Trump says tweeted meme about holding office forever was ‘of course’ a joke

June 26, 2019

President Donald Trump has sometimes joked about remaining in office for longer than eight years, but for the commander in chief, it all seems to be a big prank on the “Fake News” media.

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, Trump said that “of course” he is joking when he suggests that he will not relinquish power after two terms, but he knows that it drives his enemies “crazy” to tease the idea. Trump referenced a humorous Friday tweet which imagined a scenario in which Trump would stay in office forever.

While it was obviously a joke, humorless liberals have expressed concern that Trump will actually stage some kind of junta and remain in power indefinitely.

Driving them crazy

Days after launching his re-election campaign in Florida, Trump blasted off an instantly meme-worthy tweet that elicited howls of laughter from supporters — and the usual snide derision from critics. The video tweet, which parodied a Time magazine cover, showed a series of Trump campaign lawn signs in sequence, beginning with “Trump 2024” and going all the way up to “4eva,” set ironically to the tune of “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

Time magazine did not appreciate the joke. The outlet pedantically “fact checked” the video, pointing out in a reply that the video was (obviously) “manipulated.” Many liberals were offended by Trump’s suggestion that he would trample over the 22nd Amendment, which limits presidents to two terms.

Trump briefly pinned the tweet, which he told The Hill “drove people crazy ’cause they don’t think it’s kidding.” Asked if it was a joke, Trump said, “Of course. But it drives them crazy.”

It wasn’t the first time that Trump has joked about staying in office for more than two terms, and it may well not be the last. Speaking in the interview, Trump suggested he might stay in office longer than the Constitution allows to get a rise out of his opponents.

“Well, we have to go through the six years or whatever it may be when — when you know, would I like to get a ride out of some of your compatriots, say, go through the six, 10, 14, maybe 18 years, whatever it may be.”

Trump tweeted a similar video last year that spliced together footage of liberal media pundits mocking his election chances in 2016. The montage video then frantically speeds through footage of election night as those same nay-sayers realized what was about to happen.

The humorless left

Of course, the politically correct left wouldn’t know humor if it killed them. Hillary Clinton never told a joke that wasn’t poll-tested before hand; for stiff-lipped liberals who think comedy should be a form of secular preaching, Trump’s sense of humor is bizarre and even threatening.

It’s a truism that Trump is funnier than any comedian who tries to parody him (sorry Alec Baldwin), mainly because liberals take themselves too seriously for their pained efforts at indoctrination-by-entertainment to actually be funny. In a time when Saturday Night Live has the tenor of Sunday School, Trump’s scorn for the polite conventions of the “elites” is an endless joy.

Naturally, some on the perpetually offended left have speculated that Trump’s jokes may be more than that — that Trump, in fact, may not surrender power peacefully when he is removed from office. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently suggested that Trump will not accept the 2020 election result if he loses.

For the left, such fears play into a false narrative of persecution in which Trump is a tyrant trampling over the Constitution. For the president, though, it all seems to be a big inside joke with his base. Trump has generally raised the possibility of staying in office longer than the Constitution allows either on Twitter or at campaign rallies, where he serves up improvised political entertainment mocking his foes.

Last week, Trump wondered aloud on Twitter whether his supporters would “demand that I stay longer.” At a rally in Florida last month, he similarly suggested that staying in office for “10” or “14” years would be a good way to rile up the media.

“There’ll be headlines tomorrow: ‘Donald Trump wants to break Constitution,’” Trump jibed.

For Trump and many of his supporters, Trump’s jokes are just that — jokes — at the expense of Trump’s enemies, sure, but not a national security threat. While humorless, perpetually offended talking heads may struggle to understand Trump’s sense of humor, his supporters clearly don’t.


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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.