The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Presidents of the United States should be allowed two terms, but the terms should not be consecutive

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 827 times Debate No: 33360
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Presidents campaign for becoming Presidents. then get elected. But while elected are they worrying about how to run the country or are they worrying about getting elected elected again. Terms that are split apart can get rid of this distraction to the President. When they get out of their first term they then have four years to campaign for becoming president for the next term while someone else is focused on being president.

This would also work will many other seats in politics.


I thank my opponent for starting this debate.

This is a nice sounding theory but it actually completely fails to remove the problem it hopes to solve.

Change things so that a politicians re-election is not immediately after his first term is over but rather 4 years later, They will still have reason to worry about that election in the middle of there presidency. there presidency in the first term is still going to end up coming back to haunt them in there re-election run.

So its established politics for re-election will affect there current job office and how they perform in it regardless of how immediate that re-election comes after there first term.

Now since we understand the positives of this change do not actually exist, lets move on to the advantages it removes from a President.....actually strike that, the advantages it removes from our COUNTRY to force the Presidents 2 terms to be non-consecutive.

It is far better for a leader to be able to perform when his time at the wheel is consecutive with his second time at the wheel. after one term his experince and familarity with the present state of the country a most personal knowledge of the direction the last administration was taking the country allows him to most effectively continue it.

It also allows the country some degree of stability for the coutry for 8 year periods, cause 4 kind of goes by really fast when you think about it. Even if a sitting president's successor is from his own part he can still screw up everything the last president in his administration was trying to build and accomplish. When Zachary Taylor died his Vice President Succesor Millard Filmore actively started making concessions to the pro-slave south in terms of westward expansion wich Taylor was adamantly opposed to. Teddy Roosevelt hand picked William Howard Taft to be his succesor but discovered later that Taft was nothing like the kind of Republican he had hoped he would be when he fired Teddies head guy over natural park conservation. Imagine for just a minute what it would have been like if Clinton had instead of running for his second term let Al Gore or Ted Kennedy or John Kerry run and get elected on his high popularity at the time? even if they are from the same party, they would have been very different leaders with very differnt prioities. Most think of Ronald Regan as the role model and definition of conservative leadership today, and for us today in our generation that statement is fairly accurate. But for those that paid attention to politics before he was president, he was shouting at the top of his lungs for leadership to push for the Soviot Union to tear down the Berlin Wall while every Republican leader before him was shunning the idea from Nixon to Ford. Different things have mattered to Reagan than what mattered to those of the same party that came before him, and those of the same party that came after have had different agenda's matter to them.

A president who's second term in office is not consecutive will have to have part of its time consumed with reversing the damage done by the last administration. this is not good for the president's second term, and its not good for our country.

In a way, the president will actually have to worry about his next election a whole lot more than he does when its consecutive if you factor in the fact that incumbant presidents tend to have an advantage, the people like a little change but not a whole lot.

Lets say hypothetically the 2012 election was run on my opponents proposed new system. Obama would not be allowed to rerun just yet but he will in 2016. Who runs for his office seat instead of himself? Biden? Hillary? Whoever does they lose the incumbant advantage, George W Bush even though the media hammered him enough to sink his popularity into the ground and tarnish his image as much as possible still won his re-election, and even though the country has gotten more divided than ever and many focus group test showed Obama voters from the first election were disapointed in what there 'hope and change' failed to deliever, He still won his re-election.
For sure it was close in both Bush Vs Kerry and Obama Vs Romney, I remember not being able to stay up long enough to find out the results on all the swing states in the 2012 race, but in the end the incumbant advantage tipped the scales.
So had you removed that slight advantage, then in close races where being the incumbant tips the balance, odds are it could have swung the election the other way. Joe Biden would have lost to Mit Romney and sitting party in power would have just lost it, and in 2004 in a Mcain Vs Kerry election Kerry would have.....well mabye that example would be too extream there is no universe were John Kerry would ever win a presidential race....

anyway no matter what party you swing for this will not work to your favor and it will almost ensure you rarely ever have a guy on your side hold the white house 2 terms in a row.

moving back to the hypothitecal situation though, lets say 2016 approches, and now Obama after 4 years of a Romney or Santorum (who knows mabye even the GOP primaries were affected by this) presidency or mabye even a Biden presidency, he suddenly finds he has to rerun through his own Party Primary and he is challenged. I think the fact that your own guy is rerunning for the office he is sitting in is the only reason no one on your own team usally challenges you for your second term unless things are really really bad. But starting over in a non-consecute term the primary race is suddenly a lot more open and once again you have lost the incumbant advantage, its not going to help in the primary, and its not going to help in the general election.

