President Donald Trump has recently been eying the idea of a six-year presidential term. The idea involves the belief that an extra two years should be added to his presidency to pay "reparations" for two years of investigation and suspicion.
The idea was first suggested by Jerry Falwell Jr., lawyer and President of Liberty University, in a tweet on May, 4th in which he proposed that Trump should have "payback" for the "time stolen" by Mueller's investigation, something Falwell described as a "corrupt failed coup."
Trump shared this tweet, showing an interest in the recommendation:
Jerry Falwell Jr.'s May, 4th tweet.JerryFalwellJr / Twitter
While White House officials all claim that Trump's interest in the Tweet was purely a "joke," I am not convinced. Trump has harped, whined, and all but threw a temper-tantrum in response to Mueller's investigation. For any ranking public official to even give recognition to such a preposterous idea is nothing short of terrifying. For someone who has ardently defended the Constitution, we would assume that Trump should stay far away from proposing changes to something as fixed and necessary as term limits.
But, it seems, this sort of rhetoric doesn't lose Trump any supporters. The president has created a cult of personality, something that can soon spiral out of control.
No, Trump can't gain another two years, and it would be impossible for him to simply refuse to relinquish his presidency in two years. But what Trump can do is refuse to accept the election results in 2020. Picture this:
Trump's liberal/socialist/democratic opponent wins in the 2020 presidential election. Trump tells America the election was rigged, there was voter fraud, the liberals have an agenda against him, etc. Trump's supporters believe this and they continue to fight for him. This could lead to intense violence, we all know that Trump is good at inciting this sort of thing, general refusal of leadership, and further country divisions
What kind of unrest will we have on our hands then? "Given my experience working for Mr. Trump," Micheal Cohen stated, "I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power."
In a very real sense, it would be almost impossible at this point for a president to achieve a term extension. But that doesn't mean we can ignore this so-called "joke." If we pay special attention to the kinds of things Trump makes jokes about it, it becomes very clear that he has an agenda; to test the waters. Every time Trump makes an unsubstantiated claim, a joke, or a foul statement, he is seeing just how much America will let him get away with. Every time we let another Trumpism slide, Trump slides his foot in the door just a little bit further.
Eventually, we won't even realize that the door has opened. Eventually, we won't even realize Trump is all the way inside the door. Eventually, we won't even realize Trump has locked America out. Not until it's too late.