year-old system?

Related Articles

America: It’s the Political System Stupid! by Frank Li

What’s the Real Cost of the Iraq War? by Frank Li

10-Point Democracy Manifesto by Frank Li

Tiananmen Square by Frank Li

The Answer is Democracy; The Question is Why by Frank Li

My Country is in Trouble by Frank Li

Diagnosis for America: Cancer! by Frank Li

About the Author

Frank Li Frank Li is the Founder & President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action. Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson" (see page 31).

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  1. stan says :

    Rather than a single six year term, I favor limiting the president to one four year term at a time, but as many as he or she can get elected for. Each time after serving a term, a president has to sit out one or more terms.

    First, this aligns the president's interest with the longer term.

    Second, it gives a president time to reflect on and learn from his last term before running, and possibly serving, again.

    Third, it creates a pool of possible future presidents that has experience, allowing the country to potentially get something in return for all the on-the-job training and secret service hours.

  2. Frank Li says :

    Your proposal is better than what we have today, but not as good as mine. Stay tuned for my next article, due out 7/15, when I will focus on the age issue.

    --- Frank



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