The Instigator
PatriotPerson
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Presidential Term Limits (US)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,306 times Debate No: 76053
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

PatriotPerson

Pro

Well, here's my first serious debate in a while. I believe there should be a limit to how long a United States President can serve. Some people say that the amendment restricting a president's length in office should be abolished, and I think it should stay. As you can see, this debate is impossible to accept. If you wish to be my opponent, PM me and I might let you.

ROUND 1- Acceptance
ROUND 2- Arguments
ROUND 3- Arguments
ROUND 4- Concluding Arguments
kasmic

Con

I accept! Good Luck.
Debate Round No. 1
PatriotPerson

Pro

22nd Amendment
The 22nd Amendment to the US Consitution says, "SECTION. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once."


As with the debate over if it is logical to have term limits for a President, Con must argue that it is illogical to have a term limit and that the 22nd Amendment should be repealed. For anyone who may be unsure, a term limit is something that restricts an official's time in office (ex. A president can only a serve a maximum of eight years, which is two terms).


Consensus
A consensus of opinion amongst American citizens to have a term limit is shown in a Gallup Poll from January 2013 below:

Americans' Support for Establishing Term Limits for Federal Lawmakers, January 2013

Though this poll is asking about Congress and Senate members, this same agreement can be seen for any federal idividual. Most US citizens don't want a politician's service to be limitless, so why wouldn't they feel the same for the president?


The president is obviously in a higher position than a Congressman/Senator, and already most people feel that the smaller two should have limits. Notice how the title of the poll is "Americans' Support For Establishing Term Limits For Federal Lawmakers". Though the description beneath it more specifically questions Congress and the Senate, the President and everyone else above the Congress is also considered a "Federal Lawmaker".


LOGIC
It makes sense that a president's time in office should be limited. Imagine the partisan conflicts that could arise if a president could serve as long as he/she were elected for. Current President Barack Obama's current disapproval rating is higher than his approval rating, mainly because most of the American voters who participated in the Approval Rating Poll are either conservative or just don't like the way he runs things.


People would get tired of a person being in office for too long, and "being tired of a leader" is not a constitutional reason to impeach someone. Therefore, we would be stuck in a disapproving country until the next election would come around and we would choose someone else. Currently President Obama's approving percentage is 47%, and his disapproving percentage is 49%. This data comes from a poll taken over the course of May 31st to June 3rd.

______________________________________________________

SOURCES:
(1) The Twenty-Second Amendment: http://constitutioncenter.org...
(2) Term Limit Gallup Poll: http://www.gallup.com...
(3) Approval Rating: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu...

kasmic

Con

Thanks PatriotPerson for instigating this debate.

Contentions:

C1: Redundant/limits:

The XXII Amendment’s function is largely redundant. Natural “Term limits” exist in a Democratic Republic like the U.S. They are called elections. Setting a term limit mitigates the natural function of elections. The people should have the power to determine if a politician has served enough terms as President. If the people feel this is the case. They could simple vote that politician out of office. This leaves the only unique function of this amendment to limit the choice of the people. I contend that the people should retain the sovereignty to decide when a politician is not suitable for the office of President through voting.

C2: The Best Person for the job:

The Constitution of the United States lays the duties of the executive branch of government on a single person, the President of the United States of America. Being President of the United States requires incredible skill and poise. Because of the high level of competence required of the office it is obvious that the people of the United States would want the best most qualified person available to fill this position.

When Americans weigh who to vote into this office it is often discussed who is “qualified.” Not surprising, often when people will not vote for a particular candidate, the reason given is lack of experience. It is not hard to understand why. A President who has experience is likely to be able to manage the tasks required better than one who has little or no experience.

Imagine yourself a hiring manager and you are looking for an employee. In front of you a stack of resumes’. Are you going to look through and remove from consideration any and all candidates that have experience? Of course not!? If anything, experience is a positive impact on who may be chosen. Before even allowing the American people to consider who the best person for the office may be, the XXII Amendment of the United States Constitution does just that. It removes from consideration those with the most experience. This is clearly foolish.

Conclusion of Contentions:

The repeal of the XXII amendment would keep experienced candidates in consideration, allow our Democratic Republic to function as intended via elections, and allow Americans to decide for themselves. Therefore, the XXII Amendment should be repealed.

