First, some background--I’m sure everybody understands this, but just so we’re on the same page. The biggest problem in modern American democracy is simple: incumbents. In any election, the incumbent has a big advantage because Everybody Knows the incumbent has an advantage, so campaign contributors give more money to incumbents. At the same time, someone who is holding office while simultaneously running for office (the same one or another one) is going to do a poor job, because their attention is split. (Was anyone really pleased when Bob Dole quit the Senate to focus on his Presidential bid? I don’t want a President who cares so little about democracy that he’ll let himself be replaced by an appointee for personal gain.)
So what’s to be done about this? The standard answer is term limits; but that runs into problems, because sometimes the best person for the job really is someone who’s done it seventeen times before. Besides, term limits don’t solve the split-attention problem until the last term. My answer is simple: pass a Constitutional amendment forbidding any elected official to be a candidate for office--any office--until their term is up. Then there will be no incumbents: nobody in an election with an incumbent’s advantage, nobody in office with an incumbent’s distractions.