Democrat Representative Jose Serrano from New York has reintroduced a bill that would abolish presidential term limits by repealing the 22nd Amendment. The bill proposes “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”
This isn’t the first time Serrano has proposed this idea. He’s done it multiple times in the past under Clinton’s administration and even George W. Bush’s. In fact, he’s introduced this amendment every 2 years since 1997.
George Washington set the precedent by only serving two terms. In his farewell address, he said that he actually wanted to retire after his first term, and that he never actually thought of himself as qualified to be president at all. (Oh, to have such humility in candidates running for president nowadays.) But he was compelled by those he trusted and was convinced that it was his duty to serve a second term.
It seemed to be the prevailing opinion among the founding fathers that the president’s term be limited so as to prevent a monarchy. Jefferson wrote in 1807 that “if some termination to the services of the chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life.”
But it wasn’t actually proposed to be law until 1947 after FDR’s 3rd term. FDR actually won a 4th term but died a few months in. The 22nd amendment was finally ratified in 1951, which now limits presidents’ terms to two.
People are saying that such a bill would never pass with a GOP-controlled House. That’s probably true, but as people’s dependence on government increases, and people’s perception of the president gravitates towards one of a monarch or a benevolent dictator, the American opinion will gradually be more in favor of eliminating presidential term limits. If there’s any president under which the 22nd Amendment would be overturned, it would be Obama. Has there ever been a president that has been compared to Jesus and has been called our “savior” as many times as Obama has? Has there ever been a president that has received as much blind and cult-like support from people (mostly those with high melanin content) as Obama has?
If there’s any president that could sell this to the American people, it would be Obama. I’m sure his supporters would relish the idea of a 3rd Obama term and even riot if they didn’t get their way. And predictably, anyone not in favor of a 3rd term would be called a racist.
Representative Serrano has introduced this joint resolution many times, but perhaps this time will be different. But let’s hope that it doesn’t make it out of committee.