Rebuttals:

Pro says “Con must argue that it is illogical to have a term limit and that the 22nd Amendment should be repealed.” I have shown clearly the harm term limits pose to the people’s sovereignty and have shown term limits illogical as it removes people solely for being experienced.

Pro has argued that there exists a consensus amongst US citizens. He confesses that his source is not directly related to the resolution saying “Though this poll is asking about Congress and Senate members, this same agreement can be seen for any federal individual. Most US citizens don't want a politician's service to be limitless, so why wouldn't they feel the same for the president?” Arguing “why wouldn’t they feel the same for the president” is not conclusive evidence in support of the resolution.

Pro says “People would get tired of a person being in office for too long, and "being tired of a leader" is not a constitutional reason to impeach someone.” It is however a reason to not vote for them… term limits are not necessary to address the concern raised here by pro. It also is worth noting in our history that the XXII Amendment was adopted in 1951. Only one President during the first 175 years ever served more than 2 terms.

Summary of rebuttals:

Pro has offered support for the resolution with two arguments.
1: Consensus: This is negated as the consensus demonstrated is not referencing the office of president.
2: Fatigue: this is negated as people can vote for a different president, term limits are not needed to prevent unwanted reelections.

Conclusion of Round Two:

Pro’s case is negated. I have present two contentions. Thus far the resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
PatriotPerson

Pro

ELECTIONS:
Con seems to be mistaken on what an election is. He says "Natural 'term limits' exist in a Democratic Republic like the U.S. They are called elections." Let's take a moment to define the words "term" and "election".

A term (political): noun. 1. The time or period through which something lasts. 2. A period of time to which limits are set.

An election (political); noun. 1. The selection of a person or persons for office by vote.

Therefore Con is misguided. Con says that an election is a term limit in itself, however elections choose individuals, not limit them.

"The people should have the power to determine if a politician has served enough terms as President."
Con seems to contradict himself by saying this. Earlier in the same argument, Con said that elections are term limits. Now he is saying the term limit should be a separate choice the people make. Con's approach to this issue is inconsistent.
Con later says "They could simple vote that politician out of office". That is not limiting the politician's term, that is just ending it. Limiting a term would be electing a president for x amount of years.

THE JOB:
"Being President of the United States requires incredible skill and poise".
Not really. All you need to be president is enough people who agree with you and think you'd do well. There have many plenty unskilled presidents throughout history (i.e. James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Herbert Hoover).

Con seems to misinterpret the XXII Amendment. He seems to think that it dictates who the best-fitted would be, when all it does it set a limit for how long such a person can serve.

NEGATION:
Con thinks he is already negated my arguments, when all he has really done is argue against them. Though the consensus from the Gallup Poll is indeed not referencing the office of president, that doesn't mean it is inapplicable.
He also thinks he negated my argument over "fatigue". He says he did so because people can vote for a different president. What must be realized here is that elections occur only every four years. Therefore, a president's time in office without a limit could double up to twelve, sixteen, maybe even twenty years. People would develop fatigue for the long-lasting president within one of those four-year periods. Con seems to think that a period of four years goes by fast.

"Pro's case is negated. I have present two contentions. Thus far the resolution is negated."
Let's not get too excited. The debate's not over yet.
______________________________________
Allow me to bring to your attention the only incident of a president serving more than two terms. This president was named Franklin D. Roosevelt, aka FDR, and served twelve years as the nations president. This is a total of three terms, and he was even elected to a fourth one, but died soon after. FDR's time, obviously, occured before th XXII Amendment was passed. While many say FDR was a great President, he really wasn't. But that's a whole nother debate.

FDR's administration brought political unrest, as the country had had to deal with a Democratic president for twelve years, and eight more since Harry Truman took over after Roosevelt's death in office. That's a whole two decades under a democratic leader.

To even more support my case of unrest, look who they elected right after Truman's time in office ended. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a strong Republican. His first victory, in 1952, was quite a landslide against his democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson. Just take a look at the map: (Red - Eisenhower, Blue - Stevenson)

This shows how much the American voters preferred Republicans over Democrats, especially after twenty years of having a democrat as President. This eaxt situation would occur again if term limits are removed.

________________

SOURCES:

http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

kasmic

Con

Rebuttals:

Pro says I am wrong in saying elections serve as natural term limits. “Con says that an election is a term limit in itself, however elections choose individuals, not limit them.” If the people choose not to elect someone, did they not limit then to the number of terms already served?

