President For Life? Trump Says, ‘Maybe We’ll Give That A Shot’ (Video)

Granted the United States did not institute presidential term limits until 1951 with the ratification of the 22nd Amendment, the framers of our government were nonetheless terrified of a future leader being exalted to a lifetime appointment.

Remember they were once British subjects, under the thumb of an absolute monarch who claimed a “divine right” to the throne.

That’s why we have elections. We don’t like the job a president is doing, we can vote him out.

Once the 22nd Amendment was passed, no president could serve more than two terms regardless of performance.

Our current president has on numerous occasions praised autocratic heads of state for their “tough” stances on crime, political opposition, and outward displays of nationalism.

His admiration for dictatorial rhetoric, posturing, and politics has caused some to speculate whether we actually could be dealing with a inchoate authoritarian.

Remember during the second presidential debate when Trump threatened to imprison Hillary Clinton?

Remember Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention when he asserted, “I alone can fix it”?

Remember a few weeks ago when Trump requested White House and Pentagon officials begin planning a grand military parade for sometime this year?

Last week, we learned Trump has for months been talking about his desire to execute drug dealers, like Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte does.

Now we discover Trump supports Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposed changes to the Chinese constitution so Xi can eliminate term limits and govern for life.

During a fundraiser at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend, Trump spoke favorably of President Xi’s power grab.

Trump reportedly told Republican donors:

“He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day.” 

“Maybe we’ll give that a shot.”

Even before Trump it, Chinese activists and dissidents were speaking out about the West’s lack of criticism.

Democracy activist Zhou Fengsuo, a who has lived in exile since fleeing the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, said:

“This kind of permanent leadership never ends well … history tells us it will not just be a Chinese issue, it will have a deep and profound influence on the world … [China] will see a lot of uncertainty and likely conflict because of this.”

Journalism professor Qiao Mu fled into exile because of Xi. He commented:

“Dictators are always arrogant. It’s a disaster for political civilization.”

Joke or not, the prospect of anyone–let alone Donald Trump–being coronated president for life is terrifying.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal Nation Rising, and Zoedune.