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The Six-Year One Term Presidency: A New Look at an Old Proposal
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Vol. 18, No. 1, The Presidency in a Bicentennial and Quadrennial Election Year (Winter, 1988), pp. 129-142
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27550538
Page Count: 14
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The appeal of the proposal for a six-year single term presidency has been especially strong and durable among the most powerful and influential segments of society, including former presidents and Cabinet officers. This means that its prospects for adoption cannot be dismissed out of hand, despite the longstanding opposition of most historians and political scientists, and despite the current absence of strong vocal advocacy. In the belief that this issue will be joined again as it has so many times before, this article offers a new slant on a familiar old debate. It contends that the most important reason for continued elite support is rarely acknowledged by advocates: lack of faith in the political judgement of the mass electorate. Contrary to the arguments of opponents, there is substantial evidence to justify this lack of faith. Nevertheless, advocates fail to confront a crucial question which lies at the heart of presidential viability: what will replace the empowering vitality of re-electability as the source of presidential influence?
Presidential Studies Quarterly © 1988 Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress