Six Year, One Term Presidency by Tom Woodard

This change would require a constitutional amendment, and would establish a one term presidency of six years, which would have the following benefits:

  • Avoid relatively short term political campaign cycles, which actually begin currently within two years of a President being elected, especially when an incumbent can run again. Since many policies and decisions need to be enacted with consistency over an intermediate to long term, having disruptive short term political cycles can run directly against the longer term issues and needs of the country.
  • By avoiding reelection campaigns, a President could focus strictly on governance, as opposed to¬†campaigning, which would directly impact both the focus and dynamism of the office.
  • This change would provide a longer time for a President to promote more longer term policies, which are often needed when attempting to make lasting changes in any significant levels of policy.
  • There are models of other countries that already use such a term for their presidency, and they can be readily studied for efficacy and results based on the reasons above listed
  • The forces that would be contrary to this type of change are several: Elections are big business, for both media and states being campaigned in. There would be an economic impact to lengthening this cycle, and no doubt, it would be lobbied against. The counter balance to this is that this change would also impact economic and political decision making favorably, and create economic dividends from the efficiency boost in governance.

In spite of the opposition to considering such a change, it is important to understand some of the basic forces behind several of the key structural issues we face as a country today. Because we have established relatively short term political cycles, which lead to a need to make short term political decisions for political reasons, the United States of America labors under the effects of short term politics, when long term consistency is often required. The structures of office as contemplated in our Constitution could use some reanalysis and revision, and we should not approach such task with fear or any embedded bias against considering changes when needed. I am happy to expand this proposal upon request.

Thank You,
Tom Woodard

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2 thoughts on “Six Year, One Term Presidency by Tom Woodard

  1. I completely agree with your points Tom. I too think we suffer from short sighted thinking when almost all of our big challenges (as a country) will require multi-adminstration efforts to solve. I’ve wondered about doing an 8 year term with a “vote of confidence” every two years. Thus, the President gets 8 years to really get stuff done, but the administration needs to stay focussed and show progress. The control for the system is that, if an administration is really bad, a “vote of no confidence” would launch an election cycle. I’m certainly not an expert, and it’s likely in our divisive political climate, that we would constantly be in election mode. Either way, also citing your ideas above, I think it’s doubtful that either of our plans would be embraced by the political establishment anytime soon. Thanks.

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