Columns, Opinion

Burke’s Bully Pulpit: Why we need two-term limits

President Xi Jinping, the current leader of China, won a vote to essentially become the president for the remainder of his life.

On Sunday, the law was voted on and eventually passed by the National People’s Congress in China. There were three abstaining votes and two votes against the motion.

People around the globe are comparing Xi’s power, now and in the future, to Chairman Mao Zedong.

A two-term limit on leadership has proven to be an effective way for different political parties to thrive and for new ideas to come about. It allows newcomers to have a platform they previously did not have. In addition, the limit gives someone else a shot at fixing what they see as major problems in their country based on the areas that they represent or have represented in the past.

It seems that with every major story that involves Chinese government or policy, our president has to say something. During the Trump administration, statements have been made that were a bit harsh and even threatening. Whether these statements were a good idea remains to be seen.

In April of 2013, albeit before he was president, Trump tweeted: “China controls North Korea. So now besides cyber hacking us all day, they are using the Norks to taunt us. China is a major threat.”

But the rhetoric does not stop there. Flash forward a few years and our president tweeted: “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” I saw this on my timeline and viewed it as a major subtweet towards China.

In recent months, Trump’s tone toward China has begun to change. He started to praise how good of a leader Xi is and how he respects the way China has handled the North Korea situation. It’s a bit odd this change has happened a few months before Xi was essentially voted to be the president for life.

While speaking on China’s decision to keep Xi in power for life, Trump said, “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

Sometimes, it seems as though Trump has forgotten what he learned in history class. One of the main reasons we separated from England was to get away from rulers that were in power for life.

I believe there is very little chance that the majority of American citizens would want to have a president for more than eight years in this political climate. Things are changing so rapidly in this world that someone who has been in power for a long time may become disconnected from the struggles that real Americans face.

Imagine if Barack Obama had even begun to suggest this during his tenure. Republicans all over the country would call for his impeachment. They would even probably say that he was “un-American” and unfit for office.

However, this story doesn’t really seem to be getting any play in the media and it’s a little nerve-racking. This statement comes from someone who hates the media more than anyone since Franklin Roosevelt, who was the last president to serve more than two consecutive terms. Roosevelt believed that anyone who wasn’t a supporter was vehemently against him, and often rejected tough questioning from reporters on his policies. This tactic sounds a little familiar.

At the end of the day, I do not see there ever being another president that serves more than two terms. I wouldn’t have wanted it for any of the presidents during my lifetime — including this one. Sometimes I wish that Trump knew the difference between what to say to a bunch of supporters and what to say to his immediate family.

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