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“Trump’s ‘Dictator’ Comment Restarts Uproar: His Camp is Facing Backlash

Recently, the ongoing controversy between President Donald Trump and those who accuse him of trying to become a dictator has been reignited with a single comment. The comment, which Trump made during a speech on Saturday, was that he had “total” authority to make decisions about reopening the US economy. Since then, criticism of Trump has been pouring in. Critics from both sides of the political aisle — including members of Congress — have chastised the President for his comment, saying it shows a complete disregard for the US Constitution and its system of checks and balances. But the truth is, Trump’s comment isn’t actually new. Since the start of his presidency, Trump has been accused of trying to become a dictator. Early in his time in office, he was reported to have told his aides that he wished he had the power of a dictator. Not surprisingly, Trump’s comments have led to harsh condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said in a statement: “This should be the last straw. The President of the United States is not a dictator—he must obey the Constitution.” Republicans, too, have been quick to rebuke the President. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement: “The President does not have total authority. Our Founding Fathers rejected the divine right of kings and fused together three equal branches of government. We have the rule of law, not rule by king.” Trump’s comment — and the criticism it has generated — is indicative of the growing concern among people that Trump might actually try to become a dictator. But experts suggest that this fear may be overblown. Constitutional scholars have said that, while Trump is certainly pushing the boundaries of presidential authority, it is unlikely he would be able to flout the law and become a dictator. That said, it is clear that, with this comment, Trump has once again put the spotlight on his attempt to consolidate and expand power. And though his comment may not be the first time he has been accused of trying to become a dictator, it is a reminder of why we can never take our liberties for granted.