Humanitarian Term Limits
During his run for the Presidency, Romney made an ill-advised joke about opening a jetplane window. It reminded me of a similar joke in Mad Magazine, in their parody of “Lost In Space”. The first panel showed the family choking from lack of air; the robot droned, “why-don’t-you-open-a-window?” They did this, and it worked!
That joke worked for Mad because it’s a satire magazine; you read it knowing that nothing in it is meant as a factual statement. Was Romney running a satire campaign? Perhaps he should have left clowning to the professionals.
I am certain that any intelligent person, if fully alert and seeking an executive position, wouldn’t even try to make so silly a joke. So how did this happen? I suspect sleep deprivation. Campaigning is notoriously sleep-depriving, for both candidate and staff; and sleep deprivation tends to erode the higher cognitive facilities.
This theory, if true, explains not only Romney’s campaign, but also every single Presidency that I have ever witnessed. For the trouble with foreign policy on a spherical world is that it’s always noon somewhere, so any executive with global responsibilities must either keep unhealthy hours, or else be out of synch.
One of the burdens of power is that the office does not permit joking. Or mistakes. Or spontaneity. Or any time off. All masters are slaves. I therefore favor term limits on humanitarian grounds; to protect the humanity of the office-holder.