President Donald Trump claims that he is only joking, but he’s repeated his desire to serve more than the Constitution allows on more than one occasion now, most recently on Thursday.
In March, Trump told a gathering at Mar-a-Lago how envious he is that Chinese President Xi Jinping has become the leader of his nation for life, and mused about the same thing happening here in the United States.
“He’s now president for life,” Trump said. “President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”
Trump’s words sent shockwaves across the nation and sent shivers down the spines of every American who believes in the Constitution and democracy, especially since Trump has been trying to consolidate his power since taking office.
Trump claimed that he was only joking, but on Thursday, he did it again. This time he talked about maybe being president for 16 years, a length of time that would make him the longest-serving chief executive in American history, even longer than former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died two months into his fourth term.
“We’ve cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration, whether it’s four years, eight years or, in one case, 16 years,” Trump said. “Should we go back to 16 years? Congressman, can we have that extended? The last time I jokingly said that — the papers started saying ‘he’s got despotic tendencies!’ No, I’m not looking to do it, unless you want to do it.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Notice how Trump claims to be joking and then says “unless you want to do it.” Clearly, he’s not really joking.
In order to serve more than two terms, Trump would have to get the 22nd Amendment repealed, a process that would begin in Congress.
The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution states:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
Only former President Franklin Roosevelt has served more than two terms in office, and Republicans were so freaked out about how popular Roosevelt and his policies were that they passed the amendment in 1947 two years after he died. At the time of his fourth election, Roosevelt’s Republican opponent Governor Thomas Dewey of New York called the number of years FDR had served the “most dangerous threat to our freedom ever proposed.”
Of course, there was no law at the time barring Roosevelt from seeking more than two terms. However, the fact that Trump asked members of Congress in the crowd if they can make it possible for him to serve more than two terms is frightening. It suggests Trump is angling for more power and that he will continue to do so until he gets his way.
And before you say this can’t possibly happen, just remember that people said the same thing about Trump becoming president and that 28 states have called for a constitutional convention. If more Republican-controlled states join the effort, they could very well repeal the 22nd Amendment or trash the whole Constitution and make Trump president for life. He would then become the dictator he has always wanted to be.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot