Saturday, November 21, 2020

What’s Wrong With One-Term Presidents?

Timothy Noah at Washington Monthly
"When I first started working as a political journalist in 1980 the conventional wisdom wasn’t that presidents who failed to win re-election were losers. It was that American politics had become so fractious that two-term presidencies were becoming an impossibility. ...

"A proposed solution much discussed around the time of Carter’s failed re-election bid was the six-year presidency. You couldn’t be taken seriously as a good-government type if you didn’t give it serious consideration. Even before Carter lost, his White House counsel Lloyd Cutler published a widely read piece in the fall 1980 Foreign Affairs about limiting presidencies to a single six-year term. The Great Books evangelist Mortimer Adler supported it (“I think we have some reason to believe that the second term often turns out to be disastrous”). William F. Buckley supported it. ..."
Adler apparently said this in an interview by Buckley on Firing Line, April 24, 1987.

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