President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted a passage from a New York Times article which quoted the line from essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, “when you strike at the king, you must kill him,” prompting thousands to use the trending phrase “YOU ARE NOT A KING.”
Some Twitter users noted that Trump appeared to tweak the phrasing of the analysis piece, changing Emerson’s quote from “when you strike at a king” to read “when you strike the King” in his post.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at a king,’ Emerson famously said, ‘you must kill him,’” read the opening lines from the article Trump quoted. “Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down.”
Published before the Senate voted to acquit Trump of two articles of impeachment, Baker wrote that “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.”
“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” the president added at the end of his tweet.
…..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
Legal experts were stunned and horrified by Trump’s latest authoritarian tweet.
This may be the most sinister tweet Trump has ever posted. He is comparing himself with a king and threatening to use his powers for revenge on those who questioned his abuse of power. This after AG Barr said Trump’s tweets make it hard for him to do his job. Any response Mr. AG? https://t.co/SKEHnbGLOs
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) February 15, 2020
What's interesting is how useful Peter Bakers framing enemy versus friend plays into the politics here. In that frame there is no rule of law, no equality of citizen, just pure brute raw power against power. This is Hobbes world. https://t.co/VIoWdHswCl
— Philip Hackney (@EOTaxProf) February 15, 2020
So in essence: He’s admitting that he’s running on a platform of unrestrained narcissism. https://t.co/igvXAxjJ7P
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) February 15, 2020
10 days post-impeachment & he thinks he’s the king. https://t.co/nNY3PfAmWz
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 15, 2020
Sure would be an interesting day to read a book that examines Trump’s obsession with the king-like powers of his office and how the American presidency came to include monarchical elements in the first place. https://t.co/TxfUZ7pHqv pic.twitter.com/yU1yiEm2hQ
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) February 15, 2020