During a luncheon hosted by the President at his Mar-A-Lago estate over the weekend, Trump jokingly-commended China’s impending decision to abolish presidential term-limits in the country, subsequently enabling Chinese President Xi Jinping to become dictator.
While speaking of President Xi, Trump was quoted as saying “he’s president for life — he’s great.” Trump also jokingly suggested that the US should “give that a shot someday” in regards to the eradication of term limits, which have been a widespread practice in democratic systems, a model in which China increasingly drifts further and further away from – such a move will increase government-dependency among citizens of China and lessen accountability and integrity all while belittling popular opinion.
While Trump has criticized China on issues ranging from trade to their relations with North Korea, he has been a vocal supporter of President Xi ever since he was president-elect, frequently and publicly praising the leader. Zhang Yesui, the spokesperson for China’s parliamentary system of the National People’s Congress, stated that the country refuses to encourage the model in which they intend to practice, claiming that China will “walk its own way,” while also declining to “import foreign models nor export our own model.”
Given the setting of the luncheon in which the remarks took place, the comments aren’t something to get worked up over, yet they are worth noting nonetheless, as they certainly won’t help disprove the left’s claim of Trump’s director-esque aspirations. It is imperative to emphasize that Trump’s remarks were made facetiously to Republican donors in a comedic-setting with no indication that he was suggesting the US actually emulate the practice.
Regardless, even as a supporter of the President, it is disheartening to hear the leader of the free-world commend a potential dictatorship. While several US Presidents have had relationships with far-more controversial leaders than Xi (Roosevelt-Stalin, Kennedy-Khrushchev, Reagan-Gorbachev, etc.) none of those Presidents praised a monarchy.
Trump’s comments reflect the biggest issue many of people have with him; a lack of presidential professionalism, and an ignorance of what should be off-limits to say, as he continues to pile onto his already-large collection of controversial remarks. While the Trump Administration has made substantial accomplishments thus far, the President’s professionalism, or lack thereof, remains a discouraging element to what is an otherwise successful presidency up to this point.