And honestly he may not have much of a fighting chance in most normal cases we can expect with a returning non-consecutive second term grab at the white house canidate, because the people just want a fresh face. Now I admit if we could pull Abraham Lincoln from the grave, bring him back to life and have him run for the white house he would get elected in a heart beat, but realitically for the still living men who have not had enough time pass since they last held office to get idolized yet, not one of them would get re-elected after someone else has taken the white house, even if they are from there own party. when it comes time the country has no choice but to change to a new leader they want to change foward to something and someone new, and if we suddenly had Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or Geroge Bush on the Ballot to choose from in 2016 it feel a whole lot like moving backwards to choose any of them again. Had Reagan not died but was fit to run for election again I'm not sure I would even choose him over one of the newer fresher faces in the next generation of leadership in the Republican party like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Ken Cuccinelli, or Paul Ryan.

I know some of those points sound like they contradict, people want the same so the incumbant has an advantage, people want different so the returning incumbant would lose. But weird as it is thats how the peoples brains work. We want the same when the terms are consecutive, we want different when they are not.
Debate Round No. 1


The advantage you speak of in the returning president to most likely be elected again is correct. The question is if this is the correct event to happen.

Many people when they go into the voting poll and vote on which president they want to be elected are bias to the person whom they have seen representing the Presidency for the past two years. Mostly, these people don"t know all ins and outs of the president and are not making an educated vote on it. So, is the advantage of the president really a good thing for the country as a whole or is a person getting elected from an uneducated public.

I am not affiliated with any political party and believe that in different points in the history of the United States the two political parties, Democrats and Republicans are needed to solve different problems. To the best candidate goes the presidency.

You are correct the President does have to worry about being reelected during his first term, but this is done through being a good president for the country and making decisions that the citizens are benefited by.

What presidents do now is at the end of their first term they start making commercials, going to different states to make speeches, talk to the people hours on end, and enter into debates with the other candidates. With all the things the president has to do every day to keep the country running They don"t have time to do all of this campaigning for the next term, but they do it anyway.

What the non-consecutive terms does for the country is have the president focus on being a good president their first term to get reelected again in four years. Then during the four years he can focus going to speeches and going to debates for the next presidency.

Yes, the candidate would have to get to the top of their own political party again to be able to run again for president, but it still goes back to the saying, "To the victor, goes the spoils"


Low information voters tend to pick the same incumbent president so the incumbent Advantage is Bad:

Is it really? Just because the people swayed to stay the course are not the upmost informed voters there is out there. If the better choice really hinges on there knowing better information then the problem is with getting the public informed, not how the choices they can vote on is arranged to manipulate there low information vote.

Consider this about the ‘low information’ voter. They have been refered to in the past by President Nixon as ‘the Silent Majority’ who do not have time to get out and go to protest rallies, they work all day and are pretty tired when they Get home, maybe they have a little time to read the paper or watch the news but after a hard day they would rather relax with a sit-com instead of dreading over all the bad-news being reported about wars, moms that drowned there babies, and massive oil spills.

All this Silent Majority wants to know when they get to the polls is are things going good for me, is my freedom to live my live relatively the same, can I make by on my paycheck, can I still take my child to soccer practice? Simple things about how comfortable they are with the way things are. If they are, then they will not want to risk change with another president, if they are not and things are pretty bad in this country, then get ready for some new leadership cause these people are going to kick that last guy out.

