The tweets of Donald J. Trump are sometimes inane, sometimes scary, and sometimes baffling. On Saturday he made two that are the latter. Only a few days after inexplicably sharing a clip from Curb Your Enthusiasm that clearly mocked his supporters, the president decided to post something even more Mad Libs-weird: He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Technically he was quoting someone else quoting Emerson: a piece from his dreaded New York Times that dropped back in early February. The headline was, alas, not exactly flattering: “While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled.” The article itself, by Peter Baker, wasn’t complimentary about the president’s newfound confidence after getting impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. Perhaps Trump didn’t read the whole thing. But he did single out one passage.
…..biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration, and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.” Peter Baker @nytimes The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2020
“Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.’ Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down,” the tweet read. “A triumphant Mr.Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration, and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.” He then cited Baker, at-ed the NYT, and added one of his greatest go-tos: “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History!
Trump’s out-of-context (but still far from positive) tweeting read as a boast, even if he was quoting a publication he routinely demonizes. The fact that the president was quoting someone quoting Emerson truly weirded some people out.
Donald Trump is quoting @peterbakernyt
quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Not a sentence I thought I'd be writing.) To learn more about Emerson, one of the founders of @TheAtlantic, please read this: https://t.co/HnUNEoQteF
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 15, 2020
Others were horrified. After all, he was essentially referring to himself as a king, not a president.
Republicans don’t understand what really Makes America Great. We were first nation to govern by a set of laws for the people, by the people, to represent all the people, not just 35%. Certainly not how this wanna be dictator acts. Our government is not a reality TV show
— ♻️🇺🇸 Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) February 15, 2020
Some pointed out that Trump had been reduced to quoting the “failing” (though actually thriving) New York Times.
Trump is quoting from an article that states in headline that Trump is "Stained in History" – plus the article is from February 1. That shows you how desperate Trump is to find any article that says something "good" about him! #pathetic https://t.co/hDxys7Knd1
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) February 15, 2020
One person pointed out something strange and disturbing: He reworked the quote slightly.
Trump also capitalized the word “King” which was capitalized in the NYT story nor in the original Emerson quote.
He also changed it to “the King” from “a king.”
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) February 15, 2020
Some people broke down his illogic.
A few problems with your analogy:
1. YOU ARE NOT A KING
2. Murder is illegal
3. You were still IMPEACHED. That shit lasts forever.
4. It's not "triumphant" when you hid the witnesses, threatened jurors, and half of them admitted that they knew you were guilty.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 15, 2020
One of those lines — “You are not a king” — broke out as its own viral sensation.
YOU ARE NOT A KING!
Me seeing that Trump referred to himself as king: pic.twitter.com/u6y4FCRAdr
— Mychal (@mychal3ts) February 15, 2020
You are not a king
but yeah, you can only be King Mierdas who turns everything he touches to shit pic.twitter.com/voCbvAM2UR
— Tonia.Htch (@HtchTonia) February 15, 2020
YOU ARE NOT A KING. The only king you are is the Burger King. pic.twitter.com/LSMjgrfMSO
— The Joy of Trolling (@twelthavenue) February 15, 2020
And, this being the internet, it wasn’t long before people were talking fast food.
You may be a:
Criminal/Ob of Cong
Danger 2 Nat. Sec.
— Jason Bourne (@TheOriginalWTH) February 15, 2020
Berder King doesn't count. YOU ARE NOT A KING. pic.twitter.com/9vQjHulzjm
— teri belle smith (@happathy) February 15, 2020
(Via The Hill)