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The New York Times Just Explained Why Trump's Praise for Chinese President's Power Grab Is So Dangerous

That's not how we do things in America.

The New York Times Just Explained Why Trump's Praise for Chinese President's Power Grab Is So Dangerous
US President Donald Trump (Photo NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Term limits for the office of President of the United States are a tradition created by the first president, George Washington. The limitation of serving only 2 terms, or one term and not more than half of someone else's term, became part of the constitution with the 22nd Amendment. But it appears not everyone thinks that limiting the presidency is a good idea.

In a statement from a private Republican fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, President Donald Trump expressed admiration for the idea of having a president for life. Trump's remarks were in response to President Xi Jinping of China, who moved to change the rules of governance in China so he could become “emperor for life.”
He’s now president for life. 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 some day.”

But when writing on why he would not seek a 3rd term as president, George Washington stated:

“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism."

A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.”

Washington spoke of the concept of the nature of power and corruption. Lord Acton famously said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

In 1947 Congress formally made limitations on the presidency part of the US Constitution through the addition of the 22nd Amendment. The states ratified the amendment in 1951.

American history contains countless stories of fighting against despots and tyrants, beginning with the very revolution against a remote monarch that gained Washington his acclaim. In their editorial, the New York Times maintains supporting the concept of a president for life is the opposite of the American ideals of freedom and liberty.

And people from all ranges of the political spectrum agreed, and let the president know via Twitter.