And who’s to say this is not a fine way of balancing out the party biased of other voters? As a republican I generally believe its never good to have a democrat in office, and cannot see myself ever voting for one. So if it were up to me I suppose our last presidents would have ended up being Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney. But the low-information voter counters my vote and says at certain times in history hey things are not feeling all that bad right now lets keep Clinton, and Hey you lied my tax’s went up so out with Bush Sr. If I am going to sway the ‘Silent Majority’ to hear my arguments for a new party in power, then things will have to be genuinely bad enough that it affects there lives for them to hear me out. If its not that bad then my own party bias will hit deaf ears. And this street works both ways, even if the all the news media channels except for fox decide there going to spend every day trying to make the Americans think the worst of George W Bush, when it’s the truth is it’s actually not that bad for them, they feel safer than they did before thanks to him, they were willing to give Bush a second term.

The incumbent advantage is thus good because it has proven the keep our democracy from turning into an oligarchy where the owners of MSNBC decide who the president will always be.

They Just don’t have time man to campaign if they are doing there Job man……:

I should probably rebut this before the debate is over since it seems to be the core reason behind your proposed change. If a president is not able to handle the multi-tasking of some campaigning along side of all the other task they have do, they are not really fit to be president at all are they? Campaigning is just a drop in the bucket for them as far as its demands on there time and it honestly makes them have to stay a little connected to the people instead of locked up in there office and private jet and in board meetings with other countries leaders. This straw does not break the camels back and should not be looked at as the one burden too much they have to bear especially considering its something they can delegate to other people like any of the other many things they have to manage, and hopefully do not choose to Micro Manage like lame-duck president Jimmy Carter.

Plus even if things went by your proposed change, they still really would need to go out and campaign at least every 2 years to help there own party win more seats in the Senate. One of the Greatest changes in American politics Teddy Roosevelt made was he made a very pointed effort to speak out the his vision to the people first rather than to the Congress, knowing that its with the people change has to start for they hold the leverage over the Congress. After Roosevelt had made his public campaign for his progressive conservative ideals to the people the Congress that had previously been against him (both parties) suddenly started being more cooperative.

He’d have to be a Good president to campaign on it in 4 years…:

I meant something else by that when I brought it up and did not explain cause I previously thought that was the premise of what you meant by ‘the president has to worry about his next election now instead of just being a president’. It seems you just meant in terms of time demands, but I thought you meant in terms of decisions he will make that are not necessarily ones he would normally want to do but there crowd pleasers that could get him reelected. Think of our current president. He doesn’t believe in Gun Rights. And I don’t just say that cause I’m a Republican but just look up the history of his votes in the Senate, they are not pro-gun. But in his first term he signed every piece of pro-gun laws he could to not give the NRA any ‘ammo’ to shoot with his re-election. Now that he is elected again as soon as some gun-school shooting tragedy occurred he made it his platform for trying to get an assault-weapons ban through congress.

He’d have to get back on top of his own Party:

You’ll have to further explain you saying ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ and its context with this debate argument because I don’t understand what your trying to say.

But you sound like your just brushing off the significance of my point as if ‘well he may have a primary to face in his future but so what? Just a little more work for him to get back to office’. But you see, he’s not going to actually have a chance, even if he was the best president ever he’s not going to be re-nominated. The people will see it as moving backwards regardless of the kind of president the man was in the past. Its been 4 years since he was president and times have changed and his own party will be ready and desiring a new Face for itself. Do you think if the democrats were allowed to would they make Bill Clinton there Candidate for president after Obama’s last term is over? No they want someone new, they want to move forward, it does not matter if they loved it while Clinton was in office. So I assert that in your proposed system, we will have no returning presidents ever come to office.

Debate Round No. 2


Spirit-bear forfeited this round.


Considering I provided rebuttal last round and in this debate burdon of proof rest with Pro since the proposed changed is what he is advocating, I find I have nothing to do this round.

So for those reading this debate, your probably someone who gets into politics enough to find this video amusing, please enjoy.

there both of the same song, one is a video and the other is a live perfomance. I couldnt decide which I thought was more entertaining.
Debate Round No. 3


Spirit-bear forfeited this round.


If you have taken the time to read any of this debate I thank you and ask that you now accordingly vote for me as I am the only one to finish participating in this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
Grover Cleveland was the best president and he served two non-consecutive terms.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Another close one.
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Reasons for voting decision: FF