Election 2016: Why our forefathers thought a limited-term presidency was important


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Before elections were an American freedom, our forefathers disavowed all ties to European government in the hopes of establishing a nation purged of dynastic control and oppression. Their goals were realized in the form of a singular figure being elevated to the rank of Commander-in-Chief for a four-year period. The aforementioned precedent was originally conceived by George Washington, who relinquished his position after two four-year terms.

It was Washington’s belief that the position as president of the United States was too important to leave in the hands of one man for the duration of a lifetime. Instead of following the model presented by Great Britain and various other sovereign countries, the idea was brought forth for the people of America to vote on the person they believed was best qualified for the job.

Unfortunately, many people prefer to take a back seat through the entirety of the campaign season. However, it is imperative that the citizens of this great nation voice their beliefs, or else there is essentially no difference between the governing bodies that our forefathers chose to flee and the democratic state that they were able to eventually establish.

Heidi Campbell, chair of the Department of Mass Communication at North Greenville University, said, “When we vote we influence every aspect of our lives from how much we pay in taxes to free access to education and public safety. It's the one opportunity all adult citizens have to make their voice heard. That is what democracy is all about.”

By voting in an election, we are not only acknowledging the wisdom of our ancestors, but are in turn validating the thoughts we have for the direction we wish the nation to go.