This op ed piece in the New York Times by David Schanzer and Jay Sullivan argues that midterm elections should be eliminated. I could not disagree more.
The piece offers a variety of reasons for eliminating the midterm elections and replacing them with elections every four years, with House members serving four year terms and Senators 8 years terms. These reasons include a smaller number of people voting during midterms, consisting of whiter, richer, and more educated voters, and the midterms weakening the President. Under the reform, politicians would have more independence from voters, and there would be less gridlock.
Here are my reasons for supporting midterms and opposing this reform.
1. Several years ago, I wrote an article arguing that the Constitution’s original meaning placed significant limits on ordinary political actions that change the pattern of institutions in the country. Even if a single party controlled the Congress and the Presidency, it could not transform the country. That changed with the modern Court’s departures from the original meaning.