Donald Trump has a knack for posting provocative comments on Twitter. But one of the president-elect’s most recent tweets has some wondering if the real estate mogul-turned politician is tiptoeing on the thin line between dictatorship and democracy.
Trump's tweet Tuesday morning suggested that people should lose their citizenship or be thrown in jail for burning the U.S. flag, an act that is technically protected by the First Amendment. Since posting the tweet, Trump has received praise from those who seem to agree that flag burning should be a crime punishable by jail.
But there are others who believe his latest comment is just another example of Trump's lack of respect for the First Amendment, which gives U.S. citizens the right to free speech, freedom of religion and ability to freely exercise that religion, freedom of assembly and the press. Trump’s latest tweet isn’t the first time the soon-to-be 45th president has said something that has been called dictator-like. Check out a few more quotes of Trump sounding like an authoritarian below.
“I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist.” — March 1990
“The point is, you can never be too greedy.” — "Art of the Deal," 1997
“Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say China, in a trade deal? I beat China all the time. All the time.” — June 2015
“If I become president, we’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ at every store. You can leave ‘Happy Holidays’ at the corner.” — October 2015
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on." — December 2015
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn't lose voters.” — December 2015
"You have to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden — you know, it's pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that? Even though it is a culture and it's a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, and he's the boss. It's incredible. He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one. I mean, this guy doesn't play games. And we can't play games with him. Because he really does have missiles. And he really does have nukes." — Trump said about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in January 2016
"If these politicians went to the beach and didn't do a thing, and we had Saddam Hussein and if we had Gadhafi in charge, instead of having terrorism all over the place, we'd be — at least they killed terrorists, all right." — February 2016
"In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before — as a group, we have never seen before, what's happening right now. The medieval times — I mean, we studied medieval times — not since medieval times have people seen what's going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding." — February 2016
"I think Islam hates us... There's a tremendous hatred." — March 2016
"Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know." — August 2016
"If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception.” Trump told Hillary Clinton in October 2016, adding, “Because you'd be in jail."