Pro seems to misunderstand the point I am making. I am not saying “the term limit should be a separate choice the people make.” I am saying that when the people vote they determine who should be elected. If the people do not re-elect a sitting president they have effectively limited the number of terms that president will serve.

Pro says I “seem to misinterpret the XXII Amendment. He seems to think that it dictates who the best-fitted would be, when all it does it set a limit for how long such a person can serve.”

It sets a limit to how many terms one may serve. The impact of this amendment is to limit the choice of the people.


Pro says without term limits “a president's time in office without a limit could double up to twelve, sixteen, maybe even twenty years.” The people would have the ability to remove the president from office every four years… this is in line with the status quo. This does not really in anyway show why the people should not retain the right to re-elect a president who has just finished his second term.

Pro than argues that FDR was not a good president. I am not sure what this has to do with the debate. Our individual preference on specific presidents is irrelevant. What matters is who the nation collectively elects. That outweighs pro’s personal opinion. Clearly the people in FDR’s time thought he was best suited for the job as they re-elected him. Pro also notes that Harry Truman was also a democrat. This is entirely irrelevant to this debate as even with term limits the people could easily vote in presidents from the same party back to back.

Conclusion:

Pro has not affirmed the resolution, many of his arguments are hardly relevant to what is being discussed. He has not addressed my contentions so I extend them.

The repeal of the XXII amendment would keep experienced candidates in consideration, allow our Democratic Republic to function as intended via elections, and allow Americans to decide for themselves. Therefore, the XXII Amendment should be repealed.
Debate Round No. 3
PatriotPerson

Pro

"If the people choose not to elect someone, did they not limit then to the number of terms already served?"
No. All they did was, quite simply, not re-elect that person. An election does not stand as a form of a term limit. If elections were considered term limits, it would say so in the XXII Amendment.

Say there was no term limit, the XXII Amendment was never made. A president completes two terms and runs for a third, but loses that election. The loss is not a term limit, all it means is that their campaign failed. A limit says, like I said in the last round "you get x amount of years possible as president, then its over". An election obviously does not set an x number. An election says "you either win or lose this. If you win, keep going, if you lose, get out."

"The impact of this amendment is to limit the choice of the people."
The decision of the people is who to elect, not how. So this amendment does not affect anyone negatively, as it sets a fair requirement for office restrictions and keeps the public with a new leader.

"The people would have the ability to remove the president from office every four years."
Yes, but as I said, four years is a large margin. And fatigue/conflict is not valid enough reason to impeach an official.

"Pro than argues that FDR was not a good president. I am not sure what this has to do with the debate."
Exactly. I said myself that it was irrelevant. I said, and I quote, "While many say FDR was a great President, he really wasn't. But that's a whole nother debate."

Con has either misunderstood or twisted what I said.

"Clearly the people in FDR's time thought he was best suited for the job as they re-elected him. Pro also notes that Harry Truman was also a democrat. This is entirely irrelevant..."
The only reason FDR was re-elected so many times was because of WWII. He was handling it well, so both democrats and republicans alike were afraid that if they elected someone else they wouldn't do as well. No world war is going on today, so FDR's approval as of that matter is irrelevant.

It is not irrelevant that Truman was a democrat. As I said, Truman's administration totaled to having a democratic president for twenty years in a row, which is in reference to my argument that without a term limit there would be unrest. Again, notice how directly after those two decades, a Republican was chosen.

The absence of a term limit would obviously cause political unrest, as seen in history. We do not need anymore political unrest in this nation.

"Many of his arguments are hardly relevant to what is being discussed. He has not addressed my contentions so I extend them."
Con is misled again. All of my points are relevant, they just need to applied to the matter, which Con seems to continue to misunderstand. He also claims that I have not addressed his contentions. In each round I have posted rebuttals to his contentions, which is indeed addressing them. If anything, Con is not addressing my rebuttals.
___________________________
Con has concluded his side too early. He failed to realize there is still one round remaining. He either didn't see Round 4 or he has given up. Both are bad mistakes.
kasmic

Con

Pro concludes that The decision of the people is who to elect, not how. So this amendment does not
affect anyone negatively”

I am not sure I follow, whether who or how, this amendment limits the people’s choice.

