Four Years Carte Blanche? (Vol. 50, Issue 2)
The twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution creates more problems than it remedies. The Amendment, which limits a president to a maximum of two terms in office, protects Americans against a demagogue seizing the presidency for an extended period of time. At the same time, however, the limited presidential term reduces the president's accountability to the American public.
A second term president is well aware that he does not face re-election and therefore feels free to conduct his affairs with little concern for the wishes of his constituents. He is unaffected by political pressure and is restrained only by a House or Senate Impeachment Committee.
What does this mean for concerned American Jews? There is no need to enumerate the many ways American Jewish policies towards Israel and the effort exerted on behalf of Soviet Jewry depends on the policies and concerns of the president. When political pressures are no longer a criterion for presidential decisions, Jewish organizations are unable to effectively lobby on behalf of their interests.
The awesome power of a presidency held by a man who does not have to answer to his electorate is a scary reality. Let us not elect a second term president until we are sure that he is a trustworthy ally of our interests.