Pro restates the contention that “Truman's administration totaled to having a democratic president for twenty years in a row, which is in reference to my argument that without a term limit there would be unrest.”

Even with term limits this could happen thus the impact of term limits on this problem is nill.

Pro says “Con has concluded his side too early. He failed to realize there is still one round remaining. He either didn't see Round 4 or he has given up. Both are bad mistakes.”

Quite the contrary. I have clearly won this debate. Pro claimed there was a consensus on the matter but did not link any evidence to support this claim. Pro claimed that it is logical to have term limits but did not provide an argument to affirm this only claiming fatigue. This also is not impacted by term limits as elections occur every four years independent of them.

Pro has failed to contribute a convincing argument to affirm the resolution.

My arguments remain intact. The harm of term limits is tied to limiting the power of the people. It also keeps experience out of consideration which is foolish.

Thanks for reading.

Vote Con!



Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Doing another debate on this topic.

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Thanks Kozu and Varrak for reading and voting.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
RFD

Pro has but a single valid contention to assert that term limits should be kept in place, and that is his "Logic" contention, which says that allowing for an unlimited number of terms could result in undesirable presidents staying in office. However, this is easily negated by the fact that they can simply be voted out next election. His other contention "Consensus" commits the "argumentum ad populum" fallacy. This doesn't say anything about *why* term limits are good, it just shows what the majority thinks. Con points out that this consensus doesn't support the resolution and rightfully so.

This leaves me with both of Con"s "Best Person for the Job" and "Redundant/Limits" arguments. Pro tries to refute the prior by bringing up FDR"s extensive number of terms, and seems to try and link that to a risk of political unrest. He doesn't give any evidence to support this, or what form this harm would come in. He even states "The only reason FDR was re-elected so many times was because of WWII. He was handling it well, so both democrats and republicans alike were afraid that if they elected someone else they wouldn't do as well. "
This supports Con"s case even more! FDR seems to have been the "Best Person for the Job" at this time. I have yet to be given a reason why allowing him to run again would be harmful. Since we have yet to see any of these harms manifest, Con"s second contention follows through, these limits are redundant and don"t serve a purpose other than to limit to the public"s options.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Thanks for reading and voting Romanii.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Someone remind me to vote on this.
Posted by PatriotPerson 2 years ago
PatriotPerson
The debate is not about having a chance. I only brought that up in response to your comment. The debate is about if term limits should exist or not, and having a chance is irrelevant.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
Not sure how they don't get the chance when there's an election every 4 years.
Posted by PatriotPerson 2 years ago
PatriotPerson
Because we need to give different people a chance and have more than one party in lead.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
If a person is president for 8 years, they're automatically more experienced for the position then everybody else running. Why just throw them away?
Posted by PatriotPerson 2 years ago
PatriotPerson
I don't know, I'm not one of those people. But it sure is a wide debate topic.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
PatriotPersonkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources go to Pro since Con had none. Arguments - Pro argued that 1) a consensus for term limits and 2) term limits eliminate fatigue. Con countered 1 by stating how it was irrelevant, using Pro's concession as his arg. Con dropped this point. Pro countered 2 by saying that a president that voters are disappointed with can be voted out of office. Con also argued that AXXII limits people's choice for Pres., which comprised both his contentions. Pro stated that a Pres. can do bad in the middle of a term, but doesn't show how term limits solve this problem...it just becomes quite unclear what Pro is arguing, since the premises don't really follow to a conclusion. Pro also threw in some personal bias (i.e. FDR was a bad Pres and was only elected because of the war) that distracted from the debate which hurt his case. Pro doesn't give me a good reason to think term limits are good, but Con shows they are at least somewhat hadmdul so Con wins.
Vote Placed by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
PatriotPersonkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
PatriotPersonkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pretty clear Con win. He put forth the idea that elections serve as a natural limit on how many terms a president can serve -- if he is good enough, he will get re-elected; if he isn't good enough, he will get voted out of office. Ultimately, Pro is unable to show that having term-limits does anything which elections on their own can't do, while Con argues that term-limits can only undermine democracy by restricting the people from voting for who they actually want to vote for. Since Pro doesn't give me any real positive reasons to favor term-limits, but Con does give me a negative reason to reject them and favor the elections idea, I